What is your name?
Nate Montgomery, MD, PhD
What is your professional title?
Assistant Professor of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Director of Molecular Hematopathology and Associate Director of Hematopathology
How did you decide to enter the field/What (or who) brought you into the field?
I took a circuitous path to my current position. When I started graduate school, I expected that my career would be in basic science. However, during my PhD in Terry Magnuson’s laboratory, I became increasingly interested in applied molecular testing. To his credit, Terry encouraged me to go to medical school and from there, I gravitated first to pathology, then to hematopathology, and ultimately to molecular diagnostics of hematologic malignancies.
What do you do? How would you describe your role?
My clinical time is split more-or-less equally between molecular diagnostics and hematopathology, and the most exciting part of my job is leading our health system’s hematologic malignancy next generation sequencing panel testing. It’s a position that allows me to not only be part of generating molecular data but also helping our pathologists and oncologists integrate that information into the broader clinical and pathologic picture.
How does your work help patients?
Molecular testing is now fundamental to the care of patient’s with hematologic malignancies. The data we generate facilitates diagnosis, risk stratification, therapy selection, and even disease monitoring.
What degree(s) and/or training did you receive to achieve your position?
I received a PhD in Genetics and Molecular Biology, along with my MD degree, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I stayed there for an anatomic and clinical pathology residency, as well hematopathology and molecular genetic pathology fellowships.
What is the greatest challenge you face in your work?
My greatest challenges are in balancing the testing we want to perform in our lab with local capacity and local demand. In a medium-sized health system, we have to thoughtful about what we do locally and what we send out.
What is the best part of your work as you see it? (most interesting, fun…)
Both in clinical care and research, I love integrating diverse types of data. It’s true lab-based consultation.
What AMP resources/courses have helped you advance your career?
The AMP annual meeting is a yearly opportunity for me to be educated and inspired. The Hematopathology Subdivision’s “must reads” are also an extremely valuable resource that help me make certain that I’m up to date with critical developments in the field.
In your opinion, what are the most valuable aspects of AMP membership?
AMP membership creates valuable opportunities to both learn from and collaborate with colleagues in the field.