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SISTA Colloquium

DateMonday, February 13, 2012
Time12:00 pm
Concludes1:30 pm
LocationGould-Simpson 906
SpeakerRonald Weinstein, MD
School/Dept.Professor and Director
AffiliationArizona Telemedicine Program

Telepathology and the Globalization of Health Care. Inventing and Commercializing a Disruptive IT Technology

Telepathology is the rendering of laboratory diagnoses at a distance using IT technologies. Dr. Ron Weinstein, a Professor of Pathology in the U of A College of Medicine, invented, patented, and was first to commercialize, robotic telepathology. He introduced the word “telepathology” into the English language and is often referred to as the “father of telepathology”. Digital image telepathology is a disruptive healthcare technology. Dr. Weinstein will explain why Tucson is likely to emerge as a major center for international healthcare by leveraging its expertise in digital image telepathology. He will also share his vision for a future in which “all roads for patient-centered healthcare diagnostics lead to Tucson”.

Dr. Weinstein has received the Association for Pathology Informatics’ Lifetime Achievement Award, has been President of the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology and the American Telemedicine Association, and has received the U of A College of Medicine’s Lifetime Teaching Award.


Dr. Ronald S. Weinstein was born in Schenectady, New York, and received his B.S. Degree from Union College (Schenectady, New York) in 1960. He attended Albany Medical College from 1960 to 1962 and received his M.D. degree from Tufts University School of Medicine in 1965. He became interested in basic research in medical school and developed an independent research program while a medical student. After his second year, he was awarded a research fellowship under Dr. Stanley Bullivant at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). Dr. Weinstein completed his internship and residency (under Dr. Benjamin Castleman) at the MGH and was a Teaching Fellow at Harvard Medical School. At the conclusion of his internship year, in 1966, he successfully competed for his first of many NIH grants, and was named Director of the Mixter Laboratory (at age 27), a position he held throughout his residency. Thus, he had dual roles as a pathology resident and a laboratory director. At the time, he was the youngest M.D.- NIH funded researcher at the Massachusetts General Hospital. His laboratory did pioneering research on the localization of Band 3 protein, the anion transporter, in red cell membranes and on the molecular structure of gap junctions and on their role in cancer.

Dr. Weinstein spent two years as a Major in the U.S. Air Force assigned to the Aerospace Research Laboratories at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. He carried out research in environmental toxicology and studied Heinz body anemias and oxidative injury in the liver. Following three years as Associate Professor at Tufts, he was named Harriet Blair Borland Chairman and Professor of Pathology at Rush Medical College in Chicago, Illinois, in 1975 and held that position for 15 years. He was named Head of Pathology at the University of Arizona in 1990 and stepped down last June, completing 32 years as an academic department head.

Dr. Weinstein has made significant contributions in research, service, and education. In the research arena, Dr. Weinstein made contributions in the fields of experimental pathology and human bladder cancer and, more recently, in the fields of telemedicine and telepathology. While at Rush Medical College, in Chicago, Dr. Weinstein served as Director of the Central Pathology Laboratory of the NIH-funded National Bladder Cancer Group, the largest clinical trail group in the field. He organized the National Urinary Bladder Flow Cytometry Network in 1985 and played a central role in bringing flow cytometry into routine clinical practice. He was recognized for these accomplishments when he was elected President of the International Society for Urological Pathology and received that organization’s Distinguished Service Award.

Dr. Weinstein is widely regarded as a pioneer in the field of telepathology and has created major academic programs in this emerging area. Dr. Weinstein is often cited as the "father of telepathology". He authored the first paper on telepathology, in 1986, and invented robotic telepathology, for which he was awarded several US Patents. Dr. Weinstein established a vision physiology laboratory in Chicago in 1985 and carried out what are now considered classic studies on pathology diagnostic accuracy using video imaging. His early work is the intellectual underpinning of the telepathology field. Dr. Weinstein carried out the first successful test-of-concept demonstrations of robotic telepathology and collaborated on important clinical validation studies. Since the mid-1980’s, Dr. Weinstein and his colleagues have produced a steady stream of basic and clinical research papers on telepathology and studied many aspects of diagnostic imaging ranging from studies on human factors in imaging to practice models for telehealthcare services delivery. He also has co-authored three books in the telepathology and medical informatics field.

Dr. Weinstein’s work in telepathology forms the basis for telepathology programs in over 35 countries. These programs provide diagnostic services for tens of thousand of patients world-wide. Dr. Weinstein frequently lectures on the topic. For example, he has given invited lectures at international symposia in seven countries in Europe, Asia and Latin America. Dr. Weinstein has worked on developing international standards and platforms for telepathology and has been a consultant to the European Union, the World Health Organization, and the Japanese and Panamanian Governments. He also promoted international telepathology for third world nations as President of the International Council of the Societies of Pathology, a World Health Organization-sponsored Council that coordinates the activities of pathology societies in 46 countries. More recently, Dr. Weinstein co-invented the array microscope which serves as the digital imaging engine for the first ultra-rapid virtual slide scanner and has been awarded fundamental patents for this invention. Dr. Weinstein is the first of five co-inventors listed on the fundamental patent for the array microscope. The invention has been recognized as a break through technology by the Wall Street Journal. Recently, his clinical research group developed a new model for breast care, based in part on the array microscope, successfully bundling teleradiology, telepathology and teleoncology services into a single day expedited breast service (IBM Systems Journal 46: 69-84, 2007). Over 6,000 women in rural Arizona have benefited from same day breast mammography diagnostic services, which is revolutionary in women’s health care.