Wiley D. Forbus, MD (1930-1960) was the founding chairman of pathology at Duke. Trained at Johns Hopkins under Drs. William H. Welch and William F. MacCollum, he brought early excellence in classic anatomic pathology. He practiced the Socratic method of teaching using the case method for medical students and residents alike. The author of the classic two-volume text Reaction to Injury, he also established the first medical examiner system in the State of North Carolina. His teachings were passed to others through thirty professors, fifteen chairmen, and five deans who trained in his department.

Thomas D. Kinney, MD (1960-1975), a graduate of Duke Medical School, firmly established experimental pathology and basic research in the department. He recruited an outstanding faculty of experimentalists, and future leaders in American pathology many of whom chose to remain at Duke for their entire career. Dr. Kinney was a prime mover in automation of the clinical laboratories, medical student teaching, and developing pathology manpower. He served as Chairman of all the national and international medical societies, including the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, many governmental task forces, and NIH study sections. A beloved teacher,the medical students honored his memory with the Thomas D. Kinney faculty teaching award. Dr. Kinney's faculty legacy includes over fifty professors, twelve chairmen, eight deans, and two executive directors of the US and Canadian Academy of Pathology.

The department maintained its vitality and progress under Robert B. Jennings, MD (1975-1991) whose basic research is on ischemic heart disease. Dr. Jennings is also a national and international authority on kidney as well as heart disease. He performed the early studies on acute glomerulonephritis using electron microscopy to identify immune complexes.

Dr. Jennings was succeeded by John D. Shelburne, MD, PhD, Chief of Pathology at VAMC-Durham, in 1989 who served as chairman-protem until the appointment of Salvatore V. Pizzo, MD, PhD in 1991. Dr. Pizzo enabled the rapid evolution of pathology under managed care and spearheaded a vigorous restructuring of laboratory and research activities with a consolidation of diagnostic laboratories as a single clinical laboratory entity. New faculty with subspecialty expertise were added and many continue to provide excellence in medical student and resident teaching. Dr. Pizzo's research group seeks to understand processes occurring at the interface between vessel wall and blood proteins. Following Dr. Pizzo’s retirement, David Howell, MD, PhD, a renowned transplant pathologist, served as Interim Chair during 2015. Jiaoti Huang, MD, PhD became Chairman in January 2016. Dr. Huang is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in genitourinary pathology. He has active research in different aspects of prostate cancer, including the molecular mechanisms of carcinogenesis, biomarkers, and histological diagnosis. He is committed to providing an intellectually stimulating and rewarding residency experience through rigorous training and expanded research opportunities.


Wiley D. Forbus, MD 1930-1960 


Thomas D. Kinney, MD 1960-1975 


Robert B. Jennings, MD 1975-1991 


Salvatore V. Pizzo, MD PhD 1991-2014