Drs. Ray & de Ridder in Ethiopia

Ethiopia Group

A partnership between a team from the Duke University Department of Pathology and the Seattle Alliance Outreach (SAO) has formed in support of the first renal pathology program in Ethiopia.   A fluorescent microscope from the laboratory of Dr. Salvatore Pizzo has been donated to the Department of Pathology of the St. Paul’s Hospital Millennium Medical College in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, a nation of over 100 million people.

Gustaaf de Ridder, MD PhD, formerly a student in the Duke Medical Scientist Training Program, a Resident in Pathology, and now a Surgical Pathology Fellow at Duke, leads the Duke team with Rupa Ray, PhD, a researcher also of the Duke Pathology Department. Says Dr. de Ridder, “With active nephrology and renal transplant programs, modern technology to support immunofluorescent histological examination of tissues is highly desirable, but has been out of reach in this resource-poor, but culturally and educationally rich area of the world. With Dr. Pizzo’s generous donation of a microscope and reagents, the logistical and financial support of the SAO, and the gift of expert training from the Faculty and Staff of the Duke Pathology Department, we hope to help establish a sustainable solution to benefit Ethiopian patients.”Dr. Ray with scope

Drs. Ray and de Ridder, a husband-and-wife team, traveled recently to Addis Ababa to install the donated microscope and train local staff on its operation and maintenance, as well as the performance of frozen tissue sectioning in general. Dr. Ray, who earned her PhD from the Duke Department of Pharmacology, is currently an MBA student at North Carolina State University, where she is focusing on Supply Chain Management. “For the patients and clinicians in Addis, establishing a sustainable reagent supply chain is even more important and probably more challenging than setting up equipment,” according to Dr. Ray.Ethiopia Group





Dr. Dawit Solomon, a pathologist at St. Paul’s Hospital in Addis Ababa, is the Ethiopian physician taking point for this project. “A proper renal pathology service has been non-existent so far in Ethiopia, a nation of (over 100) million, and renal biopsy reporting is mainly through referral to pathology laboratory centers abroad, at a high cost burden on the patients.  Hence the donation of this fluorescent renal microscope is expected to greatly enhance our delivery of nephology services in general and transplant nephrology in particular, with the creation of a renal pathology referral service at St.Paul’s Hospital Millennium Medical College." Dr. David Howell, the Chief of Renal Pathology at Duke, says “This microscope will serve as a focal point (in more ways than one) for a new team that includes talented on-site pathologists like Dr. Solomon, enthusiastic members of Duke Pathology’s growing global health group, and the dedicated staff of Seattle Alliance Outreach.  Together, we will learn, teach, and ultimately provide an important diagnostic service for Ethiopian patients.”


Ethiopia Hospital