Department History

The beginning, 1905

Dr. Manwaring
Photo of Dr. Manwaring
The Department of Pathology was organized in 1905, the same year IU School of Medicine was recognized by the Association of American Medical Colleges and by the Indiana State Board of Medical Registration and Examination. Dr. Wilfred Hamilton Manwaring joined the faculty in the summer of 1905 as associate professor of pathology and bacteriology, and by the following year he becomes the inaugaral head of the Department of Pathology. Manwaring had received his MD degree from John Hopkins University in 1904 and had been assistant in pathology at the University of Chicago 1904-05. At the time the department in Bloomington, housed in Wylie Hall, comprised only of Dr. Manwaring, assistant professor Lemuel William Famulener, a research assistant, two technical assistants and two laboratory assistants.  

In a letter dated January 3, 1906, it was announced the opening of a new lab for the purposes of training students and "to aid the physicians of the State in their daily practice, offering gratuitous service in all lines of lab diagnosis with its province (medical bacteriology, pathologic anatomy, pathological physiology)". The first courses in pathology were started that year and offered the first 21 students courses in general biology of disease producing microorganisms, gross and microscopical changes in the principal organs in disease, plus an elective course of modern theories of immunity, serum pathology and principles underlying surgical asepsis. 


Move to Indianapolis, 1907

In 1907 the department moved to Indianapolis by purchasing the old Central College of Physicians Surgeons building and merging with IU School of Medicine, but it wasn't until 1908 when they moved to the larger building at Market St. and Senate Ave. that pathology had their first dedicated laboratory. At this point Drs. Manwaring and Famulener left the department and Dr. Henry Rihl Alburger was recruited as professor of pathology and the new head of the department, with Dr. Neu as the associate professor of pathology in Indianapolis. At this time classes were split between Bloomington and Indianapolis and Dr. Alburger would ride his motorcycle between the two cities to teach while Dr. Neu and Dr. Augustus Clyde Shipp, a medical student, would assist with instructions and classes in Indianapolis.

 Photo of Dr. Alburger Photo of Dr. Neu Photo of Dr. Shipp

By 1911-12 Dr. Harry K. Langdon was added to the department with the title assistant professor of bacteriology together with Bonelle William Rhamy, one associate in pathology and one associate and two assistants in bacteriology. The classes were still split between Bloomington and Indianapolis, with only the first year being taught in Indianapolis. The teaching happened in the Indianapolis City Hospital on West 10th Street.


Dean Moon era, 1914 - 1927

Photo of Dr. Moon
Photo of Dr. Moon
After 1913 Dr. Alburger left the school and went into private practice and was replaced in 1914 by Dr. Virgil Homer Moon who joined the faculty as associate professor and as named head of the department in 1914 serving as the department chair until 1927. Dr. Moon was a native Hoosier, born in Craig, Indiana in 1879. Dr. Moon was assisted by George Edwin Boesinger and William Shimer as well as Ada Sweitzer. At this time, 1914, Long Hospital opened thanks to a generous donation by Dr. and Mrs. Robert W. Long and the Department of Pathology was in charge of pathology services for both the City Hospital and Long Hospital. The earliest existing autopsy report in the department files are marked as Autospy L1 and it was performed by Dr. Moon. The clinical physician listed was Dr. Emerson, the dean of IU School of Medicine. 

In 1917, a fire starting in the bacteriology lab incubator destroyed portions of the fourth floor and roof of the IU School of Medicine building at Market and Senate. At that time the Department of Pathology and Bacteriology was moved to the Indianapolis City Hospital facilities. In 1919, the first phase of the new School of Medicine building (later known as Emerson Hall) was constructed. The departmental teaching space was on the third floor.

In the 1922-23 academic year, Drs. Rice and Moon and Sweitzer began teaching pathology courses in Public Health and Preventive Medicine, in conjunction with the Department of Medicine. These junior and senior year courses included sanitary inspection fieldwork. 

Virgil Moon left Indiana in 1927, a decision partly based on threats on his life that were made after he testified in a murder trial involving the leader of the Indiana Ku Klux Klan. He went to Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia where he was professor of pathology, director of the laboratories of Jefferson Medical College, and chief pathologist at Philadelphia General Hospital. After Moon’s departure, in 1927-28, Rice and Forry remained and had the help of a lecturer in hygiene and sanitary science named William King, two associates, and several student assistants.

After Dr. Moon left, for several years there was no designated chair of the department recorded in the IU School of Medicine bulletins. From the professorial titles listed, it appears that Dr. Rice focused on bacteriology and public health, while Dr. Forry focused on anatomic pathology. Finally, in 1934, the bulletin lists Dr. Rice as chair of the Department of Pathology and Bacteriology.


Culbertson era, 1931-46

Photo of Dr. Culbertson
Photo of Dr. Culbertson
In 1928-31, while a medical student, Clyde Gray Culbertson began his work in the department as student assistant in pathology and bacteriology. In exchange for working nights in the lab, he got room and board and laundry service. In 1931, he received his MD degree from IU School of Medicine. In spite of his very recent completion of medical school and junior position, that year Dr. Culbertson was appointed by the current IU School of Medicine Dean Gatch to be the director of a new Central Interdepartmental Laboratory. The new central lab was located in the basement of the Medical School Building (later named Emerson Hall), where it was created to consolidate the many small labs operated in the various departments of the school.

This was the time of the Great Depression, and Governor Paul V. McNutt asked Dean Gatch to have the IU School of Medicine help with the State Health Department. As a result, in 1933, Dr. Culbertson also became director of the Laboratory for Hygiene of the State Board of Health. The State Board of Health labs were downtown in the state house and received a large number of specimens by mail. The labs moved from downtown when the first State Board of Health Laboratory Building was opened on the West Michigan Street campus in 1939-40.

Initially, Dr. Culbertson provided the only link between the two labs, although the two labs were partially merged for a time. At first (September 1931), the central laboratory at the medical school was staffed by a bacteriologist named Edith Haynes, a serologist named Louis Y. Mazzini, and a medical student who did blood chemistries, but soon Culbertson had six more technicians. Mazzini, who was originally from Lima, Peru, had come to work in Dr. Moon’s lab in 1924, where he took over the student assistant position in serology, previously held consecutively by medical students Sallee Summers, Thurmond Rice and Frank Forry. Mazzini became well known for developing a new extremely cost effective, sensitive and specific test for syphilis, the Mazzini test.

As was usual for the period at hospitals and medical schools, at IU School of Medicine surgical pathology had always been within the purview of the Department of Surgery. In 1931, Dean Gatch appointed Dr. Frank Ramsey, a senior surgery resident from Indianapolis City Hospital to be in charge of the IU School of Medicine surgical pathology laboratory, which consisted of two rooms in the basement of Emerson Hall. Ramsey was helped in this endeavor by Dr. Trusler, who was an assistant professor of surgery. When the latter went into plastic surgery and Dr. Ramsey into surgical private practice, Dean Gatch asked Dr. Culbertson to take over. So, surgical pathology and the Central Laboratory were merged.

In 1937, Dean Gatch named Culbertson as chief of the division of laboratories of the Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis. This move consolidated all laboratories of the medical center, including the central laboratory, the “research” laboratory, the labs of the State Board of Health, “and another to be established medico-legal laboratory.”

Photo of Dr Forry
Photo of Dr. Forry
In 1937-38, the department was split. Dr. Rice became chairman of a separate Department of Bacteriology and Public Health, and Dr. Forry became chairman of the Department of Pathology, a position he held until 1952. Within Forry’s new Department of Pathology, there were two divisions: general pathology and clinical pathology. The Division of General Pathology was chaired by Forry and was responsible for the courses in general and gross pathology and for research in pathology. The division also provided autopsy services for Long, Riley, and Coleman Hospitals. Surgical pathology for the university hospitals was officially part of Dr. Culbertson’s central laboratory in the Division of Clinical Pathology. However, Dr. Forry himself was a well-known surgical pathologist. He had several outside labs and developed a large consultation practice in the pathology of tumors

In 1938, Culbertson’s laboratory moved from Emerson Hall across the street to a larger space: the second floor of the east wing of the new Clinical Building. The teaching labs for pathology remained in Emerson. The Clinical Building was an addition on the north side of Long Hospital. Along with space for the laboratories, the building also provided new space for outpatients, inpatients, operating rooms and radiology. On the top floor, there were rooms to house interns and residents.


The first residents and fellows, 1940

In 1940, the Division of Clinical Pathology had a new instructor in surgical pathology, Horace McMurren Banks, MD. The first fellow in surgical pathology listed in the IU bulletins was James Stanley Battersby, MD, who later had a long career as the Willis Gatch Professor of Surgery at IU School of Medicine. The name of the fellowship according to Dr. Battersby was the “Research and Surgical Pathology Residency.”

In 1940-41, the department started training residents in clinical pathology as well as in general anatomic pathology; in 1942, the first seven students graduated from the department’s new medical technology program. In 1937, Dr. Culbertson had established a four-year program leading to a bachelor of science degree.


The department splits, 1945

Photo of Dr. Arbogast
Photo of Dr. Arbogast

In 1945-46, the two divisions separated, and the department split. The Department of General Pathology continued with Forry as chairman. The Department of Clinical Pathology was officially chaired by Culbertson, in spite of the fact that he left IU School of Medicine to go to Eli Lilly & Company. 

On January 31, 1946, Dr. Culbertson resigned as chief of the Clinical and Research Laboratories at IU School of Medicine to go to the Biological Research Division of Eli Lilly and Company, where he became director in 1949. Although Dr. Culbertson was at Eli Lilly and Company, he maintained ties with IU School of Medicine and was listed as the chair of the Department of Clinical Pathology until 1964. Culbertson was professor of pathology until 1977, and then clinical professor emeritus.

John Lynn Arbogast, MD took over as director of the IU School of Medicine Clinical Laboratories on February 1, 1946. After graduating from IU School of Medicine in 1936, Dr. Arbogast had been trained in pathology in the department in 1937-40 — officially an assistant in clinical pathology though he also helped in general pathology.



Department moves to Fesler Hall, 1950

In 1950, the department moved into Fesler Hall, which once held the old State and Board of Health program. In Fesler Hall, the Department of Pathology headquarters were on the first floor along with the medical student teaching labs. Surgical pathology was on the third floor, and the main central laboratory, blood bank and the medical technology program were on the fourth floor.

In 1952, the department took on more work. On the Indiana University Medical Center campus, a new state hospital for acute mental diseases opened. It was named Larue Carter Hospital after a professor of psychiatry who worked hard to make it a reality. The same year, the new 500 bed Veterans Administration Hospital on West 10th Street opened. IU School of Medicine was invited to participate in the operation of the new Veteran’s Administration Hospital and the Veterans Hospital for chronic patients on Cold Springs Road.

In 1951-52, Edward Byron Smith, MD was recruited by Dean Van Nuys to be professor of pathology. He became chair of the Department of General Pathology as of July 1, 1952, replacing Dr. Forry who stepped down from the chair at age 65 but remained in the department as professor until 1957. Dr. Smith was a native Hoosier and a graduate of IU School of Medicine in 1938.

Dr. Lynn Arbogast continued as director of the clinical laboratories. Although the bulletins and registers continued to list two separate departments (General Pathology and Clinical Pathology) and it was Dr. Ed Smith’s job to merge the practice and teaching of anatomic and clinical pathology on the campus, and there was definitely overlap of faculty in teaching and service work. The two departments finally did officially become one again in 1963-64.


Department moves again, 1958

Photo of Drs. Beamer, Smith, Schulz and Vellios
Photo of Drs. Beamer, Smith, Schulz and Vellios
When the new Medical Sciences Building was completed in 1958, the clinical laboratories remained on the fourth floor of Fesler. Surgical pathology remained on the third floor of Fesler, while anatomic pathology teaching, research and the autopsy service were moved into new quarters on the first floor of the south wing of the new building, with ample storage rooms in the basement. With the opening of the Medical Sciences Building, all freshmen medical students began their studies in Indianapolis, except for students pursuing an MD and also a PhD or MS degree, who remained at Bloomington for the freshman year.

During the era of Ed Smith, the Department of Pathology flourished and achieved national recognition. Drs. Smith, Beamer, Schulz and Vellios co-authored a new textbook, Principles of Human Pathology, published by Oxford University Press, Inc. in 1959. Dr. Smith was a trustee of the American Board of Pathology and became president of the International Academy of Pathology (later USCAP) in 1956-57. The department was the home of the American Journal of Clinical Pathology. Dr. Beamer was editor-in-chief of the AJCP, 1956-64. Dr. Vellios was associate editor in 1964 and became editor-in-chief in 1965.

This also was the era when experimental pathology became part of the repertoire of the department, Dr. Smith’s own area of research being experimental leukemias. Unfortunately, in 1962 Dr. Smith left IU School of Medicine and went to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology.

When Dr. Ed Smith left in June 1962, Parker Beamer, MD, PhD, became the chair of the Department of Pathology on July 1, 1962. During his tenure, and at his request, anatomic pathology and the clinical laboratories were re-combined officially as one Department of Pathology as of July 1, 1963. After two and a half years as chair, Dr. Beamer resigned as of January 26, 1965. The Indiana University Trustees temporarily named two acting co-chairs. Dr. Dale Schulz became acting chair of anatomic pathology, and Dr. Frank Vellios was named acting chair of surgical pathology and clinical pathology. Temporarily, this put Schulz in charge of pathology at the Medical Sciences Building (autopsy and education) and Vellios in charge of pathology at Fesler Hall. Within a few months, Dr. Vellios was named chair of the Department of Pathology as of July 1, 1965.


The Vellios years, 1962

This was a tumultuous time for the department. The clinical laboratory faced significant challenges and was considered by many on the campus to be inadequate. At this time the department needed additional professional personnel and substantial increases in research and training grants. The chemistry, hematology, microbiology and phlebotomy office, and administrative offices all were still on the fourth floor of Fesler Hall with the Blood Bank on the first floor. By the 1960’s many clinical service diagnostic tests again were being done by labs in the Departments of Biochemistry, Microbiology, Medicine, Pediatrics, etc. In general, these small departmental labs functioned only from 8 a.m.–4 p.m. on weekdays, generating income for the departments but leaving the undersized and understaffed main clinical laboratories of the Department of Pathology to cover the STAT requests for tests and at nights, weekends and holidays.

Drs. Alexander and Tammes outlined the dire problems the department faced. In short, the department needed staff, space and equipment. Nationally, developments in laboratory technology were moving ahead quickly and nearly passing IU School of Medicine. This was a time when clinical laboratory determinations in leading institutions had been doubling every three to five years, while the complexity and variety of tests and the need for instrumentation was increasing as well. The faculty in the clinical departments grew frustrated with Dr. Vellios and the state of the laboratory. A letter from a clinician in 1967 expressed the faculty’s grave concerns about the timeliness of service, the attitude of laboratory personnel, the lack of quality control and even the doubtful accuracy of lab test results themselves, at least as they appeared after being copied into patients’ charts by hand.

Finally, in 1968, Dean Glenn W. Irwin, Jr. decided to make new arrangements for the Department of Pathology. During that year, the laboratory was overseen by a committee chaired by Dr. George Lukemeyer in the dean’s office. In making decisions about the lab, Dr. Lukemeyer worked with Mr. Acton, a hospital administrative assistant on loan to the clinical laboratories. Dr. Vellios was offered a position as chair of surgical pathology but chose to leave the department.

A search and screen committee for a new chair of pathology was formed and chaired by Joshua Edwards, MD, who had been professor of pathology and director of the Medical Sciences Program on the Bloomington campus since 1967. In the end it was Edwards himself who was named as the new chair of the Department of Pathology as of 1968-69. Dr. Nordschow was recruited from Iowa, where he had experience being in charge of the clinical labs. A separate Department of Clinical Pathology was established once more in 1970, and Carleton Nordschow, MD, PhD, was its new chair while Dr. Edwards remained chair of the Department of Pathology (AP only). After all the efforts of Ed Smith and the campus pathologists did to unite, there were two departments once again.


The Edwards years, 1970s

Photo of Dr. Edwards
Photo of Dr. Edwards
Dr. Edwards’ department was responsible for medical student and dental student pathology courses in their second years of schooling. The faculty provided autopsy pathology, surgical pathology and cytology diagnostic services at the university hospitals and the Veterans Administration Hospital. Dr. Edwards began to rebuild the anatomic pathology faculty. Edwards recruited Lawrence M. Roth, MD, who was an expert in gynecologic pathology, from the faculty at Tulane University to be associate professor of pathology and director of surgical pathology, a directorial position he held from 1971 until his retirement in 2001. Together with Dr. Roth, Dr. Edwards hired on several faculty that stayed with the department for a long time — Sook Seo, MD (1974-2005), Kathleen Warfel, MD (1976-2000). Dr. Hubbard served as deputy chair under Edwards.

When the new Veterans Administration Hospital opened in 1952, the IU School of Medicine had been asked to participate with its operation. The Veteran’s Administration Hospital had its separate lab and pathologists, so this had not involved much for the department until the mid to late 1970’s, when anatomic pathology services for the Veteran’s Administration Hospital became the responsibility of Dr. Edward’s department.

In 1975, Phase II of University Hospital opened, and much of anatomic pathology moved into the new building. Dr. Edwards also established the division of pediatric pathology for the ever-growing Riley Hospital, recruiting pediatric pathologist Francisco “Frank” Gonzales-Crussi, MD, from Toronto Children’s Hospital in 1973. 

Dr. Edwards also worked to increase research activity of the department. Together with his own areas of research, Aristotle Siakotos joined the faculty as a neurochemist assistant professor in 1970 and continued his research on the pathology of neurogenic lysosomal storage diseases. Vimal Patel, PhD, came as his post-doc fellow in 1970-73 and was hired by Dr. Edwards as a faculty member (1973-2004), primarily to support the research programs as director of the research neurochemistry lab. Assistant professor Ituro Watanabe (1971-72) ran the Siemens electron microscope at the Medical Sciences Building in support of neuropathology and research. Dr. Bernardino Ghetti brought his research program in the pathology of dementias to the department, becoming part of the funded research on Alzheimer’s disease at the school. Neuropathologist Biagio Azzarelli, MD, was recruited in 1978 from the University of Maryland. His research included studies of vascular disease in the brain. He remained in the department until his retirement in 2005.

Two major changes in medical education programs occurred during Dr. Edwards’ era as chair: the institution of IU's statewide medical education system and the creation of course X600. Dr. Hubbard, who had trained at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and at IU School of Medicine, became the foremost teacher in the department and the backbone of its several lecture and laboratory courses for medical, dental and allied health students.

In 1978 Dean Steve Beering asked Dr. Nordschow to become acting chair of anatomic pathology.  Dr. Edwards stepped down from the chair of the Department of Pathology (anatomic pathology) and remained on the faculty, retiring as Professor Emeritus in 1984.


The Nordschow years, 1970-1980

Photo of Dr. Nordschow
Photo of Dr. Nordschow
Dr. Carleton Nordschow was from Iowa and graduated AB cum laude in chemistry from Luther College. Nordschow was hired to lead the new Department of Clinical Pathology beginning January 1, 1970, just as Phase I of the new University Hospital was being completed. He brought a group of people from Iowa with him such as Sue Hill, Gary Hill, Dean Bonderman, Gary Proksch and more. A period of active recruiting was necessary to build up the laboratory and clinical pathology department at IU School of Medicine. The labs were quite basic and primitive at the time compared to those at other university hospitals. 

Near the end of the Vellios lab era, the clinical departments were complaining about the timeliness and questionable accuracy of lab results. In particular, they drew comparisons between the lab at University Hospital-Riley Hospital and the automated (Sports MedicineA-12) lab at Methodist Hospital. Upon arrival of Nordschow’s new crew, one of the first changes tackled was to make the Technicon lab autoanalyzer work. The second thing was to establish a testing for Dr. Dexter. Within three years or so, Nordschow’s labs were up to speed and competitive with those elsewhere.

New special areas in the clinical pathology lab were established in the early 1970s. Special hematology worked with the Department of Medicine’s Division of Hematology during this era as changes in that specialty were occurring. The traditional importance of cellular morphology was joined by an emphasis on cell biochemistry, physiology and molecular structure. The special hematology lab did enzymatic studies, radioimmunoassays, spectrophotometry and fluorescence testing.

When Nordschow’s era began in 1970, the clinical laboratories were still located in very inadequate space in Fesler Hall. In 1971, a large addition to Riley Hospital opened, and in 1972, the chemistry lab, hematology lab and part of the microbiology lab moved to Riley Hospital (basement), and the Medical Technology Program moved from Riley to the fourth floor of Fesler.

In 1976, with IU School of Medicine taking over Wishard Hospital, the department opened up labs there under the guidance of Dr. Ryder. 

Dr. Nordschow became chair of the newly combined Department of Pathology in 1980, with responsibility for all anatomic and clinical pathology testing and teaching at University Hospitals, Wishard Hospital, and the Veterans’ Administration Hospital plus the teaching of medical pathology courses at the Indiana University Medical Center at Indianapolis and the supervision of teaching of pathology at Bloomington and all of the seven regional campuses for medical education around the state. 


1980's and forward

Dr. Oei started work on the newborn screening lab in the early 1980s at a time when Indiana lawmakers were discussing changing the newborn screening law and expanding the number of tests to be done. The lab opened in 1983-84, and Dr. John Baenziger, who had completed his pathology residency at IU School of Medicine in 1982, was its director.

Dr. Nordschow hired John Pless, MD, to take over the failing forensic service. Dr. Pless recruited other faculty to work in forensics and education, and gradually the forensic team grew. Pless had established a fellowship program in forensic pathology in 1984-85. The first forensic fellow in that program was Dean Hawley, MD, and he joined the faculty at the end of the fellowship year.

Another major project for Nordschow’s department was starting the “Indiana University Hospitals Reference Services” outreach program, which focused on esoteric testing.

A new electron microscopy lab at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital began in 1985 and focused on VA diagnostic cases and VA-funded research.

Dr. Mick Glant, who joined the faculty after his residency at IU School of Medicine, became the first director of a separate cytopathology service (University Hospital-Riley Hospital) in 1980. He shared a new division of cellular pathology with Dr. Baenziger, who was director of hematology. “Cellular pathology” was short lived and divided into cytopathology and hematopathology divisions after only a few years.

Dr. Nordschow stayed somewhat beyond his 65th birthday as the search and screen committee for his replacement sought a new leader, stepping down in 1991. The committee was chaired by Jim Smith, MD, who in the end was himself appointed as the new chair of the department in 1992.

In 1999, Dr. John Eble was named chair of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, a role he served in until 2022.

Thank you

Thank you to Dr. Kathleen Warfel who did all the research and wrote down the history of the department. Without her work, this document would not have been possible.