Pathology Renal Biopsy Service

Today, our clinical service is one of the largest academic nephropathology labs in the nation, with an annual volume of more than 1,500 kidney biopsies, including native kidney biopsies from outside and in-house nephrologists, and biopsies from transplanted kidneys. We provide seven-day-a-week service, 24/7, with a renal pathologist on call during week-ends and holidays for rush kidney biopsies.

The Hopkins Renal Pathology Service includes three full-time faculty members: Dr. Lorraine C. Racusen, Dr. Serena M. Bagnasco, who is the Clinical Director, and Dr. Lois J. Arend; one clinical fellow; six technologists; and two administrative staff members.

Left to right: Dr. Serena Bagnasco, Dr. Lorraine Racusen, and Dr. Lois Arend, with former fellow, Dr. Michael Kuperman (center).

Our clinical laboratory facilities and main diagnostic area are located on the 7th floor of the Pathology Building. Major renovations and acquisition of a new electron microscope are planned to be completed within the next two years.

The routine use of immunofluorescence (IF) and electron microscopy (EM), besides light microscopy (LM), is an integral part of our diagnostic activity, which sets us somewhat apart from other areas of Surgical Pathology, and in the last few years there has been an increasing demand from the part of nephrologists to receive representative images of their kidney biopsies with the final pathologic diagnostic report. We are now providing IF, EM, and LM images with the final diagnosis for our outside clients, an innovation that was very well received by our referring nephrologists. This could not have been possible without the hard work of our dedicated staff.

Lois Anderson, EM, IF and Reference Lab Supervisor, and Marion Eggleston, Administrative Assistant

The scholarly activity and research interests of the faculty members are varied, including transplantation and ischemic reperfusion kidney injury (Dr. Racusen, also internationally known for her role in the Banff classification of kidney transplant pathology); renal transport and renal cell osmoregulation (Dr. Bagnasco); and regulation of kidney development (Dr. Arend). Drs. Bagnasco and Arend have research labs and offices on the 6th floor of the Ross Research Building. Several collaborative projects are also ongoing with members of the Hopkins Renal Division, Transplant Surgery, and the Immunogenetics Laboratory.

The Renal Biopsy Service was developed by Dr. Robert Heptinstall, who essentially created the discipline of diagnostic renal pathology, wrote the first textbook in this field, and was recently honored with the aptly renamed “Robert H. Heptinstall’s Lifetime Achievement Award” by the Renal Pathology Society.

Dr. Heptinstall (left) receives the “Robert H. Heptinstall’s Lifetime Achievement Award” from the president of the Renal Pathology Society, Dr. Terry Cook (center), while Mabel Smith (right) looks on.

From an educational point of view, our program has obviously a long tradition (Dr. Racusen and Dr. Bagnasco were Hopkins Nephropathology trainees). We have one of only three ACGME-accredited training fellowship programs in Nephropathology in the United States, and provide one-year clinical training to U.S. graduates who want to pursue careers in this field and are particularly interested in academic Nephropathology. Dr. Arend is Director of the Nephropathology Fellowship Training Program, and in the past few years we have had excellent clinical trainees who have moved on to become Renal Pathologists at outside academic American institutions.


Serena Bagnasco, M.D. tel: 410-502-0812 fax: 410-502-0811 [email protected]

Lorraine Racusen, M.D. tel: 410-955-3437  fax: 410-614-7110 [email protected]

Lois Arend, M.D. tel: 410-247-0166 fax:410-502-5862 [email protected]

Lois Anderson tel: 410-955-2816 fax:410-614-7110 [email protected]

Marion Eggleston tel :410-955-2386 fax:410-614-7110 [email protected]


Serena M. Bagnasco, M.D.
Associate Professor of Pathology
Director, Clinical Renal Biopsy Service
Johns Hopkins Hospital