The University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center is a 945-bed tertiary care center, which includes the NCI-accredited Markey Cancer Center, the Kentucky Children's Hospital, the Gill Heart Institute, the Kentucky Neuroscience Institute, and the Center for Advanced Surgery. The hospital has been named #1 in the region for six consecutive years in U.S. News & World Report rankings. 

Faculty and Staff


Dana Richards, MD
Director of Cytopathology

  • Kimberly Absher, MD
  • Derek Allison, MD
  • Thèrése Bocklage, MD
  • Julie Dueber, MD
  • Dava Piecoro, MD
  • Protima Rayapati, MD
  • Molly Tovar, MD


Sherry Strickland, CT(ASCP)

  • Quenna Collins, CT(ASCP)
  • Tracy Howard, CT(ASCP)
  • Jenn Leake
  • Bettye Peel
  • Flora Thomas
  • Laura Turas, CT(ASCP)
  • Christine Alvares, CT(ASCP)


Our specimen volume comprises of gynecologic (~8,000 per year, >13% abnormal), non-gynecologic (~4000 per year), fine needle aspiration/core biopsy specimens (~2,000 per year), and outside consult cases (~400 per year). Our specimens provide a wide variety of rare and diagnostically challenging cases, including many pulmonary, pancreatic, head and neck, and soft tissue/bone cases, among others.

The division works closely with colleagues in radiology, endoscopy, and others to provide immediate evaluation for over 1,500 image-guided biopsies per year, improving diagnostic yield and access to molecular therapy for our patients. The staff of cytopathologists, cytotechnologists, fellows and residents work together to provide this service across an ever-growing campus. With the help of a telecytology system introduced in 2016, speed and access to this vital service has been improved.

In addition to the immediate evaluation services, over 150 superficial fine needle aspirations are performed per year. Ultrasound-guided aspiration was added to the service in 2019, which helps to improve targeting accuracy, diagnostic yield, and patient safety.


Our fellowship program offers extensive training and experience in all aspects of gynecologic, non-gynecologic, and fine needle aspiration biopsy cytology. Graduated responsibility is supported via the use of a telecytology system and other methods. Experience in performing superficial FNA biopsies with ultrasound guidance is provided. Correlation with surgical pathology is inherent in our practice, as our laboratory interprets core biopsies with their associated touch preparations. Training in immunocytochemistry, molecular cytology, and other ancillary techniques is included. We offer two ACGME-accredited fellowship positions annually. Check out more information about our cytopathology fellowship here.

UK patient with small cell carcinoma of the lung
Small Cell figures.