Education - Certificate Program

Fundamentals of Molecular Pathology Certificate Program

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This certificate program is completed online, at your own pace, within ADLM’s learning platform. It must be completed within one year of the purchase date.


Developed with all levels of laboratory professionals in mind, the content of this will provide participants with opportunities to increase their knowledge of diagnostic applications of molecular pathology. It presents the essentials of molecular pathology and provides laboratorians with an understanding of nine different areas of study. This certificate program was developed in cooperation with the ADLM Molecular Pathology Division.


Lab Supervisors, Lab Directors (and/or assistant directors), Lab Managers (supervisory and/or non-supervisory)


  • List sample requirements, name methods to isolate the DNA, and discuss the general principles of Southern blotting, PCR, and signal amplification.
  • Explain different sample types used for nucleic acid testing, discuss DNA and RNA isolation and measurement techniques, describe the basics of gel electrophoresis of nucleic acids, the principles of the polymerase chain reaction and other nucleic acid amplification methods, as well as signal amplification and real time PCR.
  • Discuss the advantages of NGS, steps in NGS methodology, and summarize different types of NGS assays.
  • Describe different modes of inheritance for single gene disorders, define important molecular genetics terminology, describe types of genetic variants, and discuss non-Mendelian patterns of inheritance.
  • List the advantages and disadvantages of molecular testing for infectious agents, discuss the reasons for molecular testing of infectious diseases, and explain viral load and disease progression.
  • Discuss the need for molecular markers in monitoring cancer, how molecular markers can be used to identify treatment regimens and explain the use of molecular markers in minimal residual disease.
  • Define solid tumors, explain why molecular diagnostics are used to diagnose solid tumors, and discuss specimen samples when doing molecular testing of solid tumors.
  • Explain issues in quality control and quality assurance, discuss how to design and staff a laboratory that performs molecular diagnostics, and explain some of the regulatory issues regarding molecular pathology.
  • Explain the process of analytical and clinical verification and validation of assays used in molecular diagnostics, and identify the key characteristics needed for validation of NGS assays in oncology.


This program is composed of nine courses, listed below. Each course can be completed online in approximately 1-2 hours and contains a lecture, readings, resources, and a quiz.

  1. Introduction to Molecular Biology
    John Greg Howe, PhD, DABCC, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
  2. Molecular Laboratory Techniques
    John Greg Howe, PhD, DABCC
  3. Next Generation Sequencing and Bioinformatics
    Christina Lockwood, PhD, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
  4. Introduction to Molecular Genetics
    Linnea Baudhuin, PhD, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
  5. Molecular Methods for Infectious Diseases
    Roberta Madej, PhD, QTMB, Scotland UK & Deborah Payne, PhD, American Pathology Partners/UniPath, Denver, CO
  6. Hematopathology
    Barbara Zehnbauer, PhD, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
  7. Molecular Signatures for Oncology
    Neal Lindeman, MD, DABCC, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA
  8. Lab Practices
    Andrea Ferreira-Gonzalez, PhD, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
  9. Validation for Molecular Assays in Oncology
    Helen Fernandes, PhD, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY


The Association for Diagnostics & Laboratory Medicine (formerly AACC) is dedicated to ensuring balance, independence, objectivity, and scientific rigor in all educational activities. All participating planning committee members and faculty are required to disclose to the program audience any financial relationships related to the subject matter of this program. Disclosure information is reviewed in advance in order to manage and resolve any possible conflicts of interest. The intent of this disclosure is to provide participants with information on which they can make their own judgments.

The following planners and faculty reported no relevant financial relationships:

  • John Greg Howe, PhD, DABCC
  • Christina Lockwood, PhD
  • Linnea Baudhuin, PhD
  • Roberta Madej, PhD, QTMB
  • Deborah Payne, PhD
  • Barbara Zehnbauer, PhD
  • Neal Lindeman, MD, DABCC
  • Andrea Ferreira-Gonzalez, PhD
  • Helen Fernandes, PhD


All recommendations involving clinical medicine are based on evidence accepted within the profession of medicine as adequate justification for their indications and contraindications in the care of patients; AND/OR all scientific research referred to or reported in support or justification of a patient care recommendation conforms to generally accepted standards of experimental design, data collection, and analysis.


This activity is approved for 11.0 ACCENT® continuing education credits. Activity ID #4150. This activity was planned in accordance with ACCENT Standards and Policies.


Verification of Participation certificates are provided to registered participants based on completion of the activity, in its entirety, and the activity evaluation. The evaluation link will be emailed to the participants after all work within ADLM’s learning platform is complete. For questions regarding continuing education, please email [email protected].

Most Recent Program Update: 2017

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Developed in cooperation with the ADLM Molecular Pathology Division.