Dr. Fred G. Silva has been an active member of the U.S. and Canadian Academy of Pathology (USCAP) for 30 years. He has served on numerous standing committees including the Education Committee (which he chaired for five years) and Council. He represented USCAP as an International Councilor in 1988 and was Diagnostic Pathology's first co-director (with F. Stephen Vogel) from 1988-1992. He co-directed a popular Short Course in Renal Pathology (with Dr. Arthur Cohen) from 1985-1990. His role in the Academy continued with his election as Vice President in 1998/1999 when he assumed a position on the Executive Committee. The following year Dr. Silva was chosen to become the ninth Secretary-Treasurer/Executive Vice President (hereafter referred to as EVP) of USCAP and moved to the Academy office in Augusta, Georgia on July 1, 1999.
Dr. Silva has also supported the mission of the Academy by serving as charter member of the Editorial Board of Modern Pathology from 1987 to the present, and as a member of the Editorial Board of Laboratory Investigation from 1990 to the present. To each Academy role and task he has undertaken, Fred has brought his high level of energy and personal commitment.
Dr. Silva is a native of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. After obtaining his B.S. degree from the University of Oklahoma, he received his M.D. degree with distinction from the same institution in 1972. He served as President of the local chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha. He received his training in anatomic pathology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (under the direction of Dr. Donald West King). During his training at Columbia he fell under the tutelage of Drs. Raffaele Lattes, Nathan Lane, Karl Perzin and Marianne Wolff (Surgical Pathology) and Conrad L. Pirani (Nephropathology). Dr. Silva served as Chief-Resident in the Department of Pathology at Columbia from 1975-76, as the Mariani Fellow in Surgical Pathology from 1974-75, and as Fellow of the New York State Kidney Foundation from 1976-77.
Since completion of his residency, Dr. Silva has had a distinguished career which has included faculty appointments at three universities in the United States. He served as an Assistant Professor of Pathology at Columbia for three years, dividing his time between surgical pathology and renal pathology. In 1980 he moved to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas to become its Director of Surgical Pathology and an Associate Professor of Pathology (under the direction of Dr. Vernie Stembridge). He was promoted to Professor of Pathology at Southwestern in 1985. In 1989 Fred was recruited back to his alma mater, Oklahoma University, as the Lloyd Rader professor and Chair of the Department of Pathology, a position he held for 10 years. During his years as Chair of Pathology at the University of Oklahoma he built Pathology into an outstanding and vibrant service, education, and research department. During Dr. Silva's tenure in Oklahoma he also served as a member of the Board of Directors (and Vice President) of the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology, a state-wide legislative initiative to spur economic and technologic development for the state.
Dr. Silva has earned a national and international reputation as a renal pathologist. He has published 150 articles and chapters in the field, 100 abstracts (most presented at the annual meetings of the IAP/USCAP), and is author/co-author of six of the major textbooks and atlases of renal pathology. Dr. Silva's research endeavors included the clinico-pathologic correlations of a large number of renal diseases, the immunohistochemical/lectin dissection of the human nephron in health and disease, and the rigid demonstration of mRNA at the ultrastructural level. He has recently authored/edited major textbooks in the field of renal pathology including Heptinstall's Pathology of the Kidney (presently working on the third edition of his co-editorship), the AFIP/ARP Atlas of Renal Pathology. Recently four of his former fellows in renal pathology (Drs. Joseph Zhou, Tibor Nadasdy, Zoltan Lazsik, and Vivette D'Agati) have published with Cambridge Press, “Silva's Diagnostic Renal Pathology”.
Dr. Silva served as the third President of the Renal Pathology Society of North America. He has served on the Editorial Boards of eleven respected pathology and renal journals. He was the pathology representative in developing The Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (the number one nephrology journal in impact factor now) and a charter member of its editorial board, serving as its first pathology referee. From 1980-1994 he served as Associate Director of the Southwest Pediatric Nephrology Study Group (a cooperative study group dedicated to the study of the elucidation of pediatric renal disease in the southern part of the US that included 15 medical centers in eight states). He was director of the Paul Kimmelstiel-Conrad Pirani Fellowship in Renal Pathology and trained several outstanding renal pathologists while at Oklahoma University.
Dr. Silva's career has been devoted to education. He received one of the first (if not the first ever) “Teacher of the Year” awards given by the Columbia Medical Students (sophomore class) to an Intern (in 1972-1973). He has organized/co-directed over 50 postgraduate courses including three ongoing courses that he helped organize: Renal Biopsy in Medical Diagnosis (Columbia, first with Dr. Pirani then with Dr. Vivette D'Agati, now in its 34th year); Current Issues in Surgical Pathology (UT Southwestern Medical School, with Dr. John Childers, now in its third decade); and USCAP's summer Diagnostic Pathology course. He has received 20 teaching awards from students at every institution with which he has been affiliated. In 1998 he received the Regents' Award for Superior Teaching from the Oklahoma University Board of Regents for outstanding teaching across the entire Oklahoma City medical campus. In 1999 he received the prestigious Edgar Young Lifetime Achievement Award for his long-term dedication to medical education from Oklahoma University. In 1994 Dr. Silva was named Oklahoma's Physician of the Year in Academic Medicine. In 2000 Dr. Silva was the Oklahoma University Medical Student Graduation Commencement Speaker. A Silva Conference Room has been named in his honor in the Department of Pathology at Oklahoma University as have been several awards given to medical students and pathology faculty members (e.g., one of these awards is given to the graduating senior medical student at commencement for the “student showing the greatest leadership qualities and involved in public education” at Oklahoma University).
Dr. Silva serves as a North American Vice President to the International Academy of Pathology (IAP) and is a member of the IAP Education Committee as well. Dr. Silva received the highest award in international pathology–the IAP Gold Medal for “outstanding contributions to international pathology education and research” at the 2006 IAP Centennial Congress. In addition, he received the 2010 ASCP President's award.
Dr. Silva has also been very active in educating the general public in various areas including medicine, genetics and ethics, cosmology, and the relationship of science and religion. He has recently has given four weekend retreats with the Cistercian/Trappist Monks at the large Monastery outside of Atlanta, Georgia.
According to Dr. Silva, his wife of over 38 years, Jean, and his daughter, Lindsay Kathleen, manage to keep him somewhat humble!! Jean has served as the “historian” in the Augusta office, initiator of the IAP and the USCAP Hall of Presidents, and USCAP's photo-journalist, having taken thousands of outstanding photographs at numerous USCAP and IAP events. Lindsay is currently a graduate student in Neuroscience/Behavioral Science at SUNY/Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY after having graduated Magna Cum Laude from Hunter College.
Since Dr. Silva's first presentation at the IAP annual meeting in 1976 in Washington, D.C. (with Dr. Pirani), he has been devoted to educating pathologists around the world and to the mission of the Academy. Given Dr. Silva's imminent retirement as USCAP EVP, it is both important and appropriate to reflect upon his many accomplishments in this role.
The Academy Under Dr. Silva's Leadership
Under his direction, the membership and educational programs of the Academy have seen unparalleled growth. For example, over the last 12 years USCAP membership has increased 50% and Dr. Silva has been instrumental in recruiting over 6700 pathology house staff/fellows to Academy membership, largely the result of his visits to over 60 medical centers in the U.S. and Canada and through initiation of the USCAP Ambassadors program.
During Dr. Silva's years of leadership, attendance at the USCAP Annual Meeting has progressively grown. The 2009 Annual Meeting in Boston was the largest meeting ever of not only the Academy but of physician-pathologists anywhere in the world with 4400 attendees, including approximately 1200 house staff/fellows (Dr. Silva has been instrumental in initiating many new endeavors, especially for house staff).
During the last 12 years, there has been growth in all aspects of the USCAP educational and scientific activities. This includes for the Annual meetings a 75% increase in the number of submitted abstracts, a 66% increase in the number of Companion Societies, and a major increase in the number of evening Specialty Conferences. In 2006 the USCAP hosted the IAP Centennial Congress in Montreal with over 2400 physician-pathologists from almost 100 countries in attendance. USCAP was the first pathology society to introduce SAMS (Self-Assessment Modules) and continues to have the largest number of any pathology society available (one for each day of the year!). In addition, USCAP has received two Industry Awards for growth in our Exhibitors (the number doubling between 2003 to the present time).
Following the idea of Dr. David Hardwick, and with the able assistance of George Clay (the USCAP Webmaster), Jo Ann Johnson (former Educational Program Coordinator), and hundreds of volunteer faculty, the USCAP Knowledge Hub/Pathology Portal (www.uscap.org) has become a world-renowned, world-class site for updated educational materials in anatomic and molecular diagnostic pathology. Since 2001 its over 2200 educational modules/chapters have received millions of “hits”/month from over 33,500 individual pathologists from over 180 countries throughout the world. In the year 2009 it received over 51 million “hits” with over 6 million page downloads. In March 2010 the USCAP Website received over 17.8 million “hits”, with virtually all of its 2200 educational materials receiving many page down-loads each month. The Virtual Slide Box (with its approximately 600 entries) receives from 10,000 to 15,000 views/month. The past three years of presented scientific abstracts (approximately 5000) are all up on the website as well.
Since 1986 (with the initiation by Jim Crimmins and Jo Ann Johnson) the USCAP has been quite altruistic sending educational materials to over 26 underserved countries. One of the endeavors about which Dr. Silva is most proud is the initiation and continuation of the “Friends of Africa-USCAP” Initiatives (under the Direction of Dr. Adekunle Adesina, Baylor/Texas Children's Hospital, Houston, Texas). This initiative was started at the USCAP Annual Meeting in San Antonio in 2005. Over $100,000 has been raised and will be used to send approximately 100 pathologists from sub-Saharan Africa to the 2012 IAP Congress in Capetown, South Africa. In addition 8-10 of the major anatomic pathology journals are being sent regularly to over 60 medical centers in 22 of the sub-Saharan African countries. Dr. Adesina and others have helped institute new IAP Divisions in Western and Eastern sub-Saharan Africa (the West and East IAP sub-Saharan African Divisions of the IAP), which are now among the 40 or so IAP Divisions worldwide. In addition the USCAP supports bursaries for underserved young pathologists to attend IAP Congresses throughout the world. In total, USCAP supports over 80 underserved countries and IAP Divisions throughout the world with its widespread distribution of free and up to date educational materials.
The Academy's two journals– Laboratory Investigation and Modern Pathology-- continue to do very well. Several years ago USCAP partnered with Nature Publishing Group, arguably the most renowned international scientific and medical publisher. Since that time the growth of these two journals has continued. Modern Pathology is presently the top international journal dedicated to anatomic/surgical pathology by impact factor, and Laboratory Investigation continues to be one of the top two or three general investigative pathology journals by impact factor. With Nature Publishing Group and USCAP, the widespread readership of these two journals has also continued to grow. In addition, as EVP, Dr. Silva has led the search for the Editors-in-Chief of both Modern Pathology and Laboratory Investigation.
Since 2002 Drs. David Hardwick, Jeffrey Myers, Fred Silva and other important leaders of USCAP have been engaged in continuous Long Term Strategic Planning Initiatives. Many of the new USCAP initiatives have come from these groups, including APECS, the USCAP Knowledge Hub/Pathology Portal, the institution of SAMS, to name just a few.
In addition to the USCAP Annual meeting, during the last 12 years the week-long summer Diagnostic Pathology has continued and two week-end courses--Diagnostic Cytopathology (starting in 2005 under the direction of Dr. Celeste Powers), and Practical Pathology Seminars (starting in 2006 under the direction of Dr. John Goldblum, who also currently serves as Chair of the USCAP Education Committee--were initiated. All of these additional courses have been “modernized” with complete handouts (DVDs; pre-meeting materials, and often post-meeting materials, as at the Annual meetings).
While Dr. Silva indicates that he did not even know how to turn on a computer in 1999 when he joined the Augusta office, “modernization of the computer systems” at the Augusta office has proceeded. In the interest of forests and “going green” (and with the support of Dr. Sylvia Asa, Dr. Jeffrey Myers, Jim Crimmins, Jo Ann Johnson, and Kerry Crockett) many of the previous functions involving huge amounts of paper have been converted to electronic format. For example the Companion Societies (now 27) and evening Specialty Conferences (now 19) have gone paperless, with all the materials up on the USCAP website. The same has occurred in many other Academy operations such as Short Course applications, Education Committee documents, the online submission and grading of scientific abstracts.
A number of special USCAP Awards have been instituted or named in the last 12 years including the: 1.) Nathan Kaufman Timely Topics Lecture, 2.) The Stephen Vogel Award, 3.) The Ramzi Cotran Young Investigator Award, and most recently, 4.) The Harvey Goldman Master Teacher and Mentor Award. In addition to the USCAP meetings, the USCAP Augusta office administers the business aspects of both the Society for Pediatric Pathology and the Society for Hematopathology.
As USCAP Secretary-Treasurer/EVP, Dr. Silva has given over two dozen endowed lectures throughout the world. In addition he has served as an external (national and international) referee for faculty promotions and tenure appointments for over 60 medical schools. Dr. Silva has served as a representative/interface to many other pathology organizations, including serving for eleven years as an alternate delegate to the American Medical Association House of Delegates on behalf of the College of American Pathologists, and the USCAP representative to the American Board of Pathology Cooperating Societies meetings. He served on the Scientific Advisory Board to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology from 2000 to 2006.
Dr. Silva would like to note that he has received much credit for advances that were clearly the ideas and honest work of others too numerous to be named here, and he would like emphasize that the quality of the educational efforts of the Academy depends upon the fabulous volunteer faculty as well as the dedication and hard work of the members of the numerous USCAP committees and Council.