Dr. LiVolsi was born in New York City and attended Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons from where she received her MD degree and pursued residency and fellowship training at Columbia in the area of anatomic (surgical) pathology. Her area of subspecialty interest was endocrine pathology; she pursued research projects in this area throughout her career first at Yale University and later at the University of Pennsylvania.
She currently is Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
Her research interests have predominantly been in the application of new technology to the diagnosis and prognostic import of tumors of the endocrine system. Thus she has utilized immunohistochemistry, clonality assessment, analysis of loss of heterozygosity of tumor suppressor genes and analysis of microRNA expression alterations in studies in lesions of the endocrine tissues. Another area of interest has been in tissue procurement and preservation for research; for 24 years she has been principal investigator of the Eastern Division of the Cooperative Human Tissue Network, an NCI funded grant composed of 6 divisions around the United States that supply human biospecimens to investigators using tissue in their research endeavors.
Dr. LiVolsi has published over 365 original papers, numerous chapters and several books. She serves on many editorial boards of pathology and endocrinology journals; she currently is co-editor (with Dr. Anne Marie McNicol) of ENDOCRINE PATHOLOGY, the journal of the Endocrine Pathology Society..
Dr. LiVolsi has won numerous awards and has been invited to deliver several named lectures around the world. The awards include the Mostofi award for service to the US Canadian Academy of Pathology, the Master Pathologist award of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists and the Medal of Honor from the University of Tokyo. She was the 2007 Maude Abbott lecturer at the USCAP.
She has held important leadership positions in major pathology organizations, including President of the US Canadian Academy of Pathology, the Association of Directors of Anatomic and Surgical Pathology, the Arthur Purdy Stout Society of Surgical Pathologists, and the Endocrine Pathology Society. She has served as a member and then Chair of the Pathology Panel of the Chernobyl Tissue Bank, an international committee which reviews the pathology of the thyroid tumors which have arisen in children and young adults following the nuclear accident in Chernobyl. In 2006, on the anniversary of the disaster, Dr. LiVolsi presented the pathologic aspects of these thyroid lesions at a special commemorative meeting at the United Nations in New York City.
Dr. LiVolsi has presented many seminars in national, international and regional pathology and endocrinology meetings; these have always been well received.
She has been a teacher and mentor to numerous pathologists, many of whom currently hold leadership positions in academic pathology. She receives excellent reviews as an educator and in 2008 won the James E. Wheeler award for excellence in resident education at the University of Pennsylvania.