Celeste N. Powers

Celeste N. Powers



The daughter of an Army officer, Celeste N. Powers was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and lived in several locations before moving to Houston, Texas, which was her home for over 20 years. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in biology, summa cum laude, from the University of St. Thomas and earned her Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas. She obtained her doctorate in medicine and completed her residency in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology at the University of Texas Medical School. From there she completed a Cytopathology fellowship at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond under the mentorship of Dr. William “Jack” Frable.

Dr. Powers began her academic practice as Assistant Professor of Pathology at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas and subsequently relocated to the State University of New York Health Science Center in Syracuse, New York, to assume the position of Director of the Cytopathology Laboratory and Fellowship Program, and Medical Director of the Program in Cytotechnology. She returned to the Virginia Commonwealth University Health System in 1998 as Professor of Pathology and Otolaryngology and Director of Cytopathology Laboratory and Fellowship Program. She quickly assumed additional responsibilities as Chair of the Division Anatomic Pathology and most recently, was bestowed the endowed “Saul Kay Chair in Diagnostic Pathology.”

Dr. Powers’ areas of expertise include: head and neck, respiratory tract, infectious disease and fine needle aspiration biopsy. She is a widely respected and recruited visiting faculty member and workshop director for state and regional societies and has also participated in Bethesda and NCI/NIH sponsored conferences. Dr. Powers has presented over 120 scientific abstracts at various national and international scientific meetings, co-authored two textbooks, “Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy of the Head and Neck” and “Salivary Gland Cytopathology,” and numerous chapters. She has contributed to more than 100 publications in the disciplines of Surgical and Cytopathology. She is nationally recognized as a diagnostician and an educator and has been repeatedly listed as one of America’s Top Physicians and Pathologists, as well as in Best Doctors in America.

Dr. Powers is a strong leader and mentor to her faculty and trainees and believes that the future success of the field of Anatomic Pathology depends upon strong educational programs that maintain the foundation and tenets of classical morphology while embracing new and evolving technologies. Working toward this goal, she has consistently been involved in the development of educational programs for several pathology organizations, and personally presented at numerous symposia, teleconferences, and workshops. She has served as an editorial board member/”ad hoc” reviewer for numerous pathology journals over the years. An Associate Editor of “Cancer Cytopathology” since its inception in 1996, she became Editor-in-Chief in 2009.

Dr. Powers served for six years on the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Board of Registry and then as Chair of its CCE Council on Cytopathology (1996-2002). She is a recipient of the ASCP’s George F. Stevenson Distinguished Service Award. She has been an executive board member and officer of the American Society of Cytopathology (ASC), including President of this Society in 2004. She participated in the development, and was an initial member, of the ASC Foundation and received the Society’s highest honor, the Papanicolaou Award, in 2008. Dr. Powers also served on the Executive Board of the Papanicolaou Society of Cytopathology and as a member of the Cytopathology Test Development Committee of the American Board of Pathology.

The United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology is a second home for Dr. Powers. She has been very active in all facets of its enterprise, especially in the development of quality educational venues and programs that mentor junior colleagues. Because of her involvement over the years with excellent scientific abstract presentations at the Academy, she was asked to participate in the Academy’s Expert’s Scientific Review Board and subsequently as a moderator of platform presentations. In addition, she has been a presenter at Specialty Conferences, Companion Societies, a Short Course on Salivary Gland Pathology, and recently, the Special Course in Cytopathology. She was appointed to the Education Committee from 2000- 2004 where she developed and for years directed the popular Diagnostic Cytopathology Course. She participated in the inaugural USCAP Foundation (Committee) and in the expanded and empowered Membership Committee. She was elected to Council in 2004 and became President of the USCAP Board on April 1, 2014. Her efforts as President have concentrated on reinforcing the foundational excellence of the Academy as the gold-standard provider of pathology education and cutting- edge translational research while facilitating transition to interactive and digital delivery methods, enhancing organizational procedural identity in governance and operations, mentoring, member engagement, global outreach, strategic planning, communications, and working with the Search Committee on selection of an executive vice president. She is one of the quintessential advocates of your Academy which references a unique community of colleagues, friends and professionals who “come home” at annual meetings where they enhance their skills and expand their perspectives.

Dr. Powers achieved an indisputable reputation as an outstanding educator, diagnostic practitioner and researcher, clearly evident from her extraordinary service record and effort for the last two decades on behalf of the Academy. For these, she was honored with the 2012 F.K. Mostofi Distinguished Service Award. She is the 2015 recipient of the L.C. Tao Educator of the Year Award from the Papanicolaou Society. In addition to her professional achievements, Dr. Powers has become an enthusiastic equestrian who enjoys riding her Warmblood Hunter, Toy Soldier. She shares her private life with her long-term partner, the respected cytopathologist/paleopathologist, Dr. Miguel Sanchez. Their frequent trips throughout the world, especially Spain, experiencing diverse cultures and flavors, have enriched them both.


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