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K. Krishnan Unni, M.B. B.S. (PATH, ‘70, SGPA, ‘74) Receives 2014 Mayo Distinguished Alumni Award

Department of Pathology
Medical College of Wisconsin
Emeritus Professor of Pathology
Emeritus Professor of Orthopedics
Mayo Clinic Rochester

International icon in bone tumor pathology

Joined Mayo Clinic staff in 1974 as a consultant in the Division of Anatomic Pathology and Surgical Pathology, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology; assistant professor of pathology (1978-1987); section head, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology (1982); consultant, Department of Orthopedic Surgery (1991); consultant, Division of Orthopedic Oncology (1991).

Dr Unni is a nationally and internationally recognized icon in benign and malignant bone and soft tissue tumors. A review of his publications shows the numerous contributions he has made and clearly illustrates the evolution of a giant in his field from the early 1970s to today when he is recognized as one of the world’s greatest bone pathologists. He is regarded by his Mayo Clinic colleagues, especially those in surgical specialties, as the ultimate authority in difficult diagnostic problems.

Dr. Unni is the editor (with Mayo Clinic’s Carrie Inwards, M.D.) of Dahlin’s Bone Tumors, now in its sixth edition, the bible for working pathologists around the world for the pathology, clinical features, radiography and treatment of the spectrum of osseous neoplasms.

Dr. Unni has carried on the tradition of recognizing new entities such as clear cell chondrosarcoma and small cell osteosarcoma. He has had a long interest in cartilage tumors and has provided a sense of order to this confusing area and helped establish current treatment guidelines. His continued review of many entities over the years has improved the understanding of clinical pathological correlation, which has affected treatment and improved patient outcomes.

He has been a teacher to generations of fellows in Rochester who have come to Mayo Clinic from all over the world to learn surgical pathology and bone pathology. With Dr. Unni’s mentoring and stimulating of their research, they have reached high levels in the academic world.

Dr. Unni’s contributions have added greatly to the academic reputation of the musculoskeletal oncology division at Mayo. He has been one of the factors responsible for bringing the orthopedic department to the national forefront.

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