The Department of Laboratory Medicine/Pathology is a comprehensive, analytical facility serving outpatients, inpatients and regional programs and providing testing to more than 175 institutions throughout the country.

We’ve performed more than 1.2 mil clinical laboratory tests, examined 8,518 surgical specimens, interpreted 607 bone marrow examinations and performed more than 113 autopsies as part of medical care at Seattle Children’s Hospital and for regional perinatal and neonatal programs. The laboratory is staffed by 17 University of Washington faculty members and more than 150 administrative and technical staff. In addition, the laboratory administers an extensive point-of-care testing program in the hospital and clinics.

The laboratories are accredited by the College of American Pathologists. Advanced instrumentation is interfaced to the electronic medical record. All organ subspecialties in anatomic pathology are covered using a broad spectrum of techniques including histopathology, immunoproteomics and electron microscopy. Technologist complement workups in a holistic fashion using in-house flow cytometry, cytogenetics, DNA arrays and molecular pathology investigations. A strong analytical chemistry laboratory includes a regional biochemical genetics section. Our major improvements in quality are achieved by employing lean processing through the hospital’s Continuous Performance Improvement program. The laboratory work cell and daily management systems are used as a teaching site for the hospital’s educational programs in CPI. Our microbiology laboratory has capitalized on new mass spectroscopy instrumentation and molecular techniques to speed bacterial and viral identification to the patient.

In 2012 we added a series of webinars to share our experiences and expertise nationally (Contact James Britt @206-987-2247) for more information. We have active programs for a network of laboratories aimed at optimizing clinical laboratory utilization called SCHPLUGS (Seattle Children’s Hospital Pediatric Laboratory Utilization Guidance Services). We are enhancing our ability to provide esoteric pediatric oriented tests nationally and research testing locally.

Additionally, in 2012 the Focus on Kids Laboratory Guild was established to allow an avenue for those who wish to contribute to our expanding programs. The Focus on Kids Laboratory Guild allows the Department of Laboratories to tell the lab story. It helps demonstrate how our clinicians are an integral part of Seattle Children’s Hospital and assists in saving lives.

Leadership and Faculty

Michael Lee Astion, MD, PhD, Director


Academic Title: Professor

Dr. Astion is a clinical pathologist who is Medical Director of the Department of Laboratories. For almost two decades he worked at the University of Washington, Department of Laboratory Medicine where he was a Professor and Director of Reference... cont.


  • Lisa Pate, MD
  • William Ryan, MD