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Joseph Rabban



Dr. Joseph Rabban is a surgical pathologist, a specialist in analyzing tissues removed during surgery. His particular expertise is in diagnosing gynecological diseases, including cancers of the ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes and cervix. He also diagnoses gynecologic tumor syndromes and other diseases of the female genital tract, such as endometriosis, fibroids, infections and placenta accreta spectrum disorders (serious pregnancy complications involving abnormal placental adherence). His mission is excellence in the diagnosis and reporting of gynecological cancers and noncancerous conditions through surgical pathology.

Rabban's primary research focuses on improving how pathologists classify gynecological cancers and similar appearing conditions during the diagnostic process. He also studies how pathologists can better identify the risk for hereditary gynecologic disease, including cancers. Another area of his research is understanding abnormal placenta arrangement adherence in the uterus. He collaborates in research with his colleagues in gynecological oncology, obstetrics and gynecology, genetic counseling, molecular pathology and the UCSF Cancer Registry.

Rabban earned his medical degree at Harvard Medical School and his master of public health degree at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He completed a residency in anatomic pathology and fellowships in general surgical pathology and cytopathology at UCSF. He completed a fellowship in gynecological and breast pathology at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital.

Rabban's global health mission is maximizing education in gynecological surgical pathology in low- to middle-income countries. He works as part of Project ECHO, a joint educational venture of the International Gynecologic Cancer Society and the International Society of Gynecological Pathologists, serving as a pathology mentor through remote sessions with cancer centers in Africa. He also regularly hosts visiting pathologists who travel from around the globe to observe the gynecological pathology service at UCSF.

Rabban is an editor of the fifth edition of the World Health Organization's system for classifying tumors of the female genital tract. He serves as associate editor for the International Journal of Gynecological Pathology and on the editorial board of the International Journal of Gynecological Cancer. He also serves as chair of the International Society of Gynecological Pathologists' education committee and on the pathology working group for the International Gynecologic Cancer Society's educational committee.

  • Education

    Harvard School of Public Health, MPH, 1998

    Harvard Medical School, 1998

  • Residencies

    UCSF, Anatomic Pathology, 2001

  • Fellowships

    UCSF, General Surgical Pathology, 2002

    UCSF, Cytopathology, 2003

    Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, Gynecological and Breast Pathology, 2004

Excellence in care is my mission for every patient, every day. Teaching excellence in care is equally essential to my daily mission at UCSF.

Selected research