Profile of a Pathology Faculty Member

Pathology Faculty Photo

Alton Brad Farris, MD

Renal Pathology

Associate Professor
Pathology & Laboratory Medicine

Pathology Division(s):
Anatomic Pathology

Email Address:


B.S.   Millsaps College, Major: Chemistry (American Chemical Society), Minor: Computer Science (Honors, Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa), 1996 - 2000
M.D.   University of Mississippi Medical Center (Magna Cum Laude, Dean's Award, Alpha Omega Alpha), 2000 - 2004
Resident   Massachusetts General Hospital, Anatomic and Clinical Pathology, 2004 - 2008
Chief Resident   Massachusetts General Hospital, Anatomic Pathology, 2007 - 2008
Fellow   Massachusetts General Hospital, Renal and Surgical (Gastrointestinal) Pathology, 2008 - 2009
Graduate Assistant   Harvard Medical School, 2004 - 2009

Research Interests:

- Renal allograft pathology I am interested in the diverse spectrum seen in renal allograft pathology and how the changes interpreted by pathologists can impact renal allograft recipients. Recently my efforts in this regard have been the study of the chronic changes in renal allografts, particularly chronic antibody mediated (humoral) rejection.
- Pathology Informatics I am interested in applying new technology in anatomic pathology. In particular, I have applied whole slide imaging to the analysis of renal biopsies to measure parameters such as fibrosis. I have also been involved in several studies in the surgical pathology subspecialties of gastrointestinal and pulmonary pathology where I have applied similar techniques. I hope that performing quantitative analysis on pathology specimens will eventually yield new insights, facilitate accurate diagnoses, and ultimately lead to optimal patient care.
- Surgical Pathology I have been involved in investigating various topics in surgical pathology, particularly in gastrointestinal and pulmonary pathology. One focus of my research has been the study of incipient neoplasia and the application of immunohistochemistry and informatics methods to help understand various disorders in surgical pathology. I enjoy collaborating with suspecialists in these areas and helping them apply new methods to eventually discover novel insights.

Clinical Focus:

My primary clinical focus is renal allograft pathology, the diagnosis of medical renal disease, and the practice of surgical pathology, particularly gastrointestinal pathology. In the area of gastrointestinal pathology, I have become increasingly interested in the area of hepatic pathology and hepatic transplantation pathology.

Honors / Awards:

  • Chief Resident, Anatomic Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital, 2008

Specialty Boards:

  •  Anatomic and Clinical Pathology

Selected/Most Recent Publications:

Click here to view all publications

Published and Accepted Research Articles -

  • Samy KP, Davis RP, Gao Q, Martin BM, Song M, Cano J, Farris AB, McDonald A, Gall EK, Dove CR, Leopardi FV, How T, Williams KD, Devi GR, Collins BH, Kirk AD. Early barriers to neonatal porcine islet engraftment in a dual transplant model. Am J Transplant. 2018 Apr;18(4):998-1006. doi: 10.1111/ajt.14601. Epub 2017 Dec 28. PubMed PMID: 29178588; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5878697.
  • Moon A, Smith GH, Kong J, Rogers TE, Ellis CL, Farris ABB 3rd. Development of CD3 cell quantitation algorithms for renal allograft biopsy rejection assessment utilizing open source image analysis software. Virchows Arch. 2018 Feb;472(2):259-269. doi: 10.1007/s00428-017-2260-6. Epub 2017 Nov 8. PubMed PMID: 29116389.
  • Kwun J, Park J, Yi JS, Farris AB, Kirk AD, Knechtle SJ. IL-21 Biased Alemtuzumab Induced Chronic Antibody-Mediated Rejection Is Reversed by LFA-1 Costimulation Blockade. Front Immunol. 2018 Oct 15;9:2323. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.02323. eCollection 2018. PubMed PMID: 30374350; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6196291.
  • Burghuber CK, Manook M, Ezekian B, Gibby AC, Leopardi FV, Song M, Jenks J, Saccoccio F, Permar S, Farris AB, Iwakoshi NN, Kwun J, Knechtle SJ. Dual targeting: Combining costimulation blockade and bortezomib to permit kidney transplantation in sensitized recipients. Am J Transplant. 2018 Aug 13. doi: 10.1111/ajt.15067. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 30102844.
  • Lyons JD, Chen CW, Liang Z, Zhang W, Chihade DB, Burd EM, Farris AB, Ford ML, Coopersmith CM. Murine Pancreatic Cancer Alters T Cell Activation and Apoptosis and Worsens Survival After Cecal Ligation and Puncture. Shock. 2018 Jun 20. doi: 10.1097/SHK.0000000000001203. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 29889816.
  • Klingensmith NJ, Chen CW, Liang Z, Burd EM, Farris AB, Arbiser JL, Ford ML, Coopersmith CM. Honokiol Increases CD4+ T Cell Activation and Decreases TNF but Fails to Improve Survival Following Sepsis. Shock. 2018 Aug;50(2):178-186. doi: 10.1097/SHK.0000000000001021. PubMed PMID: 29023360; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5895534.
  • Xue Y, Farris AB, Quigley B, Krasinskas A. The Impact of New Technologic and Molecular Advances in the Daily Practice of Gastrointestinal and Hepatobiliary Pathology. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2017 Apr;141(4):517-527. doi: 10.5858/arpa.2016-0261-SA. Epub 2017 Feb 3. Review. PubMed PMID: 28157407.
  • Manook M, Kwun J, Burghuber C, Samy K, Mulvihill M, Yoon J, Xu H, MacDonald AL, Freischlag K, Curfman V, Branum E, Howell D, Farris AB, Smith RA, Sacks S, Dorling A, Mamode N, Knechtle S. Thrombalexin: use of a cytotopic anticoagulant to reduce thrombotic microangiopathy in a highly sensitized model of kidney transplantation. Am J Transplant. 2017 Feb 22. doi: 10.1111/ajt.14234. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28226413.
  • Samy KP, Anderson DJ, Lo DJ, Mulvihill MS, Song M, Farris AB, Parker BS, MacDonald AL, Lu C, Springer TA, Kachlany SC, Reimann KA, How T, Leopardi FV, Franke KS, Williams KD, Collins BH, Kirk AD. Selective Targeting of High-Affinity LFA-1 Does Not Augment Costimulation Blockade in a Nonhuman Primate Renal Transplantation Model. Am J Transplant. 2017 May;17(5):1193-1203. doi: 10.1111/ajt.14141. Epub 2017 Jan 27. PubMed PMID: 27888551; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5409867.
  • Kim SC, Wakwe W, Higginbotham LB, Mathews DV, Breeden CP, Stephenson AC, Jenkins J, Strobert E, Price K, Price L, Kuhn R, Wang H, Yamniuk A, Suchard S, Farris AB 3rd, Pearson TC, Larsen CP, Ford ML, Suri A, Nadler S, Adams AB. Fc-Silent Anti-CD154 Domain Antibody Effectively Prevents Non-Human Primate Renal Allograft Rejection. Am J Transplant. 2017 Jan 17. doi: 10.1111/ajt.14197. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28097811.
  • Farris AB, Cohen C, Rogers TE, Smith GH. Whole Slide Imaging for Analytical Anatomic Pathology and Telepathology: Practical Applications Today, Promises, and Perils. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2017 Apr;141(4):542-550. doi: 10.5858/arpa.2016-0265-SA. Epub 2017 Feb 3. PubMed PMID: 28157404.
  • Prieto V, Ludwig JM, Farris AB, Nagaraju GP, Lawal TO, El-Rayes B, Kim HS. Establishment of human metastatic colorectal cancer model in rabbit liver: A pilot study. PLoS One. 2017 May 5;12(5):e0177212. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0177212. eCollection 2017. PubMed PMID: 28475639; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5419650.
  • Mathews DV, Wakwe WC, Kim SC, Lowe MC, Breeden C, Roberts ME, Farris AB, Strobert EA, Jenkins JB, Larsen CP, Ford ML, Townsend R, Adams AB. Belatacept Resistant Rejection is Associated with CD28(+) Memory CD8 T cells. Am J Transplant. 2017 May 14. doi: 10.1111/ajt.14349. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28502128.
  • Newell KA, Mehta AK, Larsen CP, Stock PG, Farris AB, Mehta SG, Ikle D, Armstrong B, Morrison Y, Bridges N, Robien M, Mannon RB. Lessons learned: Early termination of a randomized trial of calcineurin inhibitor and corticosteroid avoidance using Belatacept. Am J Transplant. 2017 May 28. doi: 10.1111/ajt.14377. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28556519.
  • Farris AB, Ellis CL, Rogers TE, Chon W James, Chang A, Meehan SM. Renal allograft granulomatous interstitial nephritis: observations of an uncommon injury pattern in 22 transplant recipients. Clin Kidney J. 2017 Apr;10(2):240-248. PubMed PMID: 28396741; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5381240.

Book Chapters -

  • Farris AB, Cornell LD, and Colvin RB. Pathology of Kidney Transplantation. In: Morris PJ and Knechtle SJ. Kidney Transplantation: Principles and Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders, 2014.
  • Bastürk O, Farris AB, Adsay NV. Immunohistology of Pancreatic, Ampullary, and Liver Lesions.In: Dabbs DJ. Diagnostic Immunohistochemistry: Theranostic and Genomic Applications. 3RD edition: Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2010, and 4th edition: Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders, 2014.
  • Farris AB and Miller DV. Hypertensive Renovascular Disease. In: Miller DV, Revelo MP, Butany J, Fyfe B, Larsen BT, Maleszewski JJ. Diagnostic Pathology: Cardiovascular. Salt Lake City, UT: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins / AMIRSYS. 2014.
  • Farris AB and Mengel MH. Histopathological Syndromes of Kidney Allograft Rejection and Recurrent Disease. In: Kirk AD, Larsen CP, Madsen JC, Pearson TC, and Webber SA. Textbook of Organ Transplantation. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons, Ltd., 2014.
  • Farris AB and Miller DV. Fibromuscular Dysplasia. In: Miller DV, Revelo MP, Butany J, Fyfe B, Larsen BT, Maleszewski JJ. Diagnostic Pathology: Cardiovascular. Salt Lake City, UT: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins / AMIRSYS. 2014.
  • Farris AB, Selig M, and Nielsen GP. Electron Microscopy of Infectious Disease. In: RL Kradin. Surgical Pathology of Infectious Disease. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier. [Chapter in press]
  • Farris AB and Nielsen GP. Genitourinary Infectious Disease Pathology. In: RL Kradin. Surgical Pathology of Infectious Disease. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier. [Chapter in press]
  • Kradin RL and Farris AB. Case 4: Mixed fungal infection in an immunocompromised patient. in: A. Zembowicz. Critical Diagnoses in Dermatopathology. Queensland, Australia.: Knowledge Books and Software. 2007.

Books Edited and Written -

  • Colvin RB, Chang A, Farris AB, Kambham N, Cornell LD, Meehan SM, Liapis H, Gaut JP, Bonsib SM, Seshan SV, Jain S, Larsen CP. Diagnostic Pathology: Kidney Diseases. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier, 2016.
  • Chang A [lead], Husain AN, Gordon IO, Raganathan S, Cornell LD, Farris AB, Pogoriler J, Seshan SV, Pai RK, Gandhi MJ, Westerhoff M, Ahn J, Hart J, Wang HL, Yerian L, Ananthanarayanan V, Abraham RS, Kambham N, Bracamonte ER, Meehan SM, Langman L, Colvin RB, Akki A, Cendales L, Yeh MM. Diagnostic Pathology: Transplant Pathology. Salt Lake City, UT: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins / AMIRSYS. 2014.
  • Colvin RB [lead], Chang A, Farris AB, Kambham N, Cornell LD, Meehan SM, Liapis H, Gaut J, Bonsib SM, Seshan SV, Vasilyev A, Jain SJ. Diagnostic Pathology: Renal Disease. Salt Lake City, UT: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins / AMIRSYS. 2011.

Other Publications -

  • AB Collins, AB Farris, RN Smith, CD Adams, PA Della Pelle, S Saidman, W Wong, RB Colvin. Challenges in the Diagnosis of Chronic Antibody Mediated Rejection Due to Loss of Peritubular Capillaries and Low Extent and Transient Nature of C4d Deposition. Laboratory Investigation. 89:1s (January 2009). 302A:1364. Boston, MA: United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology, March 4, 2009.
  • G Soucy, JF Schmidt, JA Greenberg, S Cerda, K Dendrinos, F Farraye, AB Farris, GY Lauwers, HH Wang, RD Odze. Colonic Crohn's Disease: A Clinical/Pathologic and Outcome Study of 120 Patients. Laboratory Investigation. 89:1s (January 2009). 302A:669. Boston, MA: United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology, March 4, 2009
  • RV Mandal, K Notohara, V Deshpande, AB Farris, M Lisovsky, TC Smyrk, GY Lauwers, M Mino-Kenudson. Foxp3 and IgG4 Expression in Subtypes of Autoimmune Pancreatitis. Laboratory Investigation. 89:1s (January 2009). 302A:1429. Boston, MA: United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology, March 4, 2009.
  • AB Collins, AB Farris, W Wong, S Saidman, N Tolkoff-Rubin, NB Goes, DS Ko, AB Cosimi, RB Colvin. De Novo Membranous Glomerulonephritis Is Associated with C4d Depostion in Peritubular Capillaries and Basement Membrane Multilamination: Putative Variant of Chronic Humoral Rejection. Laboratory Investigation. 89:1s (January 2009). 302A:1363. Boston, MA: United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology, March 4, 2009.
  • AB Farris, J Gaut, W Wong, P Della Pelle, N Brousaides, AB Collins, S Saidman, EE Schneeberger, RN Smith, RB Colvin. Pathology, Serology and Clinical Characteristics of 68 Patients with Chronic Humoral Renal Allograft Rejection (CHR). Laboratory Investigation. 89:1s (January 2009). 302A:1369. Boston, MA: United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology, March 4, 2009
  • AB Farris, CD Adams, N Brousaides, PA Della Pelle, AB Collins, E Moradi, P Grimm, RB Colvin. Novel Subtraction Morphometry Technique for Assessing Fibrosis in Renal Biopsies. Laboratory Investigation. 89:1s (January 2009). 302A:1368. Boston, MA: United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology, March 4, 2009.
  • Farris AB, Turbiner J, Wu S, Nichols J, Wu C. Variability in the Gleason grading of poorly formed glands and the prediction of PSA failure from prostatic adenocarcinoma. Athens, Greece: International Congress of the International Academy of Pathology. October 15, 2008. Histopathology. 53 (Suppl. 1), 272-3.
  • Saenz AJ, Lawlor M, Farris AB, Ko V. The Anatomy of a Trainee-driven Digital Atlas of Pathology. Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland, Winter Meeting, January 5th 2007, University College London, 2007.
  • Hull MJ, Farris AB, Murphy EE, Laposata M, Flood J. Toxicology Interpretative Laboratory Service: A Pilot Program. MGH Clinical Research Day 2007. May 17, 2007.
  • Farris AB and Branda JA. QuantiFERON-TB Gold Assay for Tuberculosis Infection. Clinical Microbiology Newsletter. 29:17, September 1, 2007.
  • Farris A, Hughson MD, Young RJ, Bertram JF, & Hoy WE. Glomerular Number and Size in Autopsy Kidneys: Relationship to Birth Weight (Preliminary Findings). 2002 Annual Meeting of the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology. Laboratory Investigation, 82:1148A, 2002.
  • Farris A, Hughson MD, Bertram JF, Douglas-Denton R., & Hoy WE. Birth Weight is a Powerful Determinant of Total Nephron Number. 35th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Nephrology, October, 2002. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. 13F-P0212, 2002.
  • Farris AB, Woodling K, & Ward TJ. Synergistic Effects Using the Macrocyclic Antibiotics Vancomycin and Ristocetin A in Capillary Electrophoresis. American Chemical Society Spring Meeting, San Francisco, CA, undergraduate division, March 26-30, 2000.