Man in glasses and white coat holds gene panel in forefront
Dr. Ravindra Kolhe

Ravindra Kolhe, MD, named chair of MCG Department of Pathology

Ravindra Kolhe, MD, a molecular pathologist and director of the Georgia Esoteric and Molecular Laboratory at Augusta University’s Medical College of Georgia, has been named chair of the medical school’s Department of Pathology, effective June 1. With pending approval from the University System of Georgia, he will also be named Edgar R. Pund, MD, Distinguished Chair in Pathology.

Kolhe has been serving as interim department chair since July 2022.

“Dr. Kolhe is a servant leader and a gifted investigator, who always seeks and finds innovative solutions to problems,” said MCG Dean David Hess, MD. “It was Dr. Kolhe’s leadership that helped shape MCG’s, our health system’s and Georgia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Once the pandemic had waned, he returned his efforts to finding genetic markers for both common and tough to treat cancers. As interim chair, he has led the Department of Pathology with that same focus and dedication. I look forward to our continued work together.”

A man in a medical doctor's coat smiles at the camera with his arm propped on lab equipment
Ravindra Kolhe, MD [Michael Holahan/Augusta University]

Kolhe first came to the medical school in 2007 as a postdoctoral fellow, focused on cancer epigenetics and therapeutics at the Georgia Cancer Center. He went on to complete his residency in anatomic and clinical pathology at MCG and Wellstar MCG Health in 2012, before joining the medical school’s faculty later that year.

He was recruited to MCG to help spearhead the development of the Georgia Esoteric and Molecular (GEM) Pathology Laboratory, which provides diagnostic services for the diagnosis and comprehensive evaluation of disease, primarily through the molecular analysis of tissues and cells. Under his leadership, the lab has developed multiple new Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)-certified assays and platforms that have helped improve both diagnostic efforts and clinical trials.

The GEM Lab team has pioneered diagnostic tools that have reshaped the field of molecular pathology by integrating cutting-edge technologies like optical genome mapping, an unprecedented, high-resolution look for all structural genetic variants that are known to cause cancer, in clinical labs.

Under Kolhe’s leadership, the GEM Lab has become the gold standard among academic molecular labs, earning recognition as an NCI-MATCH laboratory for precision medicine cancer trials. Kolhe is also working closely with Georgia Cancer Center Director Jorge Cortes, MD, to establish a Center for Cancer Genomics at MCG, which would serve as a central hub for cancer-related genomics.

In March 2020, in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic in Georgia, the GEM Lab swiftly developed and validated a PCR-based COVID-19 test to detect genetic material from the novel coronavirus. It was one of the first programs to have this critical test in the Southeast.

The team worked quickly to expand testing across the health system and became an invaluable resource for the entire state. Kolhe was appointed lead pathologist on Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s Taskforce for COVID-19, charged with overseeing crucial parts of testing, including laboratory methods, data management, logistics and supplies, as well as spearheading new technology and testing innovations.

During his tenure on the task force, the GEM Lab completed a comprehensive assessment of COVID-19 testing resources, helping secure budget allocations, quickly implementing high-throughput COVID-19 testing systems in four other CLIA-certified labs and, in turn, greatly enhancing testing capacity for the state of Georgia.

Kolhe’s experience on the task force was also pivotal in helping him secure funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to establish the Georgia Pathogen Genomic Center of Excellence and the Center for Applied Pathogen Epidemiology and Outbreak Response (CAPE). This initiative, a collaboration led by the Georgia Department of Public Health and four other academic centers in Georgia, is part of the CDC’s $90 million investment to establish five networks of centers across the country.

Kolhe and his team will be critical to preparing the state for the next pandemic by helping develop testing methods, as well as testing new technology and applications and validating the results they provide. They also will work to train and retain a reserve workforce of qualified laboratory personnel, develop a network of clinical laboratories and create an interphase between those labs and public health, ensuring that important data reaches the people it needs to rapidly, completely and accurately.

In addition to his role as interim chair, he has also served as the medical school’s associate dean for translational research, associate director for genomics at the Georgia Cancer Center and clinical service chief for pediatric and adult clinical pathology at Wellstar MCG Health.

Kolhe earned an MBBS at Mahatma Gandhi Mission’s Medical College in India in 2000 and a doctoral degree in biological sciences from Mississippi State University in 2006.

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Written by
Jennifer Hilliard Scott

Jennifer Hilliard Scott is Director of Communications at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. Contact her to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706-721-8604 or

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Woman smiling Written by Jennifer Hilliard Scott

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

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