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Michael Joseph Borowitz, MD

Director, Division of Hematologic Pathology
Professor of Pathology
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The Johns Hopkins Hospital

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  • Director, Division of Hematologic Pathology
  • Co-director, Genes to Society
  • Deputy Director, Education, Department of Pathology
  • Deputy Director, Clinical Affairs, Department of Pathology
  • Professor of Pathology
  • Professor of Oncology

Centers & Institutes

  • Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center


Oncology, Pathology

Research Interests

Hematologic neoplasms; Immunologic aspects of leukemia and lymphoma


Dr. Michael Borowitz is a professor of pathology and oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His areas of clinical expertise include oncology and pathology. Dr. Borowitz serves as director of the Division of Hematologic Pathology and deputy director of education and clinical affairs in the Department of Pathology. He's co-director of the Genes to Society curriculum at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Dr. Borowitz is one of the leaders in applying immunologic techniques to diagnose and classify leukemia and lymphoma. He has published numerous articles documenting the importance of these ancillary studies in accurate diagnosis, and has been particularly active in applying sophisticated approaches using the technique of flow cytometry. He has also been a leader in standardizing the practice of flow cytometry as it applies to leukemia and lymphoma, and has worked on developing improved proficiency testing programs and guidelines as well as good laboratory practice.

He received his undergraduate degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He earned his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his M.D. from Duke University. She completed his residency at the Duke University Medical Center. Dr. Borowitz joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 1993.

Prior to joining Johns Hopkins, Dr. Borowitz was an associate professor of pathology at the Duke University School of Medicine.

Dr. Borowitz is a managing board member of the Institute for Excellence in Education at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. His work was recognized with a Professors' Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2013. He is a member of the Society for Hematopathology and the International Society for Analytic Cytology.


  • English


Society for Hematopathology

International Society for Analytic Cytology

Additional Resources +
  • Education +


    • Duke University School of Medicine (Durham NC ) (1977)
    • Duke University School of Medicine (Durham NC ) (1976)


    • Duke University School of Medicine / Anatomic and Clinical Pathology (Durham NC ) (1981)


    • Anatomic & Clinical Pathology, American Board of Pathology (1981)
  • Research & Publications +

    Research Summary

    Dr. Borowitz's research focuses on defining the complexity of hematologic neoplasms. He is particularly interested in the immunologic aspects of leukemia and lymphoma, and in the relation of phenotypic variability to clinical and biological heterogeneity in these diseases. He employs routine morphologic techniques and immunocytochemistry in his investigations, but he is particularly interested in flow cytometry. A major focus of his efforts has been in childhood acute lymphocytic leukemia, in conjunction with investigators in the Children's Oncology Group. He is specifically interested in studies of minimal residual disease (MRD) as detected by flow cytometry and its effect on prognosis. He is also interested in developing new clinical applications of flow cytometry, particularly as it applies to blood and bone marrow.


    Selected Publications

    1. Horton TM, Sposto R, Brown P, Reynolds CP, Hunger SP, Winick NJ, Raetz EA, Carroll WL, Arceci RJ, Borowitz MJ, Gaynon PS, Gore L, Jeha S, Maurer BJ, Siegel SE, Biondi A, Kearns PR, Narendran A, Silverman LB, Smith MA, Zwaan CM, Whitlock JA; ALLNA 2008 Conference. "Toxicity assessment of molecularly targeted drugs incorporated into multiagent chemotherapy regimens for pediatric acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL): review from an international consensus conference." Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2010 Jul 1;54(7):872-8. doi: 10.1002/pbc.22414.
    2. Gutierrez A, Sanda T, Ma W, Zhang J, Grebliunaite R, Dahlberg S, Neuberg D, Protopopov A, Winter SS, Larson RS, Borowitz MJ, Silverman LB, Chin L, Hunger SP, Jamieson C, Sallan SE, Look AT. "Inactivation of LEF1 in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia." Blood. 2010 Apr 8;115(14):2845-51. doi: 10.1182/blood-2009-07-234377. Epub 2010 Feb 1.
    3. Borowitz MJ, Craig FE, Digiuseppe JA, Illingworth AJ, Rosse W, Sutherland DR, Wittwer CT, Richards SJ; Clinical Cytometry Society. "Guidelines for the diagnosis and monitoring of paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria and related disorders by flow cytometry." Cytometry B Clin Cytom. 2010 Jul;78(4):211-30. doi: 10.1002/cyto.b.20525.
    4. Gutierrez A, Dahlberg SE, Neuberg DS, Zhang J, Grebliunaite R, Sanda T, Protopopov A, Tosello V, Kutok J, Larson RS, Borowitz MJ, Loh ML, Ferrando AA, Winter SS, Mullighan CG, Silverman LB, Chin L, Hunger SP, Sallan SE, Look AT. "Absence of biallelic TCRgamma deletion predicts early treatment failure in pediatric T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia." J Clin Oncol. 2010 Aug 20;28(24):3816-23. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2010.28.3390. Epub 2010 Jul 19.
    5. Harvey RC, Mullighan CG, Wang X, Dobbin KK, Davidson GS, Bedrick EJ, Chen IM, Atlas SR, Kang H, Ar K, Wilson CS, Wharton W, Murphy M, Devidas M, Carroll AJ, Borowitz MJ, Bowman WP, Downing JR, Relling M, Yang J, Bhojwani D, Carroll WL, Camitta B, Reaman GH, Smith M, Hunger SP, Willman CL. "Identification of novel cluster groups in pediatric high-risk B-precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia with gene expression profiling: correlation with genome-wide DNA copy number alterations, clinical characteristics, and outcome." Blood. 2010 Dec 2;116(23):4874-84. doi: 10.1182/blood-2009-08-239681. Epub 2010 Aug 10.



    Over the past five years, Dr. Borowitz's lab has studied samples of more than 2,000 patients enrolled in Children's Oncology Group trials from more than 100 institutions, and has demonstrated that nearly 30 percent of them harbor MRD at the end of induction therapy. MRD at the end of induction therapy was shown to correlate with early marrow response as assessed by day 7 marrow morphology, thereby validating the assumption that this is an additional means to assess response to therapy. MRD correlates with other risk factors, including age, white count and cytogenetic abnormalities, but any subgroup of patients defined by traditional risk factors can be divided into MRD-positive and MRD-negative groups; some good-risk groups have paradoxically high levels of MRD at end induction, suggesting that the pattern of response to therapy may be dependent on specific genetic abnormalities. Data on the correlation of MRD with patient outcome are still maturing.

  • Academic Affiliations & Courses +

    Graduate Program Affiliation

    Genes to Society

    Courses and Syllabi

    Course Co-director, Hematology/Oncology

  • Activities & Honors +


    The Professors' Award for Excellence in Teaching, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2013


    Professional Activities

    Executive Board, Clinical Cytometry Division, 1995 - 1996

    Executive Committee, Society for Hematopathology, 1992 - 1996

    Managing Board Member, Institute for Excellence in Education, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

    Co-organizer, North American Consensus Conference on Flow Cytometry in Leukemia and Lymphoma

    Chair, Subcommittee on Flow Cytometry, National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards

    Chair, Leadership and Mentoring Award Committee, Institute for Excellence in Education

    Abeloff Comittee, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

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  • Contact & Locations +


    The Johns Hopkins Hospital
    600 N. Wolfe Street
    Sheikh Zayed Tower
    Baltimore, MD 21287
    Phone: 410-614-2889
    Appointment Phone: 410-614-2889
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    • Pathology

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