Mary Ann Sens
- Department Chair, Chair, Pathology
Dr. Sens is Professor and Chair of Pathology at UNDSMHS. A native of rural Ohio, she was raised in small towns in Michigan and suburbs of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
After completion of her PhD in Physical Inorganic Chemistry at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC, she did a post-doctoral at Harvard Medical School, followed by obtaining the MD degree from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC. Dr. Sens stayed at MUSC to complete her pathology training in Anatomic and Forensic Pathology, then joining the faculty in Pathology. Her areas of expertise and practice included Forensic Pathology, Renal Pathology and Autopsy pathology. When MUSC developed a cardiac transplant program, Dr. Sens trained and assisted with the cardiac biopsy service.
Dr. Sens is active in several organizations and professional activities. She is a longtime member of National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME), rising to Presidency within the organization. She currently serves as Executive Vice President of NAME. She is active in College of American Pathologists, American Society for Clinical Pathology, Society for Cardiovascular Pathology and organizations in renal and pediatric pathology.
In addition to several collaborative, clinical-translational research efforts centered on heavy metals and the environment, Dr. Sens is active in rural medicolegal death investigation, establishing a tristate, fully accredited forensic pathology practice in Grand Forks, ND at the University of North Dakota. Dr. Sens serves as Medical Director and PI of the North Dakota Statewide Cancer Registry, funded by CDC and North Dakota Department of Health.
Education is a strong component of Dr. Sens’s career. The forensic practice is part-time for all faculty, serving as the clinical practice site since UND does not have a hospital. The faculty physicians in pathology teach medical students throughout the entire spectrum of education. All pathology faculty, including Dr. Sens, receive numerous teaching and education awards. Educational research is focused on recruitment strategies for STEM careers, pathology and forensic pathology workforce.
Dr. Sens participated in a large, multi-national study on stillbirths and sudden death in infancy where over 12,000 pregnancies were monitored for alcohol and other variables. Numerous publications, including a summary paper in Clinical Lancet have resulted from the PASS (Prenatal Alcohol in Stillbirth and SIDS).
Dr. Sens is completing a textbook in Forensic Pathology. She has over 140 peer reviewed publications, contributions to 11 books and multiple web-based learning materials for CAP and ASCP. Her current bibliography is at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/myncbi/mary.sens.1/bibliography/46096892/public/?sort=date&direction=descending
Contributions to Medical Education Courses
Death Investigation in North Dakota
Continuing Education Courses:
1) Basics of Death Investigation
2) Forensic Pathology for Death Investigators
3) Cultural Competency in Death Investigation
4) Mental Health Issues in Death Investigation
5) Disease and Terminology
6) Advanced Topics in Death Investigation
Clinical translational research in heavy metals and environment
Medicolegal death investigation
Infant and childhood deaths
Domestic and family violence
Cancer registry and outcome reporting
B.S. Eastern Michigan University; Chemistry
Ph.D. University of South Carolina; Physical Inorganic Chemistry
M.D. Medical University of South Carolina
Board Certified, American Board of Pathology, Anatomic and Forensic Pathology, Permanent certification
Re-certification in Pathology, 2016. Currently voluntarily participating in MOC