Meet Our Pathologists


Dr. Helfend-microscope photoLISA HELFEND, PhD, MD

Lisa K Helfend, PhD, MD, joined West Coast Pathology Laboratories as a staff pathologist in June 2015.

Dr. Helfend is Board Certified in Anatomic Pathology and Clinical Pathology, and has a Masters and PhD in Chemistry from the University of California at Santa Cruz. Dr. Helfend graduated from the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California in 1988 and trained in both Anatomic and Clinical Pathology at the University of California in San Francisco. She has been practicing pathology since 1992. Prior to her pathology training, Dr. Helfend had numerous years of research and technology development experience in the fields of Organic and Analytical Chemistry. Currently, she has special interests in General Surgical Pathology, Hematopathology, and Cytopathology. She has had PAP-PT Proficiency Certification since 2012.

Dr. Helfend was recently named the Medical Director of West Coast Pathology Laboratories in January 2016.



Nazila Hejazi, MD is board certified in anatomic pathology, clinical pathology and cytopathology.

Dr. Hejazi attended medical school at Iran University of Medical Sciences and completed her residency in anatomic and clinical pathology at University of Illinois at Chicago and University of California at Davis. She then completed her fellowship in cytopathology at University of California at Davis.She has been practicing in various private practice settings since 2010. She has done a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of MD Anderson Texas from 2012 to 2013. She is currently faculty member at the California Northstate University. Dr. Hejazi is fellow of professional organizations such as College of American Pathologists and American Society of Clinical Pathologists.

Dr. Hejazi’s area of interest is in surgical pathology/gynecology cytopathology with emphasis on Human Papilloma Viruses and Cervical Pap Smear Testing. She is also interested in projects involving medical education.



Alfredo Asuncion Jr., M.D. is Board Certified in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology. Dr. Asuncion graduated from the medical school at the Lyceum Northwestern University in the Philippines and completed his residency training in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology at the State University of New York at Syracuse. He then completed a Surgical Pathology Fellowship at the Ohio State University. He has been practicing pathology since 1997.

Dr. Asuncion’s past positions include the Chief of Anatomic Pathology for the VA Northern California HealthCare System,  Partner in Diagnostic Pathology Medical Group, Inc. and most recently Medical Director, Quest Diagnostics Laboratory in Sacramento.