Spring - 2012 - American Association for Clinical Chemistry



Spring - 2012 - American Association for Clinical Chemistry
Molecular Pathology Division
A me r i c a n A s s o c i a t i o n
C l i n i c a l C h e mi s t r y
f o r
Message from the Chair
S u b m i t t e d b y A l e x J . R a i , P h . D . C h a i r, M P D
I am honored to
serve as the newly
elected Chair of
the MPD. Firstly,
I would like to
take this opportunity to thank my
predecessor, Dr.
Greg Howe, for all
his hard work over
several initiatives have been pushed forwardinitiatives that are crucial for education and
training in molecular pathology. These include
the advancement of two certificate programs,
one focused on molecular pathology and a new
program specifically targeting pharmacogenetics. In addition, the continuation and revision
of the Molecular Pathology training course that
is held every two years in collaboration with
the AMP, and alternates between venues in
Europe and the United States. Greg has also
worked with the Scientific and Education committee who have helped deliberate on several
issues and have provided valuable guidance to
the Executive Board. There are a number of
other individuals that have generously contributed their time and expertise as well over these
last two years. These include Nikolina Babic,
Linnea Baudhuin, Steve Wong, Jerry Yeo, Barbara Zehnbauer, Ingo Kampa, Neal Lindeman,
among others. I am lucky to be in the company
of such a distinguished group of experts.
I am really excited to be able to continue the
momentum generated over the last few years
through our MPD leadership. There are a cou-
ple of new initiatives that I will unveil in the
coming months. I am looking forward to
working with our Executive Board as I seek
their assistance in further developing the
current projects and establishing new
ones. To give you a small sampling of what
is in the works- we have already initiated
discussion with a few other divisions to
identify issues of common interest. We are
hoping to collaborate with these groups in
the future, with the intention of designing
programs relevant to multiple disciplines. Such opportunities are beneficial to
all as they provide an opportunity whereby
we can potentially learn from their successes, and also collaborate on issues of
common interest, whether they are related to
laboratory implementation of novel assays,
validation of novel biomarkers, understanding the impact of novel, “disruptive” technologies, other translational hurdles, or
dealing with regulatory and reimbursement
It is an opportune time to be in clinical laboratory medicine and in particular, in molecular pathology. The last few years have
witnessed several new developments, both
from a technology perspective and from
analyte and assay perspectives. We are living in a unique point in history as the opportunities currently available have never presented themselves before, with new tools
available to us and solutions that will come
in unprecedented form. The clinical labora-
Volume 24, Issue 1
Inside this issue:
MPD Election Results
MPD Featured
Member, Dr. Andrea
AACC Annual Meet- 5
ing MPD Mixer
AACC Molecular Pathology Division Newsletter
Volume 24, Issue 1
Spring 2012
tory of the future will be a cloth woven from threads of different types- nanotechnology and miniaturization, point-ofcare, informatics, and there is no doubt that molecular diagnostics will play a central part in all of this. It is a wonderful
time and we can all help to shape the future of molecular diagnostics and the clinical laboratory!
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I look forward to seeing you all in July at Los Angeles for
the Annual meeting, where we anticipate that molecular
diagnostics will play a central theme, from the plenary lectures to the workshops, courses, and brown bag sessions.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any comments or suggestions on how the Executive Board can better serve you, our membership.
MPD Election Results
The AACC MPD elections were held earlier this year.
Results of the election plus biographies of the newly
elected Treasurer and Nominating Committee members
are presented here.
Christina Lockwood, Ph.D.
Dr. Lockwood obtained her
Ph.D. from the University
of Wisconsin – Madison in
2007 in Cellular and Molecular Biology. After joining AACC in 2006, she finished her Clinical Chemistry fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis
in 2009. She is currently an
Assistant Professor in Pathology and Immunology at
Washington University in
St. Louis where she is CoMedical Director of the Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.
Preparing trainees for the expanding role of personalized
medicine in pathology practice is one of Dr. Lockwood’s passions. To this end, she is designing an integrated genomic pathology curriculum for training residents and clinical fellows.
Dr. Lockwood’s academic interests also include the
transition of next-generation sequencing technology
from the research lab to the clinical lab and the use of
circulating miRNAs as biomarkers.
Dr. Lockwood states, “The AACC has been an invaluable resource for my professional development and I am
delighted to serve as Treasurer for the Molecular Pathology Division.”
Nominating Committee
Patricia Garrett, Ph.D.
Dr. Patricia Garrett has
worked for SeraCare Life
Sciences and its predecessor company Boston Biomedica (BBI) for 23
years. She is currently
Senior Director for Science and Technology at
SeraCare, where she participates in product and
services design and development, chairs SeraCare’s
IRB, serves as Medical
Director for SeraCare’s CLIA lab, and develops and presents educational programs for internal and external customers, among other activities. From 1988 to 2004, Dr.
Garrett held positions of increasing responsibility at
BBI; she was responsible over the years for BBI’s Product Development, Quality Assurance, Regulatory Affairs, Intellectual Property, Testing Laboratory, and
Clinical Trials efforts, in addition to managing numerous special projects. Her special interests are infectious
disease diagnostics, both molecular and serology, with
an emphasis on method evaluation, quality control and
proficiency testing. She is active in AACC, and has
served on the Nominating Committee for AACC, the
Board of Directors for ABCC, and the Executive Board
of the Northeast AACC. She is a member of AMP
(Association for Molecular Pathology), PASCV (Pan
American Society for Clinical Virology), and AAAS
(American Association for the Advancement of Science), and volunteers as a writer and reviewer with
CLSI (Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute) and as a
reviewer for several journals.
AACC Molecular Pathology Division Newsletter
Volume 24, Issue 1
Spring, 2012
Nominating Committee
Saeed Jortani, Ph.D.
Dr. Jortani is an associate
professor in the Department of Pathology and
Laboratory Medicine and
an associate faculty in the
department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative
Medicine at the University of Louisville. He is
the director of the Forensic Toxicology Program
as well as the director of
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toxicology service in the University of Louisville Hospital’s clinical laboratory.
Dr. Jortani has directed numerous clinical trials involving
various tests in the areas of clinical chemistry, therapeutic
drug monitoring, toxicology and pharmacogenetics. His
specialties include forensic and clinical toxicology, discovery and development of novel biomarkers, and pharmacogenetics.
His research interests are detection and measurement of
drugs, discovery of new biomarkers, therapeutics and use
of pharmacogenetics in pain management as well as in
postmortem investigations.
MPD Featured Member
Dr. Andrea Ferreira-Gonzalez
Submitted by Jerry Yeo, Ph.D.
What is your job title and
Professor and Chair,
Division of Molecular Diagnostics, Director Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory,
Department of Pathology, Virginia
Commonwealth University Health Systems.
Briefly tell us about your
educational and career
I received a Masters degree in Clinical Biochemistry
from the National University of Corboda, Argentina.
Subsequently, I received a Ph.D. in Microbiology and
Genetics form the George Washington University in
Washington DC.
What are your Board certifications?
American Board of Bioanaylsis, Certification High
Complexity Laboratory Director
With which professional societies/organizations (e.g.
AACC) are you involved?
What/when was your first exposure to science?
High School Biology class. My teacher was the person that made me love science
Do you have a scientific hero?
Yes, Leroy Hood. He is a visionary on health care
delivery for the 21st century.
What do you do for fun (reading, hobbies, sports, etc.)?
Working out, windsurfing, photography and gardening
What are your clinical and research interests?
Development of nucleic acid based test for the diagnosis and management of diseases.
What, in your opinion, has been the most important contribution you have made to the field of molecular pathology?
In addition to my varied academic accomplishments,
I have served on numerous government committees,
advisory groups, and task forces related to molecular
AACC Molecular Pathology Division Newsletter
Volume 24, Issue 1
Spring, 2012
Page 4
diagnostics and clinical practice including CLIAC,
the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Genetics,
Health and Society, most recently as chair of the
Committee’s Genetic Testing Oversight Task Force.
adoption of personalized genomic medicine. Molecular diagnosticians should be at the forefront of
embracing new technologies and the opportunities
that result from these advances.
Are there any specific aspects of practicing molecular
pathology that you find unappealing?
I am sure that like everything in life there are unappealing aspects but I must confess that I can not think
of anything that is unappealing about what I do.
What do you see as the main challenges facing scientists
in molecular pathology?
The major challenges are the speed of the development of new technologies such as Next Generation
Sequencing and being able to implement them in a
responsible manner and getting paid for it.
What were some of the most rewarding and/or challenging moments of your career?
The most rewarding moment of my career was when
I developed my first molecular laboratory developed
test, finished the clinical trial and analyzed the data
that provided the information for the clinical validity
and clinical utility of the test. I still remember analyzing the data and realizing the huge impact that the
test was going to have in the management of viral
infections in transplant patients
What excites you about practicing molecular pathology
Providing clinical services that make a difference in
patients’ health and life
What are your predictions for advances in molecular pathology over the next ten years?
Personalized genomic medicine will play an important role in future medical practice, but it is still
surrounded by major uncertainties. Whole genome
sequencing analysis, whole exome and whole transcriptome analysis, broaden the scope of questions
that can be asked in the clinical laboratory beyond
traditional personalized medicine, enabling the
What specific goals would you recommend that young
scientists in your discipline set for themselves? Any suggestions on how to achieve them?
I would recommend for young scientists to get involved in professional organizations such as AACC
and volunteer for specific projects or committees. It
has been an extremely rewarding experience to volunteer for AACC but has also allowed me to grow
professionally. This goal could be achieved by identifying a more senior scientist and asked him or her to
mentor them on how to get involve in the professional society
Describe how you have been able to give back or contribute to the organizations and the profession in general
through your involvement in AACC.
I have contributed to the profession by getting involved with AACC, in particular the Molecular Pathology Division, first as an active member, then getting elected for different officer positions. Second I
have also contributed to the educational mission by
getting involved in the planning of the annual meeting.
AACC Molecular Pathology Division Newsletter
Volume 24, Issue 1
Spring, 2012
Page 5
AACC Annual Meeting MPD Mixer Photos
MPD Young Investigator Award Winner Grigory Tsaur, M.D., Ph.D.
(Institute of Medical Cell Technologies, Russia) with Greg Howe
MPD Abstract Award Winner Doaa Hashad, M.D.
(Alexandria University, Egypt) with Greg Howe
Barb Zehnbauer winning raffle (with Greg Howe)
MPD Abstract Award Winner Eun Kyung, Ph.D. (Seoul
National University Hospital, South Korea) with Greg Howe
AACC Molecular Pathology Division Newsletter
Volume 24, Issue 1
Spring, 2012
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AACC Molecular Pathology Division Newsletter
Volume 24, Issue 1
Spring, 2012
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2012 Division Executive Committee
Other Division Contacts
Alex Jaideep Rai, Ph.D.
Columbia University Medical Center
Dept of Pathology and Cell Biology
622 West 168th St
CHONY 2C-224
New York, NY 10032
[email protected]
Newsletter Editor:
Past Chair:
J. Greg Howe, Ph.D.
Department of Laboratory Medicine
Yale University of Medicine
333 Cedar Street
New Haven, CT 06520-8035
[email protected]
Nikolina Babic, Ph.D.
University of Chicago
Department of Pathology
5841 S. Maryland Avenue
Chicago , IL 60637-1470
[email protected]
Christina Lockwood, Ph.D.
Washington University
660 S. Euclid Avenue
Campus Box 8118
Saint Louis, MO 63110
[email protected]
Nominating Committee:
Gyorgy Abel, M.D., Ph.D.
Lahey Clinic
Laboratory Medicine
41 Mall Road
Burlington, MA 01803-0001
[email protected]
Linnea Baudhuin, Ph.D.
Laboratory Medicine and Pathology
Mayo Clinic, Hilton 402
200 First St SW
Rochester, MN 55905
[email protected]
Internet Coordinator:
Loralie Langman, Ph.D.
Laboratory Medicine and Pathology
Mayo Clinic, Hilton 730
200 First Street SW
Rochester, MN 55905
[email protected]
Membership Chair:
Stan Kwang, Ph.D.
Clinical Diag Group-Quality Systems
Bio-Rad Laboratories
9500 Jeronimo Road
Irvine, CA 92618
[email protected]
Events Coordinator:
Nikolina Babic, Ph.D.
University of Chicago
Department of Pathology
5841 S. Maryland Avenue
Chicago , IL 60637-1470
[email protected]
Tom Hayhurst
Horizon Performance Group
6501 Butterfield Way
Placerville, CA 95667
[email protected]
Liaison to AMP:
Michael Stocum, M.S.
7300 Dogwood Branch Ct
Raleigh, NC 27612
[email protected]
Patricia Garrett, Ph.D.
SeraCare Life Sciences
47 West Street #1
Portland, ME 04102
[email protected]
Saeed Jortani, Ph.D.
University of Louisville
511 S. Floyd St, Ste 217
Louisville, KY 40202
[email protected]
Liaison to CAP
Molecular Oncology
Liaison to CAP/ACMG
Molecular and
Biochemical Genetics
Resources Committee:
Ingo Kampa, Ph.D.
K&K Associates, Inc.
Medical Multispecialty Assoc
139 Patriot Hill Drive
Basking Ridge, NJ 07920
[email protected]
Barbara Zehnbauer, Ph.D.
Office of Surveillance
Epidemiology and Lab Services
Centers for Disease Control and
12 Executive Park, Mailstop G23
Atlanta, GA 30329
bzehn[email protected]
Gregory J. Tsongalis, Ph.D.
Dept of Pathology
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
1 Medical Center Drive
Lebanon, NH 03756
[email protected]
Andrea Ferreira-Gonzalez, Ph.D.
Virginia Commonwealth University
403 North 13th St
CSC Building Room 246
Richmond, VA 23298-0246
[email protected]