August 2017 Alumni Newsletter

Alumni Under 40 Awards

The Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology is delighted that Jess Peterson (MGP fellow 2011-12) and Charanjeet Singh (AP/CP resident and hematopathology fellow 2009-2013) were elected as 2017 honorees of the American Society for Clinical Pathology's 40 Under Forty Program. ASCP's program celebrates the future leaders of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.

ASCP Future Leaders Under 40


lillemoeLMP Faculty Named Top Teachers

Each year the residents in our AP/CP pathology training program vote for the top teachers in anatomic pathology (AP) and clinical pathology (CP). This year Amy Karger received the CP Teacher of the Year award and Tamera Lillemoe, adjunct assistant professor at Abbott-Northwestern and a former LMP resident, received the AP Teacher of the Year award. The honors were announced at LMP's annual resident and fellow graduation dinner.


Faculty Highlights

Eckfeldt receives Carole J. Bland Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award

LMP professor John Eckfeldt is the winner of the 2017 Medical School Carole J. Bland Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award.

Eckfeldt holds the Ellis S. Benson Professorship in Laboratory Medicine and Pathology and is past vice chair for clinical affairs in LMP as well as past director of clinical laboratories at UMMC. He was the program director of our Clinical Chemistry Fellowship program at the U of Minnesota from 2005-2012 and served as residency program director from 1990-94. Eckfeldt mentored many medical students, residents and fellows who went on to academic research careers. Eckfeldt is also a faculty mentor to faculty in the department and in its Advanced Research and Diagnostics Laboratory (ARDL). In 2009 Eckfeldt was awarded the College of American Pathologists Lifetime Achievement award for his years of service to the advancement of laboratory medicine. Eckfeldt will complete his phased retirement in September.

schweSchwertfeger and colleagues home in on mechanisms of breast cancer growth 

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer with more than 255,000 new cases expected in the U.S. in 2017, according to the American Cancer Society. More than 40,000 Americans died from breast cancer each year. Kaylee Schwertfeger has been conducting research on the basic mechanisms of mammary gland development and breast cancer for nearly two decades. Her current research is focused on the role of fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) in mediating tumor-cell interactions with stromal cells in the breast cancer microenvironment. 

Schwertfeger was recently awarded an NIH RO1 grant for research to define the mechanisms through which FGFR enhances breast cancer growth and progression by modulating the tumor microenvironment. She also received funding from METAvivor, a foundation that supports metastatic breast cancer awareness and research and patient support.

Farrar and colleagues reveal role of key transcription factor networks in acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Treatment of children with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL), the most common of childhood cancers, has been one of cancer chemotherapy's success stories, with 80-90 percent of treated patients eclipsing the five-year event free benchmark. Yet B-ALL remains a leading cause of cancer-related death in children and young adults. A research team led by Michael Farrarinvestigated transcription factor networks as prognostic markers of disease severity. They report their findings in "Antagonism of B cell enhancer networks by STAT5 drives leukemia and poor patient survival" published in Nature Immunology 18, 694-704 (2017). 

In earlier studies, Farrar, professor and Utz Chair in Fundamental Immunobiology, identified the transcription factor STAT5 as key to the transformation of progenitor B cells into leukemic cells.

LMP welcomed four new faculty on board in July, two in neuropathology and neuroscience, one in laboratory informatics, and one in genomics and hematopathology. 

Robert Bell attended medical school at University College Cork, National University of Ireland. He completed a pathology residency at Rutgers University and fellowship training at Johns Hopkins University in ophthalmic and neuropathology. His research background is in Alzheimer's disease and human retinal changes associated with aging. 

Margaret Flanagan attended medical school at Trinity College Dublin and completed neuropathology fellowships at the University of Washington and Stanford University. Her research interests are in neurodegeneration, Alzheimer's disease, and spinocerebellar ataxia.

Pawel Mroz attended the Medical University of Warsaw, Poland, completed an AP/CP residency at Northwestern University and fellowships in molecular genetic pathology and hematopathology at the University of Michigan. Mroz will join the Division of Clinical Pathology in both molecular genomics and hematopathology and also be a member of our Division of Molecular Pathology and Genomics (MPG), which is collaborating with MHealth in clinical genomics. 

Joseph Rudolf attended the University of Washington School of Medicine, completed pathology residency and pathology informatics fellowships at Massachusetts General Hospital. Rudolf will be Director of Laboratory Medicine Informatics and Associate Chief Medical Information Officer, Laboratory Medicine and Pathology (ACMID-LMP) for MHealth.

Four New Faculty Join LMP

LMP welcomed four new faculty on board in July, two in neuropathology and neuroscience, one in laboratory informatics, and one in genomics and hematopathology. 

Robert Bell attended medical school at University College Cork, National University of Ireland. He completed a pathology residency at Rutgers University and fellowship training at Johns Hopkins University in ophthalmic and neuropathology. His research background is in Alzheimer's disease and human retinal changes associated with aging. 

Margaret Flanagan attended medical school at Trinity College Dublin and completed neuropathology fellowships at the University of Washington and Stanford University. Her research interests are in neurodegeneration, Alzheimer's disease, and spinocerebellar ataxia.

Pawel Mroz attended the Medical University of Warsaw, Poland, completed an AP/CP residency at Northwestern University and fellowships in molecular genetic pathology and hematopathology at the University of Michigan. Mroz will join the Division of Clinical Pathology in both molecular genomics and hematopathology and also be a member of our Division of Molecular Pathology and Genomics (MPG), which is collaborating with MHealth in clinical genomics.

Joseph Rudolf attended the University of Washington School of Medicine, completed pathology residency and pathology informatics fellowships at Massachusetts General Hospital. Rudolf will be Director of Laboratory Medicine Informatics and Associate Chief Medical Information Officer, Laboratory Medicine and Pathology (ACMID-LMP) for MHealth.

Remembering

We lost emeritus faculty member Michael Desmond Burke in June. A native of Galway, Ireland, Des Burke graduated from the National University Medical School there in 1959. He then studied pathology a the Cambridge City Hospital and the Mallory Institute of Pathology in Boston. After a stint in the U.S. Army, Burke worked at Memorial Hospital in New York (Sloan Kettering). He moved to Minnesota and completed a fellowship in clinical pathology at the U of M and for fifteen years was a professor at the U and a pathologist at Mt. Sinai in Minneapolis. He left Mt. Sinai and the U for a position at Stony Brook and finished his career as vice chair of pathology at Cornell Medical Center. LMP head Leo Furcht commented: "He was an incredible, thoughtful force for clinical pathology and left major marks at each institution he served in." John Crosson remembered his former faculty colleague for, among other things, working with Pat Ward and Chuck Horwitz to establish the first extensive laboratory medicine course in the country for medical students.