February 2017 Alumni Newsletter

To Our Alumni

It has been far too long since we've connected with our alumni. We hope to change that and send you a regular e-publication that will keep you apprised of our educational, research, and clinical programs in addition to the activities of our faculty and trainees.

We'd also like to share something about what and how you are doing: information about your current practice, your views of how pathology is changing, insights you have gained about laboratory medicine and pathology over your career and any thoughts ideas or even memories of your experience here so that we can share your story with your fellow alumni. Please send comments to um-lmp@umn.edu. In the meantime, visit our new website at med.umn.edu/pathology to see what we've been up to.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,

Leo Furcht, MD
Professor and Head

Minnesota Alumni and Friends Reception 

Join Drs. Robert McKenna and Mahmoud Khalifa for a reception sponsored by the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the University of Minnesota and held in conjunction with the USCAP annual meeting.

Marriott Rivercenter Hotel
San Antonio, Texas
Conference Room 17
Monday, March 6, 2017
8 - 10 pm

Faculty Highlights

Karger co-authors children's health report

Amy Karger was co-author of an AACC Pediatric Laboratory Medicine Policy Report entitled "Advancing Children's Health through Pediatric Laboratory Medicine." The report, published online in August, is designed to educate policymakers and the general public on the unique issues related to pediatric laboratory medicine.

Pediatric laboratory professionals play an important role in today's rapidly changing healthcare delivery system by providing high-quality laboratory results and tests that are tailored to meet the unique needs of children.

Balfour's EBV vaccine project in the news

Hank Balfour and his research team were featured on KARE 11 TV, WXIA 11 TV Atlanta, and in USA Today last month. The stories were about Balfour's efforts to develop a vaccine to reduce the risk of Mono and other Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) related conditions. The publicity resulted in numerous inquiries.

Balfour's Mono Project is a research and public outreach effort dedicated to learning how EBV causes mononucleosis and other diseases. EBV is implicated in several forms of cancer including Burkitt's lymphoma, Hodgkin's lymphoma, and nasopharyngeal carcinoma. New evidence is also supporting an EBV link to multiple sclerosis and to risk of post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease (PTLD) in blood and bone marrow transplant patients.

Dehm-led team finds genomic defects in treatment-resistant prostate cancer

Scott Dehm and his colleagues have identified genomic structural rearrangements in the androgen receptor (AR-GSRs) that may serve to limit current treatment options for prostate cancer patients. In a paper published in Nature Communications, they report that AR-GSRs in prostate cancer metastatic tissues enable cancer cells to circumvent current androgen receptor-targeted treatments. They conclude that their study "advances understanding of the prostate cancer genome by identifying the frequency, spectrum and functional impact of widespread AR-GSR events in clinical prostate cancer tissues."

The study provides key insight into the development of disease resistance and suggests promising avenues for the development of more effective therapies.


We lost three emeritus faculty in 2016. Both Walid Yasmineh and Grace Mary Ederer were faculty in clinical chemistry and had major roles in education. Yasmineh was director of graduate studies in Clinical Laboratory Science while Ederer taught in Medical Technology. Researcher and Regents professor James White was well known for his platelet research.