Gregory Tsongalis, PhD
2013 AACC-NACB Award for Outstanding Contributions to Clinical Chemistry in a Selected Area of Research

Gregory TsongalisDr. Tsongalis is the director of the molecular pathology laboratory and co-director of the translational research program in the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College, the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, and the Norris Cotton Cancer Center in Lebanon, N.H. In 1994, he completed his post-doctoral training in clinical chemistry at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where he was first exposed to molecular diagnostics. Throughout his career, Dr. Tsongalis has been striving to apply molecular techniques to diagnostic questions that are not adequately addressed by traditional laboratory methods and has challenged the boundaries between clinical pathology and anatomic pathology. His early work described methods for localized in situ amplification of DNA and RNA targets in tissue sections as well as the identification of mutation carriers in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 breast cancer risk genes. He described some of the first applications of molecular methods in identity testing of clinical specimens when mislabeling or a mix-up was suspected. His laboratory was an early adopter of automation for high-volume molecular infectious disease testing and active in the development of molecular techniques for use with unconventional specimen types. His laboratory is currently applying state-of-the-art molecular techniques to improve patient management through precision medicine. His laboratory continually pushes the application of molecular technologies beyond their traditional uses and is now focusing on nanotechnologies for routine use in the clinical setting. His work has led to 140 publications and eight textbooks in the field of molecular pathology. Dr. Tsongalis has served on many professional society committees, including the AACC board of directors, and the editorial boards of several medical journals, including Clinical Chemistry.

1997 Outstanding Scientific Achievements by a Young Investigator

Gregory J. Tsongalis, PhD, will receive the 22nd annual award, sponsored by Boehringer Mannheim Corp. Dr. Tsongalis received his BS from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he majored in zoology and chemistry, and an MHS from Quinnipiac College as a PA in Pathology. He received his PhD in Pathology from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey under the direction of Dr. W. Clark Lambert, where for his doctoral dissertation he studied human DNA repair mechanisms in xeroderma pigmentosum and Fanconi anemia. His first postdoctoral position was in the laboratory of Dr. David Kaufman in the Department of Pathology at the University of North Carolina. Here Tsongalis explored the intricacies of the nuclear matrix and its role in the regulation of DNA replication through interactions with origins of replication. After completing this NIEHS-funded training program, Tsongalis joined the McLendon Clinical Laboratories Division of Clinical Chemistry Training Program at the University of North Carolina under the direction of Drs. Lawrence Silverman and Donald Forman. With the continued support of Drs. John Chapman and Robert Cross, Tsongalis began to carve his niche in molecular diagnostics under the direction of Dr. Silverman, the first AACC Young Investigator. While in the molecular pathology laboratory, Tsongalis developed assays for in situ amplification and diagnostic testing for fragile X syndrome as well as maintaining his interest in human cancers. He remains committed to the development and application of molecular-based diagnostic assays for the clinical laboratory.

Dr. Tsongalis has received numerous awards for his early contributions to this new laboratory science, including a Merit Award from the American Society for Investigative Pathology (1993), ACLPS Young Investigator Award (1994), NACB George Grannis Award (1995), ACS Young Scientist Award (1996), and the first IFCC-AVL National Award for Significant Advances in Critical Care Testing (1996) that was based on a molecular application. He is a member of many professional organizations and has given presentations at local, national, and international meetings. Tsongalis has authored or co-authored 9 book chapters, several of which appear in major clinical chemistry textbooks, and over 25 peer-reviewed publications. Most recently he has co-edited with good friend and colleague Dr. William Coleman a textbook titled Molecular Diagnostics for the Clinical Laboratorian.

Dr. Tsongalis has been an active member of the AACC through its Molecular Pathology Division for several years and is the current Chair of this Division. He has served on nominating committees, abstract review committees, and is a member of the Clinical Laboratory News Editorial Advisory Board. In 1995–1996 he served on the CliniChem '96 Organizing Committee, which introduced new concepts in molecular pathology through timely seminars and workshops. Currently, Tsongalis is the Associate Director of Clinical Chemistry and the Director of Molecular Pathology at Hartford Hospital where he joins Drs. Alan Wu (1986 Young Investigator), Robert Moore, and Robert Burnett in the Division of Clinical Chemistry created by pioneers George Bowers and Robert McComb. He holds adjunct faculty positions in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Department of Pediatrics at the University of Connecticut Health Center (Farmington), Department of Pathobiology at the University of Connecticut (Storrs) and at Quinnipiac College, where he teaches a graduate course in molecular pathology. The Molecular Pathology Laboratory at Hartford Hospital, a core facility, has grown to now offer a test menu of more than 15 molecular assays and processes in excess of 15 000 specimens per year. The scope of molecular testing in this core facility includes assays for genetic diseases, hematology, oncology, infectious diseases, and identity testing. In addition, the laboratory's research efforts to identify molecular markers for human cancers provide the technical component of a Community Cancer Genetics Outreach Program.

1995 The George F. Grannis Award For Excellence In Research And Scientific Publication

Gregory J. Tsongalis, PhD was honored with AACC's 1995 George F. Grannis Award for Excellence in Research and Scientific Publication.

 
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