American Association for Clinical Chemistry
Better health through laboratory medicine
Jacob B. Levine
1998 Outstanding Contributions through Service to the Profession of Clinical Chemistry

Jack Levine, MBA, will receive the 33rd annual award, sponsored by Beckman Instruments, Inc. Mr. Levine is currently the Director of Clinical and Scientific Services, US Branch, Diagnostics Division of the Bayer Corporation, the successor to Technicon. He joined Technicon Instruments Corporation in 1961 and had the opportunity to work with the pioneers at Technicon who brought the original AutoAnalyzer to the marketplace in 1957. He was among the original 100 employees at the company’s Ardsley, New York, world headquarters. Hired as a research clinical chemist, he developed methods, conducted training courses, and troubleshot customer problems. As the diagnostics industry evolved, he had the opportunity to participate in many professional activities that provided tools to laboratorians in the performance of their work.

Mr. Levine’s original career at Technicon focused on the development of assays for the original single channel AutoAnalyzers. His work in cholesterol culminated in the selection of AutoAnalyzer assays for cholesterol and triglyceride measurements by the Lipid Research Clinics in their original nationwide epidemiological study. He became the industrial liaison to the Clinic’s Laboratory Group. He also worked with individual academic investigators developing applications for the AutoAnalyzer. Screening assays for phenylketonuria and Tay-Sachs disease resulted from these efforts.

During the first 10 years of his career, the emphasis of Technicon’s research efforts switched to the application of continuous flow technology to multiple channel profiling systems, which brought the benefits of workload consolidation to the clinical laboratory. He developed enzyme, direct cholesterol, and glucose assays for the original 12-channel SMA and SMA 12/60 systems. A major problem in the development of these systems was calibration. He was part of the team that developed serum-based materials that were linked to reference methodology by System Specific Values (SSVs). He worked with the early users of the SMA systems to develop functional reference (normal) ranges that would improve their ability to detect and monitor disease through laboratory data. As part of the organizing committee for the 1964, 1965, 1967, 1969, and 1970 Technicon Symposia, he stimulated the presentation and publication of papers on the utilization and benefits of multiple parameter testing.

In 1971, Mr. Levine transferred to the marketing department of Technicon and spent the next 15 years in a variety of technical marketing and service positions that reflected the changing requirements of users of automated analyzers. He played a major role in developing the analytical requirements for the SMAC high-speed, computer-controlled biochemical analyzer. He ran the initial field trials of the system and was involved in the commercial launch of the system in 1974. By 1983, >1000 SMAC systems had been produced, including the SMAC II system. He also championed the successful industrial application of the original Westgard quality-control algorithm to the SMAC II Results Processor.

In 1986, Mr. Levine returned to research and development as Vice President of Clinical Evaluations. One of his major tasks was to reorganize the product-labeling efforts of the company, focusing on the development of an automated, random access immunoassay analyzer. He was part of the team that successfully completed the 510(k) clearance of the 16 launch methods utilized on the Technicon Immuno 1™ system.

Between 1979 and 1984, Mr. Levine was a member of the Executive Committee of the New York Metro section. He was a Councilor between 1976 and 1978. He participated in the organization and planning of the annual meetings held in New York City in 1973, 1983, and 1993, and served on the 1993 Annual Meeting Organizing Committee as Site Coordinator. He has been responsible for his company’s commercial workshops and scientific presentations at the annual meeting for >20 years. Currently, he serves as AACC liaison to the College of American Pathologists Instrumentation Resource Committee and is a member of the AACC Standards Committee.

Mr. Levine has been a company delegate or alternate to NCCLS for >20 years. He participated as a subcommittee member in the completion of six published evaluation protocols from 1979 to 1996 and has taken an active role in the utilization of NCCLS protocols for establishing performance claims of Technicon and Bayer diagnostic products. His major goal has been to establish a common denominator for laboratory professionals in their assessment of assay and system performance.