American Association for Clinical Chemistry
Better health through laboratory medicine
Lemuel J. Bowie, PhD
1999 Outstanding Contributions to Clinical Chemistry

Lemuel J. Bowie, PhD, was selected to receive, posthumously, the 48th annual award, sponsored by Bayer Diagnostics. Dr. Bowie’s obituary, written by Dr. Nathan Gochman and published in these pages in April, is summarized here:

Dr. Bowie was born on April 23, 1944, in Vicksburg, Mississippi, where he was raised and obtained his education through high school. In 1966, he completed his BS at Xavier University in New Orleans with a specialization in medical technology. He was a part-time graduate student at Howard University Medical School in Washington, DC before starting on a doctoral program at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Dr. Bowie obtained his PhD in biochemistry in 1972 with research investigations on bioluminescence.

At the University of California, San Diego, and the Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Center, Dr. Bowie joined Dr. Gochman as a postdoctoral trainee in clinical chemistry. He participated in all phases of academic clinical chemistry, including laboratory management, teaching, and research, and was clearly destined to be an outstanding figure in the profession. He quickly became an Assistant Adjunct Professor of Chemistry and Pathology at the University of California, San Diego, and Assistant Chief of the Clinical Chemistry Section at the VA Medical Center. Dr. Bowie was interested in hemoglobinopathies and received grant support for research and training in this field. He started his AACC participation with the Southern California Section of the AACC, holding several positions, and was a founder of the San Diego Section. During Dr. Gochman’s year as AACC President, Dr. Bowie was an immense help in managing the clinical chemistry laboratory and was presented with a Presidential Citation Award at the 1978 Annual Meeting. This was to be the first of many honors and awards that would be conferred on Dr. Bowie during his exemplary career.

In 1979, Dr. Bowie became Director of the Division of Clinical Biochemistry at Evanston Hospital and Assistant Professor of Clinical Pathology at the Northwestern University Medical School. He intensified his research efforts on hemoglobinopathies and thalassemias, becoming a recognized authority in this area. In 1982, he discovered a previously undocumented abnormal hemoglobin and named it Hemoglobin Evanston. Dr. Bowie was an articulate and impressive speaker and was invited to lecture on various scientific topics throughout the US and other countries. He progressed through the academic ranks, reaching Professor of Pathology at Northwestern in 1992, and served as a Faculty Advisor in the Biotechnology Graduate Program. His duties at Evanston Hospital expanded, and by 1995, Dr. Bowie was Associate Chairman of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Director of Clinical Laboratories, and Director of the Division of Clinical Pathology.

Dr. Bowie’s participation in all facets of the Chicago Section of the AACC, including Chairman, brought additional recognition to his motivational and leadership skills. He was elected as President of the AACC for 1993 and served with distinction. He served several other professional organizations during his career, including as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry and Vice-President and Chair, Credentials Committee, of the American Board of Clinical Chemistry.

Somehow Dr. Bowie also found time to serve the US government in several capacities, including as a Member of the Food and Drug Administration Clinical Chemistry Advisory Panel and the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee (CLIAC) of the CDC.

Dr. Bowie received the 1985 Samuel Natelson Award and the 1980 Albert Dietz Award of the Chicago Section, AACC. The New Jersey Section of the AACC presented him with the Bernard Gerulat Award in 1993. Before his death, Lem was Chair of the AACC Awards Committee and had recently been appointed to the Board of Editors of Clinical Chemistry.

This brief recounting of Dr. Bowie’s accomplishments cannot do justice to this outstandingly warm and friendly scientist-educator. The profession of clinical chemistry, his colleagues, his friends, and most of all his family, will mourn the absence of this gifted, talented, and winning personality.

1993 AACC Past President’s Award

Lemuel J. Bowie will receive this year’s award, sponsored by Baxter Diagnostics.

Bowie, the immediate past-president of AACC, attended Xavier University of Louisiana, New Orleans, where he majored in medical technology. During his senior year internship in medical technology at Providence Hospital, Washington, DC, he focused on understanding the science related to disease rather than the art of healing, and subsequently entered the graduate program in biochemistry at the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, for his Ph.D. His postdoctoral training program was in clinical chemistry at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in San Diego, CA, under Nathan Gochman.

Bowie is now Director of the Clinical Biochemistry Laboratory in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Evanston Hospital, Evanston, IL, and Professor of Pathology at Northwestern University School of Medicine, Chicago, IL.

He has maintained an active interest in all areas of clinical chemistry. He has served on the Subcommittee on Enzyme Assay Conditions of the National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards; as a member of and consultant to the Clinical Chemistry and Toxicology Devices Panel of the Food and Drug Administration; and as consultant to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health. He is currently vice president and chair of the Credentials Committee of the American Board of Clinical Chemistry. He is also the US representative to the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry. He has served as a member of the editorial board of Analytical Biochemistry and as a reviewer for numerous other journals.

Bowie has been active in AACC since 1974. He helped form the San Diego Chapter, which is now the San Diego Section, and is now active in the Chicago Section, where he has served as chair of the section as well as chair of numerous other committees. At the national level, he has served as chair of the Nominating Committee and on numerous task forces. He served as co-chair of the 1986 National Meeting and chair of the 1992 National Meeting. He organized and chaired the 1990 video conference on CLIA ’88 and the 1991 video conference on Drug of Abuse Testing. He was recipient of an AACC Presidential Citation Award in 1978 and of the 1990 Albert Dietz Award from the Chicago Section for service to AACC and the field. For his scientific contributions, he received the 1983 Samuel Natelson Award from the Chicago Section and the 1993 Bernard F. Gerulat Award from the New Jersey Section.

Bowie’s research has focused on the biochemistry of the hemoglobinopathies; hemoglobin Evanston, an α-chain variant of hemoglobin, was discovered in his laboratory in Evanston. Bowie has also conducted research on the development of fetal lung maturity markers and on the application of analytical spectroscopic techniques to clinical diagnosis. He is currently investigating the impact of α-thalassemia on the clinical presentation of other hematologic problems with the use of DNA-based methods.