American Association for Clinical Chemistry
Better health through laboratory medicine
Mary F. Burritt
2008 Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine

Mary BurrittDr. Burritt is professor of laboratory medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and clinical chemist at Mayo Clinic Arizona in Scottsdale. She previously held the positions of medical co-director of the Central Clinical Laboratory and director of the Metals Laboratory at the Mayo Clinic as well as associate dean of the Mayo School of Health Sciences in Rochester, Minn. Dr. Burritt has served the AACC in many roles over the past 30 years, including serving as president in 1996 and chair of the annual meeting organizing committee in 2000.

Dr. Burritt was a member of the Board of Directors of the National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry, the Academy of the AACC, from 1998-2002, and served as President of the Academy in 2005.Dr. Burritt has been active in the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute, serving as chair of the Subcommittee on Electrolytes, as chair of the Area Committee on Clinical Chemistry for five years, and as a member of the Volunteer Resources/Program Committee. She has also been active on the international level, serving as the vice chair of the Education and Management Division and chair of the visiting lecturer program of the International Federation for Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (IFCC) for six years in each position. Among her contributions in education and research, she directed the postdoctoral training program in clinical chemistry at the Mayo Clinic for eight years. She has lectured extensively both nationally and internationally on many topics including technical and clinical aspects of ionized calcium, point-of-care testing, quality systems and automation. Dr. Burritt has published more than 195 peer-reviewed articles, abstracts, and chapters.

1996 AACC Past President’s Award

Mary F. Burritt, PhD, will receive this year’s award, sponsored by Allegiance Healthcare Co. Dr. Burritt is Medical Co-Director of the Central Clinical Laboratory, Director of the Metals Laboratory, Consultant for the Hospital Satellite Laboratories, and Professor of Laboratory Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. She is also Director of Postgraduate Training Programs in Clinical Chemistry (Postdoctoral and Pathology Residency) at Mayo. She received her BA in Chemistry from Clarke College, Dubuque, IA, and her PhD in Biological Chemistry from the University of Illinois Medical Center in Chicago in 1974. After completing a 2-year postdoctoral fellowship in Immunology, she trained for an additional 2 years in Clinical Chemistry, both at the Mayo Clinic.

Dr. Burritt has been active in the AACC since becoming a member in 1978. On the local level, she has served as Chapter Co-Chair, Alternate Councilor, Secretary, Councilor (now Delegate), and member of the Program Committee for several Midwest Sections meetings. On the national level, she has served as Chair of several Symposia, Selected Topics, and Workshops at annual meetings, as a charter member and first Chair of the Electrolyte/Blood Gas Division (1986–1989), and as a member and Chair of the Long-Range Planning Committee (1988–1990; 1993–1994). Dr. Burritt was Co-Chair of the 1989 National Meeting, was elected as a member and Chair of the AACC Nominating Committee (1989–1990) and was a member of the Program Committee for the 1990 Beckman Conference. In 1991, she served as the first Chair of the newly reorganized House of Delegates, and was a member of the Strategic Analysis Task Force in 1992–1993. She was elected to the Board of Directors in 1992, and in 1996 served as President of the Association. She is currently serving on the Board of Directors as Past-President. In addition, she is the EduTrak Co-Chair for the 1998 AACC Annual Meeting and is a member of the Task Force on Governance.

Dr. Burritt is also active in NCCLS, having been Chair of the Subcommittee on Electrolytes (1987–1988) and as Chair of the Area Committee on Clinical Chemistry (1989–1993). She is currently an Advisor on the Area Committee on Automation and a member of the Subcommittee on Electrochemical Interfaces. She is a member of the National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry, the Academy of Clinical Laboratory Physicians and Scientists, the Society of Critical Care Medicine, and the Mayo Foundation Chapter of Sigma Xi, which served as President in 1991. In 1996, Dr. Burritt was appointed to a 4-year term on CLIAC, the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee, which provides scientific and technical advice to the Secretary, US Department of Health and Human Services, and to the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Burritt has focused her research and education interests in electrolytes (particularly ionized calcium), circadian rhythms of calcium and bone markers, and point-of-care testing. She has authored or co-authored over 115 scientific articles, abstracts, and book chapters and has lectured extensively. She is the recipient of an AACC Outstanding Speaker Award, has been given the 1994 Streck Lectureship Award for Distinguished Contributions to Biochemistry and Clinical Chemistry from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and received the 1995 Gerulat Memorial Award from the New Jersey Section of the AACC for Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Chemistry.