American Association for Clinical Chemistry
Better health through laboratory medicine
Thomas Prior, PhD
1990 Outstanding Scientific Achievement by a Young Investigator

Thomas W. Prior will receive the 15th AACC Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement by a Young Investigator.The award is sponsored by Boehringer Mannheim Diagnostics.

Dr. Prior was born in Syracuse, NY, and received his B.A. in chemistry from Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, OH, in 1978.He obtained his M.S. in chemistry from the Upstate Medical Center, Syracuse, NY, in 1981, where he worked with Dr. Peter Howanitz on estrogen receptor assays.Subsequently, he was employed in the clinical chemistry laboratory at the Rochester General Hospital, Rochester, NY, for two years under Dr. Richard Bayer.In 1983 Dr. Prior received an A. D. Williams Fellowship and attended the Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, VA, to pursue a doctoral degree in clinical chemistry.It was during this time, under the guidance of Dr. Hanns-Dieter Gruemer, that he developed his interest in DNA probe technology.Dr. Prior’s research involved the utilization of DNA probes in Duchenne muscular dystrophy testing.Upon completing his doctoral degree in 1988, he joined the staff at the University of North Carolina as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Laboratory Medicine.Working with Dr. Lawrence Silverman, Dr. Prior pursued his interest in molecular biology.In 1990 Dr. Prior joined the faculty of the Department of Pathology at Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, and is currently Director of the Division of Molecular Pathology.

Dr. Prior’s research interests primarily focus on the application of DNA probes in genetic disease testing, for which he has acquired a national reputation. Several of his publications deal with the utilization of molecular techniques in Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophies and have had a substantial impact on prenatal diagnosis and carrier detection in this disease.One of his most recent publications concerns a molecular-based protocol for the determination of carrier status in Duchenne/Becker muscular dystrophies.His work also involves the application of novel molecular techniques to the study and diagnosis of cystic fibrosis.Dr. Prior is most enthusiastic about the transition of many of the molecular methods, which were at one time performed only in specialized research laboratories, into clinical laboratories.He has applied many of the recombinant techniques to the clinical laboratory setting and is active in the implementation of quality assurance.

Dr. Prior has been a member of the AACC since 1982.He is active in education and has given many presentations and lectures throughout this career.He enjoys teaching residents, graduate students, and medical technologists in the molecular pathology laboratory.He will be speaking at both a selected topic session and a workshop at the XIVth International Congress of Clinical Chemistry in San Francisco.

Dr. Prior married Coleen Cooley in 1982; they have two children.