NACB Announces 2012 Award Winners
NACB is pleased to announce that the following recipients have received the 2012 NACB awards. Congratulations to this year’s award winners!
AACC/NACB Award for Outstanding Contributions to Clinical Chemistry in a Selected Area of Research
Y. M. Dennis Lo, MD
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Alvin Dubin Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Profession and the Academy
Stephen Kahn, PhD, DABCC, FACB
George Grannis Award for Excellence in Research and Scientific Publication by a Young Investigator
Geoffrey Baird, MD, PhD
University of Washington
Interested in learning more about this year’s award winners? Read their biosketches!
Y.M. Dennis Lo, DM, DPhil, FRS, is the Director of the Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences and the Chairman of the Department of Chemical Pathology of The Chinese University of Hong Kong. In 1997, Dr. Lo and his co-workers reported the presence of cell-free fetal DNA in the plasma of pregnant women. This discovery has challenged the conventional wisdom regarding the role of the placenta as a barrier between the fetal and maternal circulations. The finding of circulating fetal DNA in maternal blood has also opened up new possibilities for noninvasive prenatal diagnosis. Over the past 15 years, Dr. Lo has elucidated the fundamental biological characteristics regarding circulating fetal DNA, including its concentrations, gestational variations, length distributions and clearance patterns. Diagnostically, Dr. Lo has demonstrated the use of such fetal-derived molecules for the prenatal diagnosis of sex-linked diseases, blood group genotyping, and a variety of monogenic disorders. The noninvasive prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome has hitherto been called the ‘holy grail’ in the field. The application of circulating fetal nucleic acids for detecting Down syndrome is challenging because fetal DNA only represents a minor fraction of the total DNA that is present in maternal plasma. Dr. Lo and his team have tackled this problem from a variety of angles, including approaches that are based on detecting circulating RNA and DNA methylation patterns. In 2007, Dr. Lo has developed an approach that is based on molecular counting and has shown in 2008 that massively parallel sequencing is an efficient method for implementing this approach for detecting fetal chromosomal aneuploidies. In 2011, Dr. Lo and his team published the first large-scale validation of this sequencing-based technology for Down syndrome detection, with confirmations by numerous groups since then. This technology has since then been rapidly introduced into clinical practice in late 2011. Recently, Dr. Lo has pushed the envelope of the field by demonstrating that a genome-wide genetic map of the fetus can be deduced by deep sequencing of the pregnant mother’s plasma. Taken as a whole, Dr. Lo’s work has created a paradigm shift in prenatal diagnosis, making such testing safer for the fetuses and less stressful for the pregnant mothers. In recognition of his work, Dr. Lo has won numerous awards and was elected to the Royal Society, the world’s oldest scientific academy in continuous existence, in 2011.
Stephen E. Kahn, Ph.D., DABCC, FACB, is a tenured Professor and Vice Chair of Clinical Services in Pathology at the Loyola University Health System (A Member of Trinity Health) in Maywood, Illinois, USA. He serves as Associate Director of Clinical Laboratories plus Director of Core Laboratory Operations, Point of Care, Referred Testing and Toxicology. After completing postdoctoral training in clinical chemistry at Loyola, he joined the department as a faculty member becoming certified by the American Board of Clinical Chemistry in 1982.
Dr. Kahn has held a multitude of positions at the local and national levels including being a Past-President of the AACC and NACB. Currently, he chairs the joint AACC/NACB Evidence-Based Laboratory Medicine Committee. Recently, he chaired the 2011 Arnold O. Beckman Conference, ‘Glycemic Control in the Hospital: Evidence, Issues and Future Directions.’ He has chaired or served on numerous task forces, committees, boards of directors and work groups of AACC, NACB and ABCC as well as other organizations and societies.
Dr. Kahn is the recipient of AACC’s 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award as well as AACC’s Award for Outstanding Contributions in Service to the Field of Clinical Chemistry, two AACC presidential citations and several other awards. He is committed to education with over 100 publications having given numerous presentations worldwide. His current areas of interest are evidence based laboratory medicine, biomarkers of cardiac and cardiovascular disease, clinical laboratory utilization, point of care testing, toxicology and automation.
Geoffrey Baird, MD, PhD, grew up in San Diego, CA, and attended Stanford University for his undergraduate education. He spent the summers of his college years working on GC/MS assay development in the clinical chemistry laboratories at the VA Hospital in San Diego and studying porphyrin chemistry at Stanford. After graduating as a Chemistry major, he attended the University of California, San Diego for medical school and graduate school as a trainee in the NIH-sponsored Medical Scientist Training Program. In graduate school, Dr. Baird worked in the laboratory of Dr. Roger Tsien, where his work on jellyfish Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) contributed to the body of work for which Dr. Tsien was awarded the 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. After graduation from medical school, Dr. Baird moved to Seattle for residency in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology at the University of Washington.
After a year as chief resident of Clinical Pathology, Dr. Baird spent a year training in clinical immunohistochemistry and molecular pathology with Dr. Allen Gown at PhenoPath Laboratories in Seattle. Dr. Baird then started as faculty in the University of Washington's Department of Laboratory Medicine, where he now is an assistant professor, Director of Clinical Chemistry at Harborview Medical Center, and Laboratory Director of Airlift Northwest. His clinical interests include encouraging rational utilization of routine laboratory testing, and his research interests include histochemical techniques, tissue proteomics and oligonucleotide aptamer technology. He has authored or co-authored 31 peer-reviewed research publications, three book chapters and numerous abstracts, and he is an inventor on several licensed patents relating to fluorescent protein indicators. Dr. Baird is married to Denise, and they have two energetic boys, Flynn (age 9) and Galen (age 7).