American Association for Clinical Chemistry
Better health through laboratory medicine
November 2005 Mentor of the Month: David Bruns
David E. Bruns, MD

David E. Bruns received a BS in Chemical Engineering and an AB from Washington University in St. Louis. He developed clinical assays at Sigma Chemical before receiving his M.D. from St. Louis University. He undertook residency and fellowship training in laboratory medicine, experimental pathology, and clinical chemistry at Washington University. He then moved to the University of Virginia where he is Professor of Pathology, Director of Clinical Chemistry and Associate Director of Molecular Diagnostics. He has been Editor of Clinical Chemistry since 1990.

Dr. Bruns has had research interests in several areas. For over 20 years, he and his wife, M. Elizabeth Bruns, studied calcium signaling in cells and the roles of calcium-regulating hormones in reproduction. His studies in the area of clinical enzymology included purification of a unique form of human amylase, development of specific monoclonal antibodies to it and use of both in an early monoclonal assay. In the area of clinical toxicology, he and David Herold described the syndrome of fatal poisoning by polyethylene glycol (PEG) and characterized the steps in PEG metabolism that lead to toxicity.

Bruns has authored or co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed articles and co-edited several books, including The Yearbooks of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (1995, 1996 and 1997), Molecular Diagnostics in Laboratory Medicine (2002) and the 4th Edition of the Tietz Textbook of Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics (2005). He has served as Visiting Professor at several universities and as keynote speaker at national and international meetings.

Dr. Bruns has served various professional societies in laboratory medicine, including terms as President of the Academy of Clinical Laboratory Physicians and Scientists (ACLPS) and of the Association of Clinical Scientists (ACS). Among his activities with AACC, he has been Chair of the AACC Awards Committee and served on the organizing groups for the A.O. Beckman Conferences of 1986, 1989, 1990 and 2002.

Dr. Bruns has received the AACC Award for Outstanding Contributions to Clinical Chemistry in a Selection are of Research, the ACS Clinical Scientist of the Year Award, and the AACC Award for Outstanding Contributions to Clinical Chemistry. Local AACC sections have given him the Norman Kubasik Award (Upstate New York), the Bernard Gerulat Award (New Jersey) and the Miriam Reiner Award (Capital Section). He received Presidential Citations from AACC Presidents Kricka and Scott in 2001 and 2005.