American Association for Clinical Chemistry
Better health through laboratory medicine
February 2007 Mentor of the Month Q&A Session: Elizabeth Frank
Welcome to SYCL's Mentor of the Month.  Questions and Answers will be displayed below...

I am interested in the Chromatography technique to extract some chemistry from Thai herbs. Do you have the international training program for this technique at your site in Utah? Thank you.
Wanvisa Phitsanulok,Thailand

Elizabeth Frank
I am not aware of a particular chromatographic method that is used to extract organic compounds from Thai herbs. As I understand it, oils used for flavoring are extracted from Thai herbs by physical means – crushing the herbs using a mortar and pestle – followed by chemical means – simmering the crushed plant material in a liquid such as coconut milk, lemon or lime juice, or wine, in which the compounds are soluble.To my knowledge there is no such training program at the University of Utah.

Dr. Frank-- In addition to the ever-valuable Tietz textbook, what resources do you find particularily useful for teaching Clinical Chemistry Fellows? At your institution, what methods do you use to break the routine of "boring" lectures and keep things interesting for the fellows?
Boston, MA

Elizabeth Frank
One useful technique is our Pathologist-on-Call program. A pathology resident or chemistry fellow is scheduled to carry a pager and respond to calls for the entire laboratory. Since our program is affiliated with a high volume national reference laboratory with an extensive test menu, the inquiries are quite varied and interesting. When on-Call, the fellow collects information, researches the question, and consults with faculty and staff to resolve each issue. Cases from Call are presented and discussed during Clinical Pathology Resident Rounds every Monday morning.We ask fellows to give lectures as well as listen to lectures given by others. Clinical chemistry fellows make continuing education presentations to laboratory staff. Fellows are involved in applied research projects, and present their work at national meetings – typically a poster at the AACC Annual Meeting and an oral presentation at the annual meeting of the Academy of Clinical Laboratory Physicians and Scientists (ACLPS). In addition, fellows are required to develop clinical skills for assay review and interpretation, and are involved in the management and administration of the chemistry laboratory. Many fellows have the opportunity to cover the service of a faculty member (medical director) who is away from the laboratory.