American Association for Clinical Chemistry
Better health through laboratory medicine
April 2008 Mentor of the Month Q&A Session: Barbara Zehnbauer
Welcome to SYCL's Mentor of the Month.  Questions and Answers will be displayed below...

Do you find it hard being a women in a mostly male-dominated field? Any tips for young women entering the field of laboratory medicine?
Los Angeles, CA

Barbara Zehnbauer, PhD
It has been challenging at times but also provided distinct opportunities. I would advise young female trainees in the same regard as any other trainee, work hard study well, be an expert and find mentors both within your specialty and in the broader disciplines of laboratory pathology. As in our work data speaks volumes and your professional performance and productivity will be key. Mentors -both male and female - help guide one through some aspects of the changing business or academic or regulatory landscape. Excitement and enthusiasm about molecular diagnostics keeps me inspired.

Which areas of Clinical pathology laboratory are going to have a profound impact on molecular diagnostics. What and where will be the impact of proteomics and genomics in the practice of pathology. Finally what significance will molecular testing have in the science of patient management & disease prevention.
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Barbara Zehnbauer, PhD
This is a timely question that is not easily answered here but has been the topic of many recent journal articles. I have addressed this also in my President's Column for the Association for Molecular Pathology in 2006. Molecular technology is a tool that may be applied to many aspects of clinical pathology. The technology will become more automated and simplified in operation; the principles and understanding of the value and impact of the information on patient care will be one point of access for the expertise we practice. I recommend that you start with a search of the Clin Chem table of contents for Molecular topics for the past few years.