American Association for Clinical Chemistry
Better health through laboratory medicine
September 2008 Mentor of the Month: Michael Bennett
Michael J. Bennett PhD, FRCPath, DABCC, FACB

Michael J. Bennett PhD, FRCPath, DABCC, FACBis a Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and Director of the Metabolic Disease Laboratory at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He also holds the Evelyn Willing Bromley Endowed Chair in Clinical Laboratories and Pathology. He obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Sheffield School of Medicine, UK in the field of medical enzymology. His initial training was with the Sheffield Central Hospitals Group and the Association of Clinical Biochemists (UK). He was a Principal Biochemist at the Sheffield Children’s Hospital. He became a Member and eventually a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists (London). Prior to taking up his present position in Philadelphia in 2004, Dr. Bennett was Professor of Pathology and Pediatrics at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, holder of the Mary Quincy Parsons and Kelsey Louise Wright Professorship of Mitochondrial Disease research, and Director of Clinical Chemistry at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas.

Dr. Bennett’s research activities include investigation of inborn errors of mitochondrial energy metabolism with a special emphasis on disorders of fatty acid metabolism. He was amongst the first to describe the fatal clinical phenotype and subsequently the first to identify neonatal metabolite abnormalities in medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (MCAD) deficiency. These observations led eventually to the present expansion in expanded newborn screening by tandem mass spectrometry. Present research in this area covers study of the hyperinsulinism associated with short-chain L-3-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase (SCHAD) deficiency, an enzyme of fatty acid oxidation that is closely related to MCAD.