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Outstanding Scientific Achievements by a Young Investigator

This award recognizes and encourages the professional development of a young investigator who has demonstrated exceptional scientific achievements early in his or her career. It is given based on the degree of originality exhibited in the individual's creative process and the significance of the research conducted relevant to the field of clinical laboratory medicine. It is conferred upon an individual who has the potential to be an outstanding investigator of the future. (The individual must not have reached the age of 40 by January 1 in the year in which the award is to be given and must be an AACC member.)

Congratulations to the 2021 Winner

Maria Alice WillrichMaria Alice Willrich, PhD

Dr. Maria Willrich received her Ph.D. degree from the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences of the University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil, followed by a clinical chemistry post-doctoral fellowship at Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, MN. She holds the academic rank of Associate Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, and is a co-director in the Protein and Antibody Immunology Laboratories and the Clinical Mass Spectrometry Laboratory, as well as associate program director of the post-doctoral clinical chemistry fellowship program in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at Mayo Clinic. Peer-reviewed publications authored by Willrich and colleagues include 65 full length articles and book chapters. Her research projects span four areas related to immunology:  laboratory testing for the monoclonal gammopathies, analysis of immunoglobulins free light chains in cerebrospinal fluid, the complement system and last but not least development of innovative methods of detection for monoclonal antibody therapeutics using mass spectrometry. Dr. Willrich has given numerous presentations at national and international meetings and has previously won two Young Investigator Awards from the Academy of Clinical Laboratory Physicians and Scientists, and both a Young Investigator and Clinical Laboratory Scientist awards from the Association of Medical Laboratory Immunologists. She has been engaged in several professional organizations, participating in a working group for harmonization of reporting of protein electrophoresis, serum free light chains and quantification of small monoclonal proteins with the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry,  serving as councilor for the Association of Medical Laboratory Immunologists (2019-2021) and vice-chair of the diagnostic immunology and flow cytometry committee of the College of American Pathologists (2021-2023). At AACC, her activities have included serving as past secretary for the Midwest section, an education officer and current chair for the clinical and diagnostic immunology division of AACC.   

Previous Winners

2020 - Dina Greene, PhD
2019 - Livia Schiavinato Eberlin, PhD
2018 - Christina Lockwood, PhD
2017 - Mark Marzinke, PhD
2016 - Mari DeMarco, PhD
2015 - Kara L. Lynch, PhD
2014 - Pete A. Kavsak, PhD
2013 - Rossa W.K. Chiu, MBBS, PhD
2012 - Andrew Hoofnagle, PhD
2011 - Linnea Baudhuin, PhD, DABMG
2010 - Amy Saenger, PhD
2009 - Joshua Bornhorst, PhD
2008 - Alex Rai, PhD
2007 - Loralie J. Langman, PhD
2006 - Roshini Abraham, PhD
2005 - Liu-Ying Luo, PhD
2004 - Yaniv Sherer, MD
2003 - George Yousef, MD
2002 - Thomas Daly, MD
2001 - Lynn Bry, PhD
2000 - Sridevi Devaraj, PhD
1999 - Elizabeth M. Rohlfs, PhD
1998 - Uttam Garg, PhD
1997 - Gregory J. Tsongalis, PhD
1996 - Ann Gronowski, PhD
1995 - David Hage, PhD
1994 - Bruce Goldberger, PhD
1993 - Marcie Hursting, PhD
1992 - Bryan Wolf, PhD
1991 - Amitava Dasgupta, PhD
1990 - Thomas Prior, PhD
1989 - Timothy Schroeder
1988 - Nader Rifai, PhD
1987 - Thomas M. Annesley, PhD
1986 - Alan Wu, PhD
1985 - Eleftherios P. Diamandis, MD, PhD
1983 - Daniel Nealon, PhD
1982 - Norman Leigh Anderson, PhD
1981 - Jean-Pierre Bretaudiere
1981 - Stephen Thibodeau, PhD
1980 - Thomas Grove, PhD
1979 - Eric Sampson, PhD
1978 - Robert Rej, PhD
1977 - Herbert K. Naito, PhD
1976 - Lawrence M. Silverman, PhD