Clinical Biochemistry: Celebrating the Past, Looking to the Future

Monday, October 02, 2017
Paul Yip, Hilde Vandenberghe, Christine Collier, Shashank Tilak
Event organizer Paul Yip with attendees Hilde Vandenberghe, Christine Collier & Shashank Tilak

The flagship diploma program in Clinical Biochemistry at U of T is one of the largest and longest running training programs of its kind in North America with U of T graduates working throughout Canada and around the world.

LMP held its first event for Clinical Biochemistry Alumni and Friends on August 1, 2017.  The gathering was held during the joint AACC-CSCC scientific meeting, in beautiful San Diego, California.  With a recording-breaking attendance of over 21,000, both Canadians and those with a U of T connection were prominent in the meeting program.

The occasion was organized and hosted by Paul Yip, U of T alumnus, faculty member, and friend.  Michelle Parker (second-year fellow, U of T diploma program) organized a game of “People Bingo” helping the group get acquainted while discovering some interesting personal experiences - like having pipetted specimens by mouth!  Congratulations to game winners Victoria Higgins (PhD candidate, Khosrow Adeli’s lab) and Michael Knauer (graduate, 2016).

Eleftherios Diamandis and Khosrow Adeli, Program Director, gave opening remarks followed by three graduates who provided the audience with a glimpse into the past:

  • Jennifer Shea (2013) spoke of the quality of the U of T program and how it jump started her successful career;
  • Following in the family tradition, Doug Gornall (1973) recollected early times when PhD clinical chemists were just gaining visibility for their scientific expertise among the medical profession. Doug’s father was Allan Gornall, Professor and (first) Chair of the Department of Clinical Biochemistry, U of T (1966-1976) before its amalgamation into LMP in 1997.  
  • Joel Goodman (1981) took us for a humorous stroll down memory lane recounting several stories including “the disappearing stool specimen”.

Over 50 alumni and friends attended, celebrating their achievements, recounting stories across the generations and enjoying good food.

The event helped raised awareness and the need for training Clinical Chemists.  The LMP Clinical Biochemistry Trust Fund supports the educational needs of Clinical Chemistry Fellows training at U of T.  Established in 2013, more than 12 Fellows have benefited to date with support to attend conferences and training through online courses and certificate programs.

If you are interested in supporting the training of future Clinical Chemists, please visit the LMP Donation page at the University of Toronto. -- Paul Yip

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