Fellows will be trained in classical clinical chemistry, laboratory administration and research practices to prepare them for directorship positions at medical schools or hospital-based clinical chemistry laboratories.
“Our mission is to develop the next generation of leaders in clinical chemistry,” said Robert Fitzgerald, Ph.D., DABCC, UC San Diego School of Medicine professor of pathology and faculty coordinator of the new Clinical Chemistry Fellowship program.
Waters Corporation—a company that specializes in sustainable analytic technologies to advance healthcare and environmental safety— will provide funding to cover salary and research expenses for fellows as they gain a strong foundation of classical chemistry (e.g., blood gases, electrolytes, enzymes, proteins, endocrinology, therapeutic drug monitoring), clinical toxicology and molecular diagnostics. Fellows will collaborate with the California Poison Control Center and the UC San Diego Medical Toxicology Fellowship program with a focus on toxicology. The ultimate goal is to prepare fellows to qualify for certification by the American Board of Clinical Chemistry.
“Funding this exciting new clinical chemistry fellowship is consistent with Waters’ commitment to education in laboratory medicine,” said Donald Mason Global Scientific Affairs Manager for the Waters Division. “UC San Diego’s commitment to emerging technologies, including mass spectrometry, is representative of the forward-thinking nature of this program. We are very pleased to be able to provide funding for this program.”
Clinical chemists are essential for providing optimal cardiac care, cancer testing, diabetes management, therapeutic drug monitoring and toxicology testing. These scientists also help develop novel testing strategies for the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of pathologic conditions. The UC San Diego School of Medicine recently opened the Center for Advanced Laboratory Medicine (CALM), a 90,000 square foot building which houses the Pathology’s Division of Laboratory Medicine. The facility features state-of-the-art technologies used in diagnostic medicine and pathology to support patient care and inquiry into emerging fields such as personalized medicine, genomics, clinical proteomics and cell therapy.
The program’s first Clinical Chemistry Fellow, Nandkishor Chindarkar, Ph.D., recently began the two-year fellowship. His goal is to pursue a career in an academic clinical laboratory where he can contribute to patient care, medical education and clinical research.
“I am very excited to be the first Clinical Chemistry Fellow. This program will help me immensely to become a well-trained chemist and will enable me to contribute to the advancement of clinical laboratory science,” said Chindarkar. “We have great facilities here at the UC San Diego School of Medicine. Being an analytical chemist, I am particularly excited about the advanced mass spectrometry facility that we have at CALM.”
Currently, the UC San Diego School of Medicine Department of Pathology is in the process of enrolling a second fellow. The program seeks candidates that have an MD, PharmD, and/or a Ph.D. degree with sufficient courses in chemistry to qualify for certification by the American Board for Clinical Chemistry. For more information, please visit the UC San Diego School of Medicine Department of Pathology website.
“We are grateful for Waters’ generous funding which will allow for the development of laboratory directors with experience in highly complex clinical laboratories” said Fitzgerald.