Lab Week Update and Dissertation Award

Published by David B. Roth, MD, PhD, on April 21, 2020

April 21 Update: From the Chair

Dear Members of the Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Community,

As we celebrate Lab Week under difficult circumstances, I want to echo the sentiments of a message the Division of Laboratory Medicine sent out this morning about Medical Laboratory Professionals. They get great results, strive for excellence, are key to healthcare, are always "up to the test", and definitely make a difference. Yes, indeed, and thanks to all laboratory professionals who help guide our institutions through this very intense period of setting up new tests and scaling them to meet the demands of the pandemic.

I also want to share with you a recent video message from our Dean Larry Jameson, who reminds us that "the ability to close the gap between the laboratory and the bedside is one of our greatest strengths." As you probably know, this is a main focus of our department.

Another nice way to support our essential workers will launch tomorrow with the help of the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation: The Nourished Program allows frontline hospital staff to order food from local restaurants using contactless delivery for only $5 per meal, thanks to a partnership with Fuel the Fight and community donations. Dinners can be picked up at 8:15 p.m. at the Maloney entrance. Sign up for the program here.

Despite the extraordinary demands placed on all of us by the coronavirus pandemic, we remain committed to developing our next generation of researchers and basic scientists. Malay Haldar's lab reports that Samir Devalaraja, a graduate student in the lab, has just won this year's Immunology Saul Winegrad Outstanding Dissertation Award. Congratulations Samir! This award recognizes students whose dissertations have made a significant contribution to biomedical science and is presented annually to a student in each of the PSOM Biomedical Graduate Studies groups. It was created in 1995 to honor BGS's first Director, Saul Winegrad, MD, Emeritus Professor of Physiology, who passed away earlier this year.

Who among us couldn't use a little peace of mind and a stroll through an English-style landscape park garden just about right now? The world-renowned Dutch flower park Keukenhof in South Holland is showcasing seven million plants to online viewers with a virtual opening and 360-degree video tours.

And another little personal note on my sourdough experiments. If you have been roaming the realms of social media, you will know that I am not alone in my efforts to create the perfect sourdough starter recipe. Now the online cartoonist "xkcd" offers an intriguing theory on the parasitic life cycle of the coronavirus...

Please continue to take care of yourselves and help others whenever you can.

David Roth

David B. Roth, MD, PhD, is the Simon Flexner Professor and Chair of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in these blog columns are those of the authors or other attributed individuals and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Department, Penn Medicine, or the University of Pennsylvania. Health information is provided for educational purposes and should not be used as a source of medical advice or diagnosis.