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Release: June 27, 2000

Gilchrist named president-elect of national public health laboratories group

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Mary J.R. Gilchrist, Ph.D., director of the University of Iowa Hygienic Laboratory, has been named president-elect of the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL).

The APHL, based in Washington, D.C., is a non-profit group dedicated to improving the quality of laboratory practices worldwide.

Gilchrist received her bachelor's degree in microbiology at the UI, and a master's degree and doctorate in microbiology at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. She has been active in numerous national health organizations, including the American Society for Microbiology, the American Public Health Association, the Academy of Clinical Laboratory Physicians and Scientists, and the American Society for Clinical Pathologists.

Gilchrist has been instrumental in the development of a national network of public health laboratories aimed at identifying and tracking potential health risks related to bioterrorism. Also, Gilchrist testified last year before a U.S. Senate subcommittee on the emerging issue of antimicrobial resistance.

She has been director of the UI Hygienic Laboratory since 1995. As Iowa's public health and environmental laboratory, the Hygienic Laboratory provides diagnostic testing and services for communicable disease control in the areas of microbiology, immunology, virology and molecular biology. The laboratory also provides analytic and detection services related to air and water quality, and provides laboratory support to state agencies such as the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the Iowa Bureau of Labor and the Iowa Department of Public Health.

"I look forward to serving as president of APHL and advocating for the important roles public health laboratories serve in ensuring the health of the public," Gilchrist said. Her year-long term as APHL president will begin in June 2001.


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