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Molecular Diagnostics Workshops Held

Clinical Sciences hosted a series of molecular diagnostics workshops for the first time on campus. Organizers hope to make it an annual event. More than 30 high school educators and clinical laboratory professionals from across the Upper Peninsula participated in Thursday's interactive sessions, which highlighted the basics of DNA, the history of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and the advances molecular techniques have made in clinical disease diagnosis. Sixteen NMU students majoring in clinical laboratory science (CLS) attended a workshop this morning to get a hands-on introduction to molecular diagnostics and learn about career options in clinical laboratory medicine.

Dr. Ray Hein (pictured at right above), molecular application specialist for Roche Diagnostics, was the featured speaker. Roche utilizes personalized healthcare and molecular diagnostic testing to tailor medications and manage disease. Its division of medical and scientific affairs offers educational programs to universities that support careers in laboratory medicine.

“We are proud to be able to offer this innovative learning experience to the high school educators and clinical laboratory professionals of our region,” said Linda Riipi (Clinical Sciences). “We’re also extremely pleased to partner with Roche Diagnostics and Dr. Hein to increase awareness of the career opportunities available in clinical laboratory medicine.” 

Cathy Bammert (Clinical Sciences) added, “This is the perfect time to pursue a career in laboratory medicine. When you couple the estimated 40,000 unfilled laboratory jobs in the United States with our aging society’s increasing need for screening and diagnostic laboratory services, you can’t help but come to the conclusion that students graduating in lab medicine will be able to find rewarding jobs in the geographic area of their choice, with favorable salaries.”

NMU is the only university that offers five National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS) accredited programs in the United States.  It is one of three universities nationwide that offers both diagnostic molecular science and cytogenetics programs.