By - October 03, 2022
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) as a professional membership organization. The 40 Under Forty recognition program, launched in 2014, honors pathology and laboratory medicine’s rising stars and visionaries.
Choosing the Top Five 40 Under Forty honorees during this important milestone year was especially meaningful—and challenging. The Top Five, spotlighted here, rose above an impressive group of highly motivated, innovative future leaders. They were chosen for their significant, current contributions to pathology and laboratory medicine and for their future goals for the growth of our field.
Tiffany Gill, MA, MLS(ASCP)CM, is a tenured professor and coordinator of the College of Southern Maryland’s Medical Laboratory Technology (MLT) program. An innovative educator, Professor Gill is also the creator of the Medical Lab Lady Gill YouTube channel.
Professor Gill’s work with ASCP has allowed her to collaborate extensively with other innovators in the field of laboratory medicine. Her ongoing goals as a laboratory professional include the support of educators, students, and new laboratory professionals through accessible education. This includes lab-centric gameshows, competitions, and procedure videos.
“As a change agent, being one of the Top Five during ASCP’s 100th year is validating for me,” she says. “It also brings new emphasis to the vital voice of laboratory educators, educational programs, and their students. Through this designation, doors are opening that will help me expand projects with a focus on engaging the future generation of laboratory professionals and healthcare providers. The lab’s future rests in its ability to pervade the culture, connecting the public with how the healthcare team and wellness work together. My hope is to make the medical laboratory accessible to all in a fun and meaningful way, thereby encouraging collaborative care and increasing interest in the profession.”
Catherine Stefaniuk, DO, FASCP, is an associate professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and Assistant Medical Director, Clinical Pathology at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
For Dr. Stefaniuk, being selected as a Top Five 40 Under Forty honoree is exciting and humbling. She shares this honor with her family, friends, training institutions, and hospital, who were with her along the way. Her goals include increased exposure of high school and undergraduate students to pathology and helping support underserved countries develop their pathology and laboratory medicine programs.
“The honor and national recognition from this award will enable me to give more exposure to pathology and to encourage others to make it a career choice. It will introduce me to like-minded pathologists with unique interests and goals,” Dr. Stefaniuk says. “By openly sharing our goals and how we plan to work towards them, we will help each other attain success. Our collaborations will lead to ideas on how to help pathologists become effective advocates in their hospital systems. We will have open discussions about tackling issues such as supply shortages, test utilization, and collaborations with medical teams in our hospital systems. Together, we can develop ways to expose students to careers in pathology. Ultimately, we will increase awareness of pathology as a field of medicine.”
Alison Krywanczyk, MD, FASCP, is a forensic and cardiovascular pathologist for the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office. Her overarching goal is the establishment of greater consistency in the evaluation of cardiovascular disease at autopsy, and to bring together pathologists, clinicians, and counselors into networks that minimize the potential for missed intervention opportunities.
Dr. Krywanczyk notes that forensic and cardiovascular pathology suffer from recruiting issues. She has concerns about the lack of exposure to both subspecialties during medical training. “Being a 40 Under Forty honoree can help illustrate this career path to those who are interested in a career in academic forensic pathology. It can also help me build collaborative networks between pathologists, cardiologists, and genetic counselors. Having this endorsement from our professional society adds a lot of credibility to the cause.”
Letycia Nuñez-Argote, PhD, MPH, CPH, MLS(ASCP)CM, is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, School of Health Professions, at the University of Kansas Medical Center. She plans to build on the distinction of becoming a Top Five 40 Under Forty honoree by supporting the advancement of laboratory professionals worldwide. She sees this award as a vehicle to increase the visibility of her work as a health systems researcher analyzing the occupational health risks of the laboratory workforce.
Dr. Nuñez-Argote’s goals include the acquisition of grant funding for collaborative research with laboratory professionals, patients, and members of the healthcare team. She also wishes to help increase the recruitment and retention of laboratory professionals by supporting the vibrant, diverse, and inclusive workforce needed to transform laboratory practice and move the scientific and human sides of the profession forward.
“Just over 15 years ago, I entered this field as an MLS graduate having to explain to my family and friends what this career was, and why it was best for me,” she says. “I had to push myself and believe that working as a medical laboratory scientist would help me grow and become my best self. I am passionate about science and care deeply for the well-being of others, which is why becoming a laboratory professional was one of the best decisions of my life. And this honor, being recognized by my peers at this point in my career, reinforces the decision I made as a teenager in college.”
S. Cristian Lozano, DCLS, MLS(ASCP)CM is a Principal Scientist for Quest Diagnostics in Lenexa, Kansas. As a young professional, he hopes this recognition will support his ability to advance the profession and enable him to meet with other ASCP members who share his interests and passions.
One of his main goals is to motivate the next generation of laboratory professionals and ultimately contribute to the development of a promising future for the field. He also wants to ensure that our professional community continues to become more inclusive and diverse.
“Being chosen as a 40 under Forty honoree is humbling, especially considering how impressive and talented my cohort is. As a recipient of this accolade, I intend to carry on mentoring members of the laboratory community and to take use of mentorship opportunities to raise awareness of the laboratory profession among other medical professionals,” Dr. Lozano says. “I also hope to continue to present data demonstrating the importance of diagnostic data and laboratory stewardship in laboratory education, bolstering the significance of interprofessional collaborative practices to strengthen internal and external relationships and emphasize initiatives in antimicrobial stewardship and diagnostic algorithm development. As a Doctor of Clinical Laboratory Science, I also hope that I can create lasting bonds to ensure this new laboratory career path continues to strive and prosper.”
ASCP’s 40 Under Forty program acquires honorees through an application or nomination process. Each potential honoree is evaluated by a select committee of ASCP pathologists, laboratory professionals, and resident members. The Top Five are chosen through a committee selection and public voting process. Visit www.ascp.org/40underforty to learn more about 2022’s entire roster of 40 Under Forty honorees.
Patient Advocate and Freelance Writer