The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) has announced the 2017 “40 under Forty” honorees. Each year, the Selection Committee identifies 40 ASCP members under the age of 40 who are recognized for being future pathology and laboratory medicine leaders. These honorees are known for innovating and inspiring the field with their achievements in the early stages of their careers.
There are six Mayo Clinic staff members on this year’s list of honorees:
Melanie Bois, M.D.
Age: 33 | Rochester, MN
Dr. Bois is a Cardiovascular Pathology Fellow at Mayo Clinic. She served as chief resident and was awarded the Dr. Hobart K.B. Allebach Fellowship in Pathology for outstanding Mayo Clinic residents.
Dr. Bois has authored multiple peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, and delivered presentations at international professional society meetings.
Elitza Theel, Ph.D.
Age: 34 | Rochester, MN
Dr. Theel is the Director of the Infectious Diseases Serology Laboratory and Co-Director of the Vector-Borne Diseases Service Line at Mayo Clinic. She holds the academic rank of Assistant Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology from the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.
Dr. Theel’s clinical research interests include development and evaluation of diagnostic assays for vector-borne disease and their impact on global health.
Dr. Theel completed her Ph.D. in Medical Microbiology and Immunology, with a focus on protein trafficking in Trypanosoma brucei at the University of Wisconsin—Madison.
Elizabeth (E. Heidi) Cheek, PA(ASCP)
Age: 31 | Rochester, MN
Ms. Cheek is a Pathologists’ Assistant at Mayo Clinic and holds the academic rank of Instructor in Laboratory Medicine and Pathology from the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. During her tenure, she has developed a passion for pathology resident education, participated in clinical research, and been involved in two pilot projects working as a Physician Extender.
Ms. Cheek earned her M.H.S. at Duke University and graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Saint Joseph’s College in Maine.
Her academic accomplishments include co-authoring several scientific papers, authoring a book chapter on gross examination of the liver, and lecturing on placental pathology to the audiences in maternal-fetal medicine, neonatology-perinatology, and anatomic/clinical pathology.
Rondell Graham, M.B.B.S.
Age: 34 | Rochester, MN
Dr. Graham is a gastroenterologist and molecular pathologist at Mayo Clinic where he holds the academic rank of Assistant Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology from the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.
Dr. Graham is a frequent speaker at international and national meetings. He has authored more than four book chapters and 50 papers, two of which won awards at the USCAP Annual meeting.
One example of how Dr. Graham is using novel molecular tools to transform patient care is his work with fibrolamellar carcinoma. He has created a new commercially available, clinically validated diagnostic test for this entity that is more accurate than previous diagnostics.
Thomas Grys, Ph.D.
Age: 39 | Phoenix, AZ
Dr. Grys is the Director of Microbiology and Infectious Disease Serology at the Mayo Clinic Phoenix campus. He holds the academic rank of Assistant Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology from the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.
Dr. Grys holds a Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Wisconsin—Madison, and completed a clinical microbiology fellowship at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. He is a certified diplomat of the American Board of Medical Microbiology.
His research interests include quantitative molecular methods, innovative diagnostic approaches, and optimal integration of test results into patient care. He is also the block leader for the microbiology course at the Mayo Medical School Arizona campus.
Aaron Odegard, MLS(ASCP)
Age: 34 | Jacksonville, FL
Mr. Odegard is the Microbiology Lead Technologist at the Mayo Clinic Florida campus. He holds the academic rank of Instructor in Laboratory Medicine and Pathology from the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.
Odegard oversees technical operations, employees, and education/curriculum development for clinical laboratory science interns and residents in the Bacteriology Laboratory.
Odegard has 11 years of experience in the laboratory profession with emphasis on microbiology, quality assurance, and medical laboratory science education. He serves on many teams including the Laboratory Safety Committee, Prepared Emergency Response Team, Microbiology Department Quality Assurance group, and ED Annual Educational Update group. Odegard is also pursuing a Master of Science degree in the Biomedical Science Program, Molecular Pharmacology, and Experimental Therapeutics’ track at the Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Medicine.
Interested in voting to help choose the Top Five? Visit ascp.org to vote.