Elise Bieri Patzke

Mayo Clinic Labs @ Work

Thousands of people in hundreds of different roles work at Mayo Clinic Laboratories. Mayo Clinic Labs @Work offers a glimpse behind the scenes into this busy reference laboratory, featuring staff from throughout the organization talking about what they do and why they do it.


What brought you to Mayo Clinic, and how long have you been here?

When I graduated from Luther College, I was not entirely certain where I wanted to work, but I knew that I wanted to work for an organization that focused on taking care of people. When a college friend recommended that I apply to Mayo Clinic, I jumped at the chance. Growing up in northwestern Iowa, I never imagined working for such a large and prestigious organization, and now was my opportunity.


Elise Bieri Patzke

To my good fortune, I was hired as a clinical laboratory technologist in Neuroimmunology and was able to begin my career in laboratory medicine right away. I have been through multiple roles (clinical laboratory technologist, quality specialist, assistant supervisor, supervisor, quality management coordinator, and now my current project manager role) over the last 17 years. I have been blessed with many opportunities over the years, and I look forward to what is in store.


What is your current role, and what does your day-to-day work involve?

In March 2022, I moved into a project manager role with the Solutions Team in Mayo Clinic BioPharma Diagnostics. My daily routine varies greatly as I am constantly learning new pieces of the BioPharma puzzle (from feasibility assessments, bid proposals, contracts, and finally executing the project). My primary focus is on test development, and I also can dabble in various other projects with laboratories across the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology (DLMP). I greatly enjoy collaborating with DLMP laboratory directors and our internal laboratories to create a scope of work that is beneficial to our laboratory and will meet our external clients’ needs.

Before coming to BioPharma Diagnostics, I was not fully aware of the business line opportunity that is working to connect pharma and biotech companies to our advanced Mayo Clinic Diagnostic Laboratories. I am excited for the challenges that come along with helping to manage these collaborations, and yet I realize that our business in BioPharma Diagnostics directly impacts the workload of our treasured laboratory staff across the department. It is a fine balance, and I work toward asking the right questions during the feasibility assessment to ensure the opportunity is a good fit for our laboratories, lab directors, and department.


In what way does the work you do benefit providers and patients?

BioPharma Diagnostics’ goal is to connect pharma and biotech companies to Mayo Clinic diagnostics. Through our rich history of collaboration at Mayo Clinic, I am thrilled to be a part of the team to help break down these barriers and change medicine by assessing opportunities and supporting the advancement of health care through supporting clinical trials and collaborative opportunities.


Is there anything about your role that people might find surprising or unexpected?

After working in the clinical labs for 16 years and completing many regulatory inspections, I became accustomed to answering questions to show how our quality system meets and exceeds the specific standards. Now my role focuses on answering questions for business purposes, which is much different. With laboratory teams focused on maintaining the highest standards of quality, my team has a solid foundation on which to take on projects that advance patient care, transform diagnostics, and innovate medicine.


What part of your job do you find the most challenging?

I have had many humbling days since moving into BioPharma Diagnostics. Days that make you question yourself and your skill set, while also pushing you to learn the right questions to ask to get 1% better and more self-sufficient each day. During my time in DLMP, I enjoyed my comfort level of knowing my resources. Now in BioPharma Diagnostics, there is an exciting opportunity to restructure that foundation.


What gives you meaning and purpose in your work?

I absolutely love connecting with colleagues from across Mayo Clinic. Through my career, I have had the pleasure of working alongside phenomenal individuals who have helped me grow professionally and personally. In addition, Mayo Clinic’s values and rich history align with my personal values. The two values I connect with the most are innovation and teamwork. In my opinion, these two align nicely with the purpose of BioPharma Diagnostics and our drive to connect opportunities between external clients and internal laboratory experts.

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Luci Gens

Luci Gens is a marketing manager at Mayo Clinic Laboratories. She joined Mayo Clinic in 2022 and has over ten years of experience in hospital-based marketing and communications.