Beyond the test result
Mayo Clinic Laboratories combines the expertise of world-renowned laboratorians and physicians to provide answers for patients’ serious and complex medical challenges.
These are the stories of the people throughout that journey — from the laboratorians conducting tests and delivering results, to the physicians guiding diagnosis and treatment, to the patients worldwide who need answers.
For over two decades, Mayo Clinic has been at the forefront of cardiovascular (CV) genetic testing. The current test menu features 24 different panels that span over 300 genes linked to inherited cardiovascular disorders, many of which are rare and challenging to diagnose. Whereas many labs operate in a “silo” — meaning they take a genetic specimen, test it, and then return a result with limited input — Mayo Clinic takes a much more expansive approach.
Brie LaJoye began her career with Mayo Clinic in 2018 as an intern and has been with the organization for nearly six years. She currently works as a Laboratory information system (LIS) technical specialist, managing lab instrumentation, troubleshooting issues, and improving testing procedures. Her work ensures accurate and timely results for patients and providers, and she takes pride in being a crucial part of the lab's operations.
After immigrating to the United State and becoming a U.S. citizen at the age of 18, Holocaust survivor Kurt Glover-Ettrich chose to give back to his new homeland by serving a 30-year career in the U.S. military. Today, as a Mayo Clinic volunteer, Kurt is giving back in new ways for the 22 years of regular care, treatment, and laboratory testing he’s received in response to the prostate cancer diagnosis that first brought him to Mayo Clinic.
Eight years ago, Tamara Staley joined Mayo Clinic Laboratories’ Cardiovascular Sales team selling CV diagnostic testing to community hospitals. Now, she leads sales for Hematology and Oncology’s Central Region. Tamara is proud to help connect physicians and patients to a wide variety of oncology solid tumor testing that includes breast cancer testing.
In a recent discovery by Mayo Clinic Laboratories, a novel hemoglobinopathy category was identified and termed epsilon gamma thalassemia. The first instance of the disorder was found in 2017 when an obstetric patient underwent a routine screening for blood-related illnesses such as sickle cell disease and thalassemia. Upon completion of additional tests, doctors found an abnormality they had never seen before.
In August of 2021, 28-year-old Mike Knudson, a Twin Cities resident known for his vibrant and active lifestyle, set out on what he anticipated to be an adventurous hiking vacation to the picturesque Glacier National Park in Montana. Little did he know that this journey in nature would be the start of an unexpected life path.
Mayo Clinic’s cardiac (CV) remote monitoring service uses the compact MoMe Kardia cardiac monitoring device that yields a continuous, 24/7 stream of a patient’s ECG and motion data, no matter their location. Any troubling or burgeoning events are observed virtually the moment they occur, allowing one of Mayo Clinic’s certified rhythm analysis technicians to intervene and facilitate care in near real time. And this is only the beginning; remote patient services are the way of the future, and the future is already here.
Outreach manager Jane Hermansen regards Mayo Clinic as the pinnacle of healthcare. Having spent her formative years in Minnesota, she was inspired by her uncle Roger to embark on a path as a laboratory scientist. Presently, she oversees the Mayo Clinic Laboratories outreach consulting and network programs. In addition, she spearheads the laboratory industry's only outreach conference, Leveraging the Laboratory.
This week's research roundup feature: Activated mast cells in periprosthetic joint infection-associated tissue.
An avid runner and fitness buff, Mark Kocak didn’t think he needed medication for his high cholesterol and hypertension. After coming to Mayo Clinic for ceramide testing, Mark knew exercise alone would not be enough to him on a path toward greater longevity.
This week's research roundup feature: 16S rRNA gene PCR/Sequencing of heart valves for diagnosis of infective endocarditis in routine clinical practice.