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Summarizing the experience: Kuwait observer, Dr. Rola Mohammad

August 28, 2015
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Dr. Rola

 

Last week we bid farewell to Kuwait Cancer Control Centre (KCCC) observer, Dr. Rola Mohammad, who was here at UHN for a Personalized Learning Program in Cancer Cytogenetics.

The initiative stems from a partnership between KCCC and UHN/ Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, and gives us the opportunity to share our expertise and advance laboratory medicine globally.

 

In the lab

Dr. Rola spent five weeks working alongside Laboratory Medicine Program (LMP) doctors and technologists, observing how we operate and looking for ways to enhance the work being done at her own lab at KCCC. The ultimate goal for her and the KCCC team is to establish a cytogenetics lab and offer advanced oncology testing to patients in Kuwait.

While here, Dr. Rola focused on Fluorescence in situ Hybridization (FISH) of solid tumours, observing the systems in place for evaluating which types of probes to use in the wet lab, and then how to score and interpret the results. This included looking at various scoring pitfalls, CAP guidelines, and ISCN nomenclature.

In addition to her technical learning, Dr. Rola also put together a plan to implement many of the practices used in LMP’s cytogenetics lab into her own lab at KCCC. The plan begins with familiarization and leads to a pilot study, a 10 day evaluation of precision, and continuous quality control.

Before leaving, Dr. Rola made a closing presentation to LMP staff, other KCCC observers, and partners from UHN’s International Office and the UHN International Centre for Educations (ICE), summarizing what she’s gained from working with LMP and how that can be transferred to KCCC.

 

In the city

Dr. Rola was occasionally able to take off her lab coat and just enjoy the city as a tourist. She visited Niagara Falls, ate at some great restaurants, and like a real Torontonian – was sure to experience some classic TTC delays. She specifically enjoyed touring Little Italy, visiting the Royal Ontario Museum’s (ROM) Pompeii exhibit, and taking her kids to popular Toronto waffle house, the Starving Artist.

 

In conclusion

Dr. Rola was the first in a series of external observers to visit LMP this summer, and all organizations involved seem proud to label the visit as a success.

Upon leaving, she commended UHN for its “friendly atmosphere,” LMP for its “high level of organization and resources,” and all staff for their “commitment to quality teaching.” Special thanks were given to: Dr. Adam Smith, Magdalena Waszul, Jill Krupa, and Ko Gyi.

It was an absolute pleasure to have Dr. Rola in our labs and offices over the last five weeks, and we can’t wait to see how her time here will impact the work being done at KCCC!

LMP and ICE

LMP Q&A BUG: Tom Clancy

August 28, 2015
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LMP QA BUG

 

This week, director of laboratory operations, Tom Clancy was ‘infected’ by the LMP Q&A BUG. The nomination came from colleague Judy Torne, whose photo Q&A you can see: HERE

As director of laboratory operations, Tom oversees the work done across all of our labs. He produces budgets, manages laboratory logistics, and keeps all areas of LMP connected as a unit. He’s busy in labs, offices, and conference rooms on any given day, so take this opportunity to get to know a bit more about Tom’s personal side!

Check out our photo Q&A below. Make sure to read to the end to find out who’s next to be ‘infected’ by the LMP Q&A BUG. It could be you!

 

Where in Toronto do you live and how do you commute to work?

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What do you do for fun?

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What’s your favorite meal?

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Read more…

LMP Hematopathologist publishes leukemia workshop in the American Journal for Clinical Pathology

August 21, 2015
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Dr. Porwit 02

 

Recently, Dr. Anna Porwit, Hematopathologist, Laboratory Medicine Program (LMP) had her work on mixed-phenotype acute leukemia (MPAL) published in the American Journal for Clinical Pathology. The study is part of a workshop series by the Society for Hematopathology/European Association for Haematopathology and summarizes diagnostic criteria for major types of MPAL.

There were 32 cases included in this session of the workshop, and the publication illustrates and describes the variability of MPAL, the technical issues involved in diagnosis, and how cases can be linked by common characteristics.

More detailed, the study discusses: technical issues in determining blast lineage, possible pitfalls in MPAL diagnosis, and the differential diagnosis between acute undifferentiated leukemia and acute myeloid leukemia with minimal differentiation.

The study emphasizes the need for: flow cytometry immunophenotyping using a large panel of antibodies, as well as confirmatory immunohistochemical analysis and cytochemistry studies to accurately establish the diagnosis of MPAL.

 

For more information see: HERE

LMP Q&A BUG: Judy Torne

August 21, 2015
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LMP QA BUG

 

This week, immunohistochemistry lab technologist, Judy Torne was ‘infected’ by the LMP Q&A BUG. The nomination came from colleague Gordon Chin, whose photo Q&A you can see: HERE

As an Immunohistochemistry technologist, Judy is involved in the process of detecting antigens or proteins in the cells of patient tissue samples. She conducts tests on various specimens by using specific antibodies to stain the samples revealing specific antigens. By detecting what antigens or proteins are present in a cell, our lab can diagnose disease, determine the stage and grade of a tumour, and develop a personalized course of treatment. There are many different applications for immunohistochemistry and it’s a valuable component of LMP’s pathology department, as well as global drug development, and biological research.

To learn more on the personal side of lab technologist, Judy Torne, check out our photo Q&A below. Make sure to read to the end to find out who’s next to be ‘infected’ by the LMP Q&A BUG. It could be you!

 

Where in Toronto do you live and how do you commute to work?

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What did you want to be when you grew up?

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What was your favourite food as a kid?

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Read more…

A Great Thursday: The LMP BBQ & Leadership Awards

August 14, 2015
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bbq and awards

Yesterday was the annual Laboratory Medicine Program (LMP) Staff Appreciation BBQ, held outside the R. Fraser Elliot building. The weather was beautiful, the food was great, and the music even had a couple of people dancing.

LMP managers, supervisors, and volunteers served close to 350 staff members throughout the afternoon, and everyone seemed pretty happy enjoying a burger fresh off the grill. Overall it was another successful BBQ for LMP, and to make matters even better, the winners were announced for the Laboratory Medicine Leadership Awards.

 

This year’s winners are:

Selene Fernando, Medical Lab Technologist, Transfusion Medicine

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Selene was nominated by 14 of her colleagues!

“I always find Selene a very committed leader, excellent team player, a knowledgeable technologist, and a very sweet person with whom I always enjoy working with.”

–    Aneel Noor

 

 

 

Denise Dilworth, Lab Technician, Specimen Management – Core Labs

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Denise was nominated with a touching letter from Diana Jalbert, also a technician in Specimen Management.

“Assertiveness, adaptability, intelligence and conscientiousness are just a few words I could use to describe [Denise]. She is positive and inspiring and has the ability to empower and develop new and upcoming technicians.”

–    Diana Jalbert

 

Patsy Raymond, Blood Lab Technician, Specimen Management                                                                                 (Accepted by Jay Hockley)

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Patsy was nominated by 17 of her colleagues!

“Patsy has been a dedicated employee for more than 30 years! [She] is always willing to help out new staff and include them in activities going on in the hospital or department… She took the time to make sure we were trained properly and she is always available for me to ask any questions.

–    Kylie Burt

 

See below for more photos of the LMP Staff Appreciation BBQ, including a photobomb and a little bit of dancing!

Read more…

LMP Q&A BUG: Gordon Chin

August 14, 2015
by

LMP QA BUG

 

This week, histopathology lab technologist, Gordon Chin was ‘infected’ by the LMP Q&A BUG. The nomination came from Dr. Runjan Chetty, interim medical director, LMP, and is unfortunately the first true indication that the LMP Q&A BUG is contagious…

As a histopathology lab technologist, Gordon prepares tissue samples surgically removed from patients so they can be properly viewed and analyzed under a microscope. It involves embedding the tissue sample in wax, slicing the waxed sample thinly, staining the sample so cells can be viewed, and then placing the sample on a glass slide. It’s an extensive process, essential for accurate diagnoses of UHN patients. You can read more about what happens in the Histopathology Lab on our website: HERE

But, for the more personal side of our histopathology lab technologist, Gordon Chin, see our photo Q&A below. Make sure to read to the end to find out who’s next to be ‘infected’ by the LMP Q&A BUG. It could be you!

 

Where in Toronto do you live and how do you commute to work?

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What did you want to be when you grew up?

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What was your favourite food as a kid?

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Read more…

LMP Q&A BUG: Dr. Runjan Chetty

August 6, 2015
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LMP QA BUG

 

Interim Medical Director, Dr. Runjan Chetty has been the very first ‘infected’ by the LMP Q&A BUG.

For more on the professional side of Dr. Chetty, see: HERE

For the more personal side of Dr. Chetty, see our photo Q&A below. Make sure to read to the end to find out who the next staff member to be ‘infected’ by the LMP Q&A BUG is. It could be you!

 

How long have you been in Canada?

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Whereabouts do you live and how do you commute to work?

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What did you want to be when you grew up?

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Read more…

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