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Maria Diamandis Pasic

Maria Alice Willrich

2021 Outstanding Scientific Achievements by a Young Investigator

Dr. Maria Willrich received her Ph.D. degree from the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences of the University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil, followed by a clinical chemistry post-doctoral fellowship at Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, MN. She holds the academic rank of Associate Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, and is a co-director in the Protein and Antibody Immunology Laboratories and the Clinical Mass Spectrometry Laboratory, as well as associate program director of the post-doctoral clinical chemistry fellowship program in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at Mayo Clinic. Peer-reviewed publications authored by Willrich and colleagues include 65 full length articles and book chapters. Her research projects span four areas related to immunology:  laboratory testing for the monoclonal gammopathies, analysis of immunoglobulins free light chains in cerebrospinal fluid, the complement system and last but not least development of innovative methods of detection for monoclonal antibody therapeutics using mass spectrometry. Dr. Willrich has given numerous presentations at national and international meetings and has previously won two Young Investigator Awards from the Academy of Clinical Laboratory Physicians and Scientists, and both a Young Investigator and Clinical Laboratory Scientist awards from the Association of Medical Laboratory Immunologists. She has been engaged in several professional organizations, participating in a working group for harmonization of reporting of protein electrophoresis, serum free light chains and quantification of small monoclonal proteins with the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry,  serving as councilor for the Association of Medical Laboratory Immunologists (2019-2021) and vice-chair of the diagnostic immunology and flow cytometry committee of the College of American Pathologists (2021-2023). At AACC, her activities have included serving as past secretary for the Midwest section, an education officer and current chair for the clinical and diagnostic immunology division of AACC.