Oak Ridge Associated Universities has announced that Ann Gehl, who has nearly 30 years of medical technology and laboratory experience, has become the manager of the Beryllium Lymphocyte Proliferation Laboratory. ORAU manages the lab for the U.S. Department of Energy.
Gehl is replacing Linda Nichols, who has decided to step down from her role as lab manager after 12 years but will continue working in the lab as senior technologist and quality control specialist. Gehl joined ORAU in January 2014 and has been working with Nichols since then to transition work responsibilities.
“We are pleased to bring someone with the Ann’s caliber of experience to lead our staff and continue building upon our outstanding reputation as a high-quality DOE laboratory,” said Donna Cragle, vice president at ORAU. “At the same time, we also wish to thank Linda for her exceptional leadership over these many years and are excited that she will continue as a valued member of our lab team.”
Prior to joining ORAU, Gehl worked at the University of Tennessee Medical Center for more than 20 years, first as a medical technologist in the Transplant Laboratory and then as senior flow cytometry technologist in the Immunology Laboratory. In that role, she maintained and developed procedures used in processing blood samples to help identify biomarkers for lymphoma and leukemia. She also served as an instructor, teaching flow cytometry to students in UT’s Clinical Laboratory Scientist program.
Gehl also has worked at both the Thompson Cancer Survival Center and Indiana University Hospital in Indianapolis. Gehl has a bachelor’s degree in medical technology from the Indiana University School of Medicine. She is a member of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists and is licensed as a Medical Laboratory Professional Supervisor-General by the State of Tennessee.
The ORAU-managed beryllium lab annually processes approximately 4,500 beryllium lymphocyte proliferation tests, which are used for identifying individuals at higher risk of developing Chronic Beryllium Disease that scars the lungs. In 2013, the lab processed nearly 4,100 such tests without a single error.
Located in Oak Ridge, the laboratory is one of only three laboratories in the U.S. that can perform the BeLPT. The lab is certified under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act (CLIA) guidelines and has been awarded the prestigious College of American Pathologists (CAP) certification.