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For ASCP Press Author, Mastership is Simply Not Enough

Monday, August 13, 2012

“I had the privilege of receiving some of the first copies from the publisher. From the moment the doors opened, we had laboratory staff and clinicians coming directly to our booth with the sole purpose of registering for an opportunity to receive an autographed copy from Dr. Keren. There is real excitement regarding his newest publication.”
—Theresa Heflin, President of Sebia, Inc.

For many, an ASCP Mastership is the pinnacle of a distinguished career in pathology and laboratory medicine—a sort of permission to ease back a little. But not for 2011 Mastership recipient David F. Keren, MD, MASCP. He has just published his definitive text on electrophoresis, Protein Electrophoresis: In Clinical Diagnosis. It is his first new text on the subject in a decade.

A prolific author, Dr. Keren has been churning out standard references on the subject for a quarter of a century with several publishers. And he has been publishing books about immunology and immunopathology of the gastrointestinal tract with ASCP Press since the 1980s. His other current ASCP title, co-authored with his colleagues John Carey, MD, and Phil McCoy, MD, is Flow Cytometry in Clinical Diagnosis.

Dr. Keren is careful to locate his expertise in method and technique in clinical diagnosis; none of his books is a “care and feeding” manual for lab instruments. His focus is instead on clarifying strategies for efficient use of newer methods and providing experienced guidance for the interpretation of difficult, not clear-cut, results.

In the new text, Dr. Keren wrestles with the challenges inherent in interpreting results from capillary electrophoresis, and unusual banding resulting from new antibiotic and antibody therapies and plasma substitutes. He analyzes characterizations of M-proteins for diagnosis and prognosis for myelomas, and the use of new laboratory-friendly techniques for detecting Oligonal-bands in cerebrospinal fluid as part of the armament for assessing patients with suspected multiple sclerosis. His new work is a sourcebook for best practice techniques and interpretation.

The text premiered at the ASCP booth at the recent AACC meeting in Los Angeles. The first copies were snapped up by Sebia, Inc., for use in a book raffle.

“I had the privilege of receiving some of the first copies from the publisher,” said Theresa Heflin, President of Sebia, Inc., “From the moment the doors opened, we had laboratory staff and clinicians coming directly to our booth with the sole purpose of registering for an opportunity to receive an autographed copy from Dr. Keren. There is real excitement regarding his newest publication.”

It is no accident that both lab staff and clinicians are interested in the book for Dr. Keren is a firm advocate of the idea that the whole lab is stronger when working together: “I never make a diagnosis in a vacuum,” he said. “The technologists, residents, fellows and other pathologists are there with me … always we work together to provide the highest quality information for our patients.”

Also new to Protein Electrophoresis is a strong collection of cases, in which Dr. Keren walks the reader through interpretation with step-by-step impressions and suggestions, which are all illustrated with brilliant color images.

A recipient of one of those first copies, Joshua Bornhorst, PhD, of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, said it best: "Perhaps most important, it [Protein Electrophoresis] represents a valuable and rich visual repository of images associated with a broad assortment of electrophoretic techniques. I seem to note something new each time I reread it.” And so mastery spreads, with each consultation.


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