Dr. Wittwer's Inspiring Mind
Dr. Carl Wittwer, medical director of the Flow Cytometry Laboratory and Advanced Technology Group at ARUP Laboratories and a professor of pathology at the University of Utah School of Medicine, is the subject of Misia Landau's article, "Inspiring Minds," in the September 2009 issue of Clinical Chemistry. Dr. Wittwer, who received his MD from the University of Michigan School of Medicine and his PhD in biochemistry from Utah State University, is best known for developing techniques in rapid-cycle PCR and real-time PCR.
The article showcases Dr. Wittwer's passionate distrust of unexamined premises and his tendency to question assumptions. Dr. Wittwer's success in the laboratory has put him much in demand throughout his distinguished career, and, although he doesn't like to be honored as an authority, he is one. According to the article, Dr. Wittwer took up pantomime in college for its rigor, focus, and exercise, and now holds weekly business meetings while running 2,000 feet up Big Beacon, a mountain near his home in Salt Lake City, Utah. Most mornings he's still in his lab at 7 a.m., continuing to inspire himself and others.
- Colleagues know [Carl Wittwer] as a brilliant and pioneering scientist who turned polymerase chain reaction (PCR), a mainstay of molecular biological research, from a laborious and time-consuming task into a quick and easy method—overturning fundamental assumptions about how DNA behaves in the process.
(Clinical Chemistry. “Inspiring Minds.” September 2009.