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Programs in the Division of Medical Laboratory Science

last modified 2014-07-09 09:39 — by Cathy Pezely
Programs in the Division of Medical Laboratory Science

Medical Laboratory Science

Contact Info

Phone Number: 801-581-7913

Location: 5R472 School of Medicine

Supporting Staff: Catherine Pezely  

About Programs in the Division of Medical Laboratory Science

Division Head: JoAnn P. Fenn, M.S.

Medical Laboratory Science Program (MLS) Director: Justin Rhees, M.S., MLS(ASCP)CM,SBB

Associate Program Director: Takara Blamires, M.S., MLS(ASCP)CM

Clinical Site Coordinator: Karen A. Brown, M.S., MLS(ASCP)

Cytotechnology Program (CT) Director: Michael C. Berry, SCT (ASCP)

Medical Laboratory Science is the field where the challenges of medicine meet the complexities of science. Medical laboratory professionals can be found working in a number of different settings from doctor’s offices to hospitals, research labs to public health centers. It is a growing field and offers a wide range of employment opportunities in the areas of clinical analysis, public health, industry, higher education, health care administration, and research. Medical Laboratory Scientists play a pivotal role in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases as they work in the laboratory side of the fast paced medical world doing testing of tissue, blood, urine and other body fluid samples.

The program came to the University of Utah in the mid-1960s, and was finally established in the Pathology Department in the 1980s. Since then, it has been supported by a team of talented faculty and staff.

The Medical Laboratory Science Division offers Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees in one of two subdivisions: Medical Laboratory Science  and Cytotechnology. The Medical Laboratory Science Program admits approximately 40 students per year and the Cytotechnology Program admits about 4.  A graduate program in Laboratory Medicine and Biomedical Science currently accepts 8-10 students each year.

There is a course taught Fall semester which is an introduction to the Medical Laboratory Science profession and program of study.  MDLB 1010: Survey of Medical Laboratory Science (1cr hr).  Students will learn about the role of laboratory testing to diagnose disease as well as the many career opportunities in the profession.


Degrees Offered:



Karen A. Brown, M.S., MLS(ASCP)

Karen A. Brown, M.S., MLS(ASCP)

Professor Brown is the primary faculty member responsible for teaching Hematology, Hemostasis, Phlebotomy and Education to Medical Laboratory Science students.

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JoAnn P. Fenn, M.S.

Professor Fenn has significant administrative and teaching responsibilities in the department. Her research interests are in medical mycology, diagnostic techniques, and education in laboratory science.

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Joe Knight, M.D.

Dr. Knight is currently part-time (about 30%). Administration, Medical Lab Science; M.S. and medical student teaching; book writing (Title "The Aging Phenomenon"), Editor, AACC History Division Newsletter; Lectures to ARUP customers.

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Larry Schoeff, M.S.

Professor Schoeff has focused his scholarly efforts in publising clinical chemistry and instrumentation textbooks and web-enhanced instruction.

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Michael C. Berry, SCT (ASCP)

Michael C. Berry, SCT (ASCP)

Instructor Berry has focused his efforts in the Department as director, education coordinator, and primary instructor for the cytotechnologist program.

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Rebecca Buxton, M.S, M.T.(ASCP)

Rebecca Buxton, M.S, M.T.(ASCP)

Becky (Professor Buxton) teaches Pathogenic and Diagnostic Microbiology to Medical Laboratory Science students, and introductory Medical Microbiology to pre-allied health students. She also serves as the MLS student Laboratory Administrator and Safety Officer.

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Justin Rhees, M.S., MLS(ASCP),SBB

Justin Rhees, M.S., MLS(ASCP),SBB

Justin is the Associate Program Director and Academic Advisor for pre-MLS students. He teaches Clinical Immunology and Immunohematology.

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Diana G. Wilkins, Ph.D., M.S., MT(ASCP)

Dr. Wilkins's research efforts include; the disposition of xenobiotics and metabolites in biological matrices, mechanisms underlying formation of protein adduct biomarkers of acetaminophen toxicity, factors governing persistence of tolerance to methamphetamine, and general applications of mass spectrometry in biomedical research.

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