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Carl Wittwer, M.D., Ph.D.

last modified 2013-08-09 10:37 — by Cathy Pezely

Professor, Department of Pathology, Univ of Utah;

Adjunct Professor, Biomedical Engineering, Univ of Utah

Scholarly Emphasis: Clinical and anatomic pathology. New technology development in the areas of nucleic acid amplification, detection, and flow cytometry.
Carl Wittwer, M.D., Ph.D.

Carl Wittwer, M.D., Ph.D.

Contact Info

Email Address: carl.wittwer ~at~

Office Phone Number: 801-581-4737

Location: School of Medicine

Research Lab: Carl Wittwer's Lab

Also Works in: ARUP Institute for Clinical and Experimental Pathology  

Division: Clinical Pathology

Also Works in: Advanced Technology Group  

Supporting Staff:   Kim Antry, B.S.   Anthony Adams  

Personal Website: Click Here



  • Professor, Department of Pathology, University of Utah School of Medicine, 2000-Current
  • Associate Professor, Department of Pathology, University of Utah School of Medicine, 1994-2000
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology, University of Utah School of Medicine, 1988-1994
  • Chief Science Officer/Vice President for Research, Idaho Technology, Salt Lake City,UT, 1990-Current
  • Medical Director, Myriad Diagnostics, Salt Lake City, UT, 1993-1996
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Nutrition and Food Science, Utah State University, 1985-2000
  • NIH Study Section, Biological and Physiological, Sciences Special Emphasis Panel, SSS-Y, 1997-Current
  • NCI Study Section and Site Visit Reviewer, 1998-Current
  • Molecular consultant (Various companies), 1999-Current

About Carl Wittwer, M.D., Ph.D.

Carl Wittwer is a Professor of Pathology at the University of Utah.  He received his PhD from Utah State University and his MD from the University of Michigan.  Dr. Wittwer’s research focuses on technique and instrument development in molecular diagnostics. In the early 1990s he developed rapid-cycle PCR techniques for DNA amplification in 10-15 min.  In the mid-1990s, he adapted flow cytometry optics to thermal cycling for real-time monitoring of PCR, introducing SYBR Green I, hybridization probes, and melting analysis to real-time PCR.  He is the primary inventor of the LightCycler® system, with over 5,000 units placed worldwide by Roche. A portable version of the LightCycler, the R.A.P.I.D.® was selected as the real-time PCR platform for military defense against biologic weapons by the US government.  His current research is focused on high-resolution (Hi-Res) DNA melting analysis, including methods (genotyping without probes, mutation scanning, HLA matching), instruments (HR-! and LightScanner) and software development.  He has been on the Clinical Chemistry Board of Editors since 2000 and an Associate Editor since 2002. 

Selected Publications

  • Wittwer CT, N Kusukawa. (2007) Genomes and nucleic acid alterations, In: Fundamentals of Molecular Diagnostics, Bruns DE, Ashwood ER, Burtis CA, eds, Saunders, WB, Philadelphia, Chapter 2.
  • Wittwer CT, N Kusukawa. (2007) Nucleic Acid Techniques, In: Fundamentals of Molecular Diagnostics, Bruns DE, Ashwood ER, Burtis CA, eds, Saunders WB, Philadelphia, Chapter 5.
  • Herrmann MG, Durtschi JD, Wittwer CT, Voelkerding KV. Expanded instrument comparison of amplicon DNA melting analysis for mutation scanning and genotyping. Clin Chem. 2007 Aug;53(8):1544-8.Epub 2007 Jun 7
  • Wittwer, C. T. and Kusukawa, N. (2005) Nucleic acid techniques. In: Tietz Textbook of Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics, 4th edition (Eds, Burtis, C., Ashwood, E. and Bruns, D.), pp. 1407-1449. Elsevier, New York.
  • Zhou L, Myers AN, Vandersteen JG, Wang L, Wittwer CT. Closed-tube genotyping with unlabeled oligonucleotide probes and a saturating DNA dye.Clin Chem. 2004 Aug; 50(8):1328-35. Epub 2004 May 27.
  • Zhou L, Vandersteen J, Wang L, Fuller T, Taylor M, Palais R, Wittwer CT. High-resolution DNA melting curve analysis to establish HLA genotypic identity. Tissue Antigens. 2004 Aug; 64(2):156-64.
  • Liew M, Pryor R, Palais R, Meadows C, Erali M, Lyon E, Wittwer C. Genotyping of single-nucleotide polymorphisms by high-resolution melting of small amplicons. Clin Chem. 2004 Jul; 50(7):1156-64.
  • Wittwer CT, Reed GH, Gundry CN, Vandersteen JG, Pryor RJ. High-resolution genotyping by amplicon melting analysis using LCGreen. Clin Chem. 2003 Jun; 49(6):853-60.
  • Morrison TB, JJ Weis, and CT Wittwer. Quantification of low-copy transcripts by continuous SYBR Green I monitoring during amplification. BioTechniques, 1998; 954-962
  • Wittwer CT, Ririe KM, Andrew RV, David DA, Gundry RA, Balis UJ: The LightCycler: a microvolume multisample fluorimeter with rapid temperature control. Biotechniques. 1997; 22, 176-181
  • Ririe KM, Rasmussen RP, Wittwer CT: Product differentiation by analysis of DNA melting curves during the polymerase chain reaction. Anal Biochem. 1997; 245, 154-160
  • Lay MJ, Wittwer CT: Real-time fluorescence genotyping of factor V Leiden during rapid-cycle PCR. Clin Chem. 1997; 43, 2262-2267
  • All Publications: Click Here

Honors and Awards

  • Greenwood Memorial Scholarship in Biochemistry, 1980
  • Cleveland Clinic Award for Medical Research, 1984
  • FDA Physician Sponsor (Investigational New Drug Trials) for carnitine (IND #25,201) and pantethine (IND #25,416), 1986-2000
  • Young Investigators Award, ACLPS ,1987
  • International presentations:
  • Korea: Flow cytometry ,1987-1989
  • Korea, Taiwan: Rapid PCR techniques ,1992, 1994
  • Germany: Fluorescent PCR Techniques ,1997
  • Norway: Fluorescent PCR Techniques ,1999
  • Hong Kong: DNA Melting Analysis ,2006
  • Greece: DNA Melting Analysis ,2006
  • Outstanding Teaching Award, Clinical Pathology, Univ. of Utah, 1994,1996
  • Franklin Jefferson Award for Science, Technology, and Innovation (NIH STTR), The Small Business High Technology Institute, 1999
  • Scott and Dorothy Watkins Endowed Chair in Pathology Honoring Ernst Eichwald, 1999-2002
  • Gordon Jensen Pathfinder Award, Small Business/Inventors Conference, Salt Lake City, Ut, 2002
  • Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology, State of Utah, 2003
  • Stoel Rives Innovation Award, First Place (BioTechnology), High Resolution Mutation Scanning, 2004
  • AACC award for Outstanding Contributions to Clinical, Chemistry in a Selected Area of Research, 2004
  • Outstanding Speaker Award, AACC, 2003,2004
  • Innovation Award, Technology Transfer, University of Utah, 2004
  • Technical Advancement Award, IQLM (International Quality in Laboratory Management) CDC/Atlanta, 2005
  • IFCC-Abbott Award for Significant Contributions to Molecular Diagnostics, IFCC/AACC 2005
  • Traveling lecturer, Canadian Society of Clinical Chemistry, 2006

Professional Education

  • Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vermont, College Scholar, 1973-1975
  • Utah State University, Logan, Utah, 1975-1978
  • BS Chemistry, PhD Biochemistry, 1980-1982
  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1978-1980
  • MD, 1982-1984
  • State of Utah Medical License, 1984
  • University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, Residency, 1984-1988
  • Board Certified in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology, 1988
  • New York State Certification for genetic testing, molecular oncology, immunohematology, and cellular immunology, 1992