Speakers 2021

Esther Babady, PhD

Memorial Sloan Kettering| This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Presentation: The Ins and Outs of Next Generation Sequencing in Infectious Diseases

Dr. Esther Babady is the Chief of the Clinical Microbiology Service, the Director of the CPEP Clinical Microbiology Fellowship program, and Member (Professor) in the Departments of Laboratory Medicine and Medicine at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer in New York City. She received her PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and completed a post-doctoral CPEP fellowship in Clinical Microbiology both at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. She is board certified by the American Board of Medical Microbiology, a fellow of the Infectious Disease Society of America, and a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology. She holds leadership positions in several professional societies including ASM, AMP, PASCV and CLSI. Her research interests include rapid diagnosis of infections in immunocompromised hosts, fungal diagnostics and the development and evaluation of molecular diagnostic tests for infectious diseases.

Marc Bernaldez, MBA, EMHA, MLS(ASCP)

Providence Health System | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Presentation: Getting Down to our Roots…Root Cause Analysis and Microbiology

Marc Bernaldez is currently the Microbiology and Molecular Microbiology Manager at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, CA. In 2003, he received his Bachelors of Science Degree from the University of California, Riverside. In 2011, he completed his clinical training at Kaiser Permanente Regional Reference Laboratories in North Hollywood, California through California State University Dominguez Hills. In 2015, he also received his Masters in Business Administration from Capella University. And in 2019, he received his Executive Masters in Health Administration from the University of Southern California. Marc currently serves as a board member at both the California Association from Medical Laboratory Technology (CAMLT) and is the current Secretary for the Southern California Branch of the American Society for Microbiology (SCASM).

Timothy Brewer, MD, MPH

UCLA | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Preparing for Infectious Diseases Challenges

Timothy F. Brewer, MD, MPH is Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research interests focus on the prevention and control of infectious diseases in populations including global risk factors for emerging diseases. He has served on advisory boards and/or review panels for the World Health Organization, the National Institutes of Health, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention among others. Dr. Brewer previously was the Vice Provost, Interdisciplinary and Cross Campus Affairs at UCLA. Other leadership responsibilities include serving as the Director of Global Health Programs at McGill Medical School, as the founding Program Director for the International Society for Infectious Diseases and as Chair of the Board of Directors for the Consortium of Universities for Global Health.

Dr. Susan Butler-Wu, Ph.D., D(ABMM), SM(ASCP)

Keck School of Medicine of USC; LAC+USC Medical Center | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Presentation: Case Studies

Dr. Butler-Wu is the Director of Clinical Microbiology at LAC+USC Medical Center and an Associate Professor of Clinical Pathology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC in Los Angeles, California, USA. Dr. Butler-Wu earned her PhD in Molecular Microbiology at Tufts University and completed her postdoctoral fellowship in Tuberculosis Pathogenesis at New York University (NYU). After completing a postdoctoral fellowship in Medical and Public Health Microbiology at the University of Washington in Seattle, she was the Associate Director of Clinical Microbiology at the University of Washington Medical Center until she moved to her current position. Dr. Butler-Wu’s research focuses on rapid diagnostics for infectious diseases. She is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, and serves on working groups of both the Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute and the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Medical Microbiology.

Christopher Doern, Phd, D(ABMM)

VCU Health System| This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Presentation: Diagnostic Stewardship: Because You Can’t Do Everything For Everyone All the Time

Christopher D. Doern, PhD took his position as Associate Director of Microbiology in December of 2013 after having served for 3 years as the Director of Clinical Microbiology at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas with the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Dr. Doern received his PhD from the Wake Forest University School of Medicine and went on to do a fellowship in Medical and Public Health Microbiology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. In addition to his work with MALDI-TOF MS organism identification, Dr. Doern’s research interests include studying the emergence of Gram-negative antibiotic resistance, improving the diagnosis of pediatric bloodstream infection, and studying the impact and outcomes associated with implementing new technology in the clinical microbiology laboratory.

Omai Garner, PhD, D(ABMM)

UCLA | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Presentation: Serological Diagnosis of Infectious Diseases; What's it Worth?

Dr. Omai Garner is an Associate Clinical Professor and Director of Clinical Microbiology in the UCLA Health System. He received his PhD from UC San Diego in Biomedical Sciences. He was a Postdoctoral Clinical Microbiology CPEP Fellow in the Department of Pathology at UCLA, and a former McNair Scholar. Dr. Garner is Board Certified by the American Board of Medical Microbiology. Dr. Garner's research focuses on novel Point of Care Devices for infectious disease diagnosis in the developing world. He also serves as the Chairman of the Board for the Social Justice Learning Institute of Inglewood, California.

Alex Greninger, PhD, D(ABMM)

University of Washington | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Presentation: SARS-CoV-2 Testing: Now and Forever

Alex Greninger is an assistant professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the University of Washington Medical Center and assistant director of the clinical virology labs and soon to be director of the virology laboratory for clinical trials. He studied biology and international relations at Stanford University, with master's in immunology from Stanford and epidemiology from Cambridge University. He then did an MD/PhD in genomics and proteomics of picornaviruses at University California-San Francisco before completing residency in clinical pathology at the University of Washington. He is broadly interested in genomically informed approaches to clinical pathology, infectious diseases, and immunology.

Dr. Peera Hemarajata, MD, PhD, D(ABMM)

Los Angeles County Public Health Laboratories | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Presentation: COVID: The Latest Developments with Vaccines and Variants

Dr. Peera Hemarajata is the Assistant Director at LA County Public Health Laboratories and a certified American Board of Medical Microbiology (ABMM) Diplomate. Prior to joining the County in 2018, he completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Medical and Public Health Microbiology at David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and was later appointed as a Clinical Instructor in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. Dr. Hemarajata received his M.D. from Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand and Ph.D. in Molecular Virology and Microbiology from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX. Dr. Hemarajata has extensive experience in molecular microbiology and next-generation sequencing. He is leading the effort to develop sequencing capacity for emerging infectious diseases at LA County Public Health Lab and played a pivotal role in making LA County PHL the first local public health laboratory in CA to be able to sequence and analyze SARS-CoV-2 genomic data entirely in-house.

Stephanie Horiuchi, SM (ASCP)CM

UCLA | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Presentation: Getting Down to our Roots…Root Cause Analysis and Microbiology

Stephanie Horiuchi, SM (ASCP)CM is a Clinical Laboratory Scientist, Specialist at UCLA Health. She has been with UCLA for over 5 years in the Department of Virology. In March of 2020 she was a part of the team that brought on the COVID-19 CDC assay for UCLA. Since then she has gained knowledge and experience across multiple platforms of COVID-19 PCR testing and contamination prevention.

Margie A. Morgan, PhD, D(ABMM), MT(ASCP)

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Presentation: Case Studies

Dr. Morgan earned her BS in Medical Technology at the University of Oklahoma, and her PhD in Medical Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Campus. She obtained a Fellowship in Clinical Microbiology at the Mayo Clinic. She is currently a Professor in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and Medical Director of the Microbiology Laboratory at Cedars Sinai Medical Center.

Dr. Morgan’s most recent professional focus has been antimicrobial stewardship, molecular detection and strain typing of Candida auris, and development of testing procedures for the Special Pathogens Program laboratory. She assisted in developing the COVID testing laboratory and oversees COVID testing for Cedars Sinai Medical Center. She is on the expert committee for Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI).

She has been twice awarded the Golden Apple Award for teaching at Cedars-Sinai medical center. She has spoken at numerous regional and national meetings, presented numerous webinars, is the past president of SCASM, and hosts a microbiology blog on the internet for the review of microbiology, “Microbes with Dr. Morgan”.

Cheryl Pool, CLS (ASCP)

Children's Hospital Los Angeles | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Presentation: Getting Down to our Roots…Root Cause Analysis and Microbiology

Cheryl Pool, CLS (ASCP) is the Supervisor of the Clinical Microbiology Laboratory and Virology Laboratory at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and has been working as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist for a little more than five years.

Zachary Rubin, MD

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Presentation: Infections Among our Aging Population

Dr. Zachary Rubin received his MD from the University of Arizona in 2000 and completed his internship and residency at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City in 2003. Dr. Rubin attended fellowship in Infectious Disease at Emory University from 2003 until the completion in 2006. During his fellowship at Emory, he also was a guest researcher at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion from 2004 to 2006 where he studied the epidemiology of healthcare associated infections. He also took graduate course work at the Emory School or Public Health in clinical research design and epidemiology. From 2006 until 2012 Dr. Rubin was a full-time clinical faculty member at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA where he oversaw hospital infection prevention at the Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center. From 2012 until June 2019, Dr. Rubin was the medical director of UCLA Clinical Epidemiology and Infection Prevention. Dr. Rubin joined the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health in June 2019, where he is the Chief of the Healthcare Outreach Unit which provides infection control and prevention guidance to healthcare facilities in Los Angeles County.

Stuart Smith, CLS (ASCP)

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Presentation: Getting Down to our Roots…Root Cause Analysis and Microbiology

Stuart is currently the Technical Manager of the Microbiology lab at Cedars-Sinai. In his current capacity, Stuart oversees day to day operations, participates in validating new assays and equipment, and helps bring in new instrumentation. He is involved in troubleshooting, helping to investigate problems, and working with management to find solutions.

Stuart assisted in converting a previous Parasitology lab into a COVID-19 testing laboratory and remains involved in testing. Stuart is also instrumental in navigating supply chain issues during these challenging times.

Stuart previously served as the co-webmaster for SCASM for 3 years. For fun Stuart volunteers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center as part of the Music for Healing program, playing piano in the lobby.

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