Ann Gronowski, PhD

In July 2023, we changed our name from AACC (short for the American Association for Clinical Chemistry) to the Association for Diagnostics & Laboratory Medicine (ADLM). The following page was written prior to this rebranding and contains mentions of the association’s old name. It may contain other out-of-date information as well.

2020 the AACC Award for Outstanding Contributions to Clinical Chemistry in a Selected Area of Research

2016 Outstanding Contributions in Education

2012 Past President's Award

2010 Outstanding Contributions through Service to the Profession of Clinical Chemistry

1996 Outstanding Scientific Achievements by a Young Investigator

Dr. Gronowski is a professor in the department of pathology and immunology and the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. She is associate medical director of the clinical chemistry, serology, and immunology laboratories at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. She led the the AACC through another remarkable year. The website Lab Tests Online celebrated its 10th anniversary and 100 millionth visitor by continuing to expand its national and international reach. The site now meets the needs of 2 million visitors a month, with content available on 15 international sites in 12 languages, with Turkish- and Portuguese-language sites brought online last year. The AACC educational and informational efforts continued to exploit electronic opportunities with the introduction of mobile apps for books, Lab Tests Online, the Clinical Lab Expo, and Clinical Laboratory News. An increase in the impact factor of the journal Clinical Chemistry moved it into the top 3% of all published journals. The journal initiated the Clinical Chemistry Trainee Council to give doctoral level trainees in 25 countries free online access to instructional materials, including the launch of a Spanish-language version. In other cross-border efforts, the AACC continued to promote the standardization of clinical laboratory testing with presentations at international meetings. The Emerging Countries Project presented a well-received workshop on quality control in conjunction with the Latin-American Confederation of Clinical Biochemistry's Congress in the Dominican Republic. 

Dr. Gronowski's work has examined the early events that occur after in vivo growth hormone (GH) treatment. Although GH was first isolated over 50 years ago, the mechanism by which this endocrine hormone initiates its growth-promoting effects has been largely unknown. In 1993, it was demonstrated that the receptor for GH, a member of the cytokine receptor-superfamily, acted through the tyrosine kinase, Jak2. Gronowski's studies extended these finding and demonstrated that, within minutes, GH stimulates the tyrosine phosphorylation and translocation to the nucleus of multiple hepatic proteins. Five of these proteins were further identified as Stat1α, Stat1β, Stat3, Erk1, and Erk2. She demonstrated that although both Stat1α and Stat3 bind to similar sequences of DNA derived from the c-sis- inducible element (SIE) of the c-fos gene, only Stat3 interacts with the naturally occurring mouse SIE. These data suggest that Stat3 may be involved in the rapid (within 15 min) rise in c-fos mRNA that occurs within minutes of GH stimulation. These studies went on to examine the effects of GH on other hepatic genes. It was discovered that while GH induces the transcription of genes such as c-fos, c-jun, insulin-like growth factor-I, and serine protease inhibitor 2.1, it resulted in the acute inhibition of insulin-like growth factor binding protein-1 and albumin gene expression. Furthermore, studies using cycloheximide indicate that these GH-induced changes in mRNA expression do not require protein synthesis and hence are primary, not secondary events.

These studies have demonstrated that in vivo GH treatment results in the activation of both the JAK/STAT and MAP kinase pathways in hepatic tissue. Within minutes there is tyrosine phosphorylation and translocation to the nucleus of multiple proteins including Stat1α, Stat1β, Stat3, Erk1, and Erk2, as well as the alteration in mRNA expression of multiple genes. Although the link between receptor activation and mRNA expression is still missing for many of these genes, it appears that Stat3 is probably involved in the activation of c-fos expression in response to GH.