Gabor L. Kovacs

1999 International Travel Fellowship

Gábor L. Kovács, MD, PhD, will receive the 21st annual award, sponsored by Becton Dickinson Vacutainer Systems, Becton Dickinson and Co. Gábor L. Kovács was born in Pécs (Hungary) on March 15th, 1948. He finished primary and secondary school in Pécs. Between 1966 and 1972, he studied medicine at the University Medical School in Pécs, where he received a medical degree summa cum laude in 1972. He joined the neuroendocrine research group in the Institute of Physiology in Pécs, where he became involved in research projects investigating the interactions of neuronal peptides, adrenal steroids, and the central nervous system’s adaptation processes. In 1975, he specialized in laboratory medicine and clinical chemistry. In 1976, he moved to the Institute of Pathophysiology of the Albert Szent-Györgyi Medical University in Szeged, Hungary. In 1977 and 1978, he worked on posterior pituitary and opioid peptides at the Rudolf Magnus Institute, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands. He defended his PhD dissertation on the interaction of posterior pituitary hormones, adrenal steroids, and adaptation in 1979.

Dr. Kovács has been an invited speaker at various international conferences and seminars in the US, Japan, Italy, Germany, The Netherlands, Ireland, France, Switzerland, Sweden, and other countries on several occasions. He has published 55 book chapters and 125 original publications in various international journals. In 1986, he defended his Doctor of Sciences (DSci) thesis at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, on the role of neuronal peptides in neuronal adaptive processes during drug addiction.

In 1987, Dr. Kovács was appointed as laboratory director at the Markusovszky Teaching Hospital in Szombathely. This tertiary care hospital—one of the largest hospitals in Hungary, with more than 1500 patient beds—is the teaching hospital of the University Medical School in Pécs as well as of the Imre Haynal Health Science University in Budapest. In 1990, soon after the transition in Eastern Europe, Dr. Kovács was elected medical director of the teaching hospital. He currently holds both positions. Between 1992 and 1995, he studied modern healthcare management at the University of Economy in Budapest and was actively involved in management programs for Eastern Europe of Project Hope (USA). In 1990, he received the title of Extraordinary Professor from the Albert Szent-Györgyi Medical University in Szeged, and in 1997, the University Medical School in Pécs nominated him as appointed professor.

Since 1987, Dr. Kovács has been actively involved in reorganization of laboratory sciences and service, implementation of modern technologies, and quality management in Hungary. Between 1992 and 1998, he was the Chairman of the Hungarian Board of Clinical Pathologists. During this period, a national not-for-profit external quality-control organization was founded, quality manuals were made mandatory, and colleges for laboratory technologists were set up in Hungary. In 1997, he was elected for a 4-year term as President of the Hungarian Society of Clinical Pathology. Since 1993, he has been a consulting (nonvoting) member of the Medical Division of Hungarian Academy of Sciences, where he was elected as Chairman of the Scientific Committee for Diagnostics in 1998. Since 1998, he has been a “doctor representative” of the General Assembly of Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

As a member of the Medical Division of Hungarian Accreditation Committee and the National Scientific Council in Medicine, he has been involved in regulatory matters of Hungarian healthcare and higher education. In 1999, he was elected as member of the Senate of the Teacher Training College in Szombathely.

Dr. Kovács has been actively participating in the international affairs of Hungarian laboratory sciences. He was one of the initiators of the regional “Alps-Adria Conferences” on laboratory medicine with the involvement of Austrian, Czech, Slovenian, Croatian, Italian, German, and Hungarian professional laboratory societies. Currently, he is the representative of the Hungarian Society of Clinical Pathology to IFCC. He is also member of the Association for Diagnostics & Laboratory Medicine (formerly AACC) and of the New York Academy of Sciences.

In recognition of his activities, Dr. Kovács has received the Pandy Award of the Hungarian Society of Clinical Pathology (1992), Szechenyi professorship (1997), honorary membership in the Rumanian Society of Laboratory Medicine (1997), honorary membership in the Hungarian Society of Laboratory Technologists (1998), and the “Order of Hungarian Republic: Small Cross” (1998).