James O. Westgard, 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 It may contain other out-of-date information as well.

2003 The Professor Alvin Dubin Award For Outstanding Contributions To The Profession And The Academy

James O. Westgard, PhD was honored with the AACC 2003 Professor Alvin Dubin Award For Outstanding Contributions To The Profession And The Academy.

1982 Outstanding Contributions to Clinical Chemistry

James O. Westgard received the 31st the AACC Award for Outstanding Contributions to Clinical Chemistry through Research. The award is sponsored by the Ames Co.

Dr. Westgard was born in North Dakota in 1941. He received a B.A. degree in chemistry from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN (1963), and the M.A. (1965) and Ph.D. (1968) degrees in analytical chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

He joined the University of Wisconsin Center for Health Sciences in 1968 as a clinical chemist, directed the clinical chemistry section from 1969 to 1980, and is now Associate Director of Laboratories with responsibility for quality control. He is a professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, the Department of Medicine, and also holds an appointment in the Medical Technology Program, where he teaches a course in the selection, evaluation, and control of clinical chemistry methods.

A member of AACC since 1971, Dr. Westgard has served as a member of the Performance Evaluation Committee, and has presented several workshops at AACC meetings. He chaired the NCCLS Area Committee on Evaluation Protocols and its Subcommittee on Instrument Evaluation, which developed a series of guidelines for establishing performance claims for clinical chemistry methods. He has been a member of the IFCC Expert Group on Diagnostic Kits, and currently participates in a nordkem Project on Quality Control (a joint project of the Scandinavian countries).

His research interests have been in the performance validation of laboratory methods, and he is author or co-author of approximately 60 publications. His work on the experimental and statistical design of method-evaluation studies is well known, and the paper “Use and Interpretation of Statistical Tests in Method Comparison Studies” has become a widely cited reference. An educational monograph, Method Evaluation, was published by the American Society for Medical Technology, and has been translated and published in Japanese.

Recent work has focuses on statistical quality control. A sabbatical year in Uppsala, Sweden, working with Professor Carl-Henrik de Verdier and Dr. Torgny Groth led to the use of computer stimulation as a means of evaluating the performance of statistical control procedures. A “QC Simulator” program has been developed to provide an interactive user-oriented tool for designing statistical control procedures. One practical result of this work has been the “multi-rule control chart,” which was published last year as a Selected Methods paper. Present work is concerned with the further development of the QC Simulator, the evaluation and design of patient data quality-control algorithms, and the utilization of micro-computers to implement improved statistical control procedures.