Norbert W. Tietz, 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 It may contain other out-of-date information as well.

Dr. Tietz is well known for his work on such classic texts as Fundamentals of Clinical Chemistry and the Textbook of Clinical Chemistry. He won multiple awards from AACC and other organizations. The following are the announcements for his AACC awards.

1995 The Professor Alvin Dubin Award For Outstanding Contributions To The Profession And The Academy

Norbert W. Tietz, PhD was honored with AACC’s 1995 Professor Alvin Dubin Award For Outstanding Contributions To The Profession And The Academy.

1989 Outstanding Contributions to Clinical Chemistry

Norbert W. Tietz will receive the 38th annual AACC Award for Outstanding Contributions to Clinical Chemistry. The award is sponsored by Miles Inc., Diagnostics Division, manufacturer of Ames products.

Dr. Tietz was born in Germany and received the degree of Doctor of Natural Sciences from the Technical University in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1950. From 1951 to 1954 he was a research fellow at the University of Munich, where he published several papers on fat metabolism and lipases. In 1954 Dr. Tietz immigrated to the United States and worked as a research fellow at Rockford Memorial Hospital, Rockford, IL, with Dr. Samuel Natelson, who kindled his interest in the emerging science of clinical chemistry. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Chicago (1955–1956) and a tenure as head of the clinical chemistry laboratories at Reid Memorial Hospital in Richmond, IN, Dr. Tietz joined Mount Sinai Hospital Medical Center in Chicago as Director of Clinical Chemistry, a position that he held for 17 years (1959–1976). During this time, he also held appointments at the Chicago Medical School/University of Health Sciences and Rush Medical College in Chicago. In 1976 Dr. Tietz moved to Lexington, KY, where he is Professor of Pathology and Director of Clinical Chemistry at the University of Kentucky Medical Center.

Dr. Tietz has been involved in education throughout his career. In the late 1960s, he started the first M.S. degree program in clinical chemistry in the United States. This program was subsequently expanded into one of the first Ph.D. programs in clinical chemistry. He currently directs a postdoctoral program. Dr. Tietz continues to teach clinical chemistry to chemists, medical students, and medical technology students, and residents in pathology. He has been invited as lecturer to 70 regional and national professional meetings and, on the international scene, he has lectured in 18 countries, including the USSR, the Peoples’ Republic of China, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore.

Dr. Tietz’s educational efforts have repeatedly been on the forefront of developments within clinical chemistry. In 1967 he organized the first seminar for applied gas chromatography in clinical chemistry, and in 1972 he organized and directed the first international conference on clinical enzymology in the United States. This conference was designed to promote national and international efforts to standardize enzyme methodologies throughout the world. The success of this seminar led to the widely expanded second International Symposium on Clinical Enzymology in 1976, which he also directed and organized.

He has written 137 scientific publications whose topics have included laboratory instrumentation, gas chromatography, clinical enzymology, acid-base balance, and gastric function. Recently, he has studied reference intervals in the aging population, particularly in nonagenarians and centenarians.

Dr. Tietz is best known for Fundamentals of Clinical Chemistry. This textbook, now in its third edition, remains a primary information source for both students and educators in laboratory medicine. Fundamentals was the first modern textbook that integrated clinical chemistry with the basic sciences and pathophysiology; it has been translated into Spanish and Italian. Dr. Tietz also edited the Textbook of Clinical Chemistry, which bridges the gap between the clinical laboratory and medical management by relating pathophysiology to analytical results in health and disease. Both books have been supplemented by the Study Guide to Clinical Chemistry, a “road map” for studying the continuously expanding subject of clinical chemistry. Dr. Tietz also edited the Clinical Guide to Laboratory Tests; this handbook contains data from the various laboratory disciplines for use by practicing physicians, paramedical personnel, and laboratorians. It has been published in English, Spanish, Italian, and Russian. Dr. Tietz also served as editor for the clinical chemistry sections of the Dictionary and Encyclopedia of Laboratory Medicine and Technology.

Dr. Tietz has been active in AACC since 1955 at both the local and national levels. He served on the executive committee of the Chicago Section for eight years and as its treasurer and chairman. At the national level, he served on the Committee on Education and the Committee on Standards and on the Study Groups for aspartate aminotransferase and alkaline phosphatase. He chaired the Nominating, Awards, and Enzyme Committees. Dr. Tietz was also a member of the IFCC expert panel on enzymes for five years. He was elected a member of the Board of Directors and subsequently as AACC president, and served as chairman of the Board of Directors, and chairman of Council. He remains a vocal advocate of clinical chemistry, exhorting clinical chemists to advance their profession by linking progress in laboratory medicine to the practice of medicine.

1977 AACC Past President’s Award

Norbert Tietz, PhD served as AACC president in 1977.

1976 Outstanding Contributions in Education

Norbert W. Tietz will receive the 1976 AACC Award for Outstanding Efforts in Education and Training sponsored by SmithKline Corp. This will be the sixth year that this award has been given.

Dr. Tietz was born and educated in Germany, and received a doctorate in Natural Sciences from the Technical University of Stuttgart. He came to the United States in 1954 as Research Fellow in the Department of Pathology, University of Chicago. Later Chairman of the Department of Chemistry, Reid Memorial Hospital, Richmond, Indiana, he went on to Mount Sinai Hospital Medical Center, Chicago, where he held a position as Director of Clinical Chemistry until early this year. He started as Associate in Pathology at the Chicago Medical School/University of Health Sciences and advanced to Professor of Clinical Chemistry in 1969 and Professor of Biochemistry in 1970. He was also Consultant to the State of Illinois, Department of Health.

During his years at the Chicago Medical School, Dr. Tietz has restructured the clinical chemistry portion of the course in clinical pathology for medical students. In the school of graduate and postdoctoral studies he established one of the first M.S. degree programs in clinical chemistry; this program has subsequently been expanded into a Ph.D. program. He was also involved in the organization of a degree program for medical technologists in the School of Related Health Sciences. He directed the teaching programs for residents in clinical pathology and the continuing-education programs in clinical chemistry for employees at the Mount Sinai Hospital Medical Center. Earlier this year, Dr. Tietz accepted a position as Director of Clinical Chemistry and Professor of Pathology, College of Medicine, University of Kentucky Medical Center, Lexington, Kentucky.

Dr. Tietz is editor of and contributor to the text Fundamentals of Clinical Chemistry (W. B. Saunders, 1970). A forthcoming second edition includes foreign as well as American authors.

He has coordinated and directed workshops: Electrolyte Institute and Workshop, Catholic Hospital Association of the USA, 1965; Gas Chromatography in Clinical Chemistry, Mount Sinai Hospital, Chicago, 1967; the International Seminar and Workshop in Enzymology, Mount Sinai Hospital Medical Center in 1972; and the Second International Symposium on Clinical Enzymology, Mount Sinai Hospital Medical Center, 1975. He has served on the faculty of many other national, regional, and local workshops.

Dr. Tietz has served as member of the AACC Committee on Education. He participated in the Conference of Program Directors in Columbus, Ohio, in 1972 and in Chicago in 1975, serving as Chairman of the M.S. Degree Study Group. He also served as a member of the AACC Committee on Standards, as chairman of the Sub-Committee on Enzymes, and as consultant to the Board of Editors of Selected Methods of Clinical Chemistry. Dr. Tietz is the 1976 President-Elect, AACC.

His research interests are in methodology related to clinical chemistry, and fat metabolism related to atherosclerosis.

He received the Clinical Chemist Award from the AACC Chicago Section in 1971 and was Chairman of the Chicago Section, 1965–7. He is a member of the American Institute of Chemists (Fellow), American Association for the Advancement of Science (Fellow), American Chemical Society, American Society of Clinical Pathologists (Associate), Sigma Xi, American Association of University Professors, and the Institute of Medicine of Chicago.