Paige K. Besch, 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 It may contain other out-of-date information as well.

1981 AACC Past President’s Award

Paige Besch, PhD served as the AACC president in 1981.

1979 Outstanding Contributions in Education

Paige K. Besch will receive the 1979 AACC Award for Outstanding Efforts in Education and Training, sponsored by Smith Kline Clinical Laboratories. This is the ninth year that this award has been made.

Dr. Besch was born in Bexar County, Texas, in 1931 and attended Trinity University, in San Antonio, earning his B.S. in biology/chemistry. During college he worked in various hospital clinical laboratories, and after graduation he joined the staff of the Southwest Foundation for Research and Education. He left Texas to attend The Ohio State University College of Medicine graduate program and was awarded the Ph.D. degree in 1960. He joined the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Ohio State, where he remained until 1968, leaving there as an associate professor. He was appointed a Research Career Development Awardee, 1964–68, by the National Institutes of Health. He returned to Texas, where he joined the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine, in Houston. In 1973 he was promoted to his present positions of Professor, Clinical Biochemistry, and Director of the Reproductive Research Laboratory.

He was one of the original organizers of both the Texas (1955) and the Ohio Valley sections of AACC (1958). He served as Secretary for 1958–60, Chairman-Elect, and Chairman of the Ohio Valley Section, 1961–62, and Councilor in 1962–1963. On his return to Texas in 1968 he was elected chairman-elect of the Texas Section, served as chairman in 1970–71, and as councilor of the Texas Section, 1969–75. He was a member of the AACC Committee on Education, 1970–75, and served as its chairman, 1974–75. He arranged for the first AACC Pine Mountain Conference, in 1975, also the second in 1976; the second Training Program Directors Meeting, 1975; and organized the accent Program, 1974–75. He was elected to the Committee on Nominations, 1974–75. His other AACC committee work includes membership on the Committee on National Meetings, 1974–79, member of the Board of Editors of Clinical Chemistry, 1972–81, and member of the Board of Editors of Selected Methods, 1974–79. He was Editor-in-Chief of Clinical Radioassay Procedures: A Compendium, published in 1975 by AACC. He was appointed a member of the Ad Hoc Committee on Radionuclides and Radioassay in Clinical Chemistry, 1974–75, and he is the AACC representative to and chairman of the Radioligand Area Committee of the National Committee on Clinical Laboratory Standards (NCCLS) for 1975–79. He was also appointed to the Accrediting Commission of Clinical Chemistry, 1975–80. He was elected and served as the general chairman of the 28th national meeting of AACC, in Houston, TX, in 1976. He just completed three years on the Board of Directors of AACC, 1976–78, and currently serves as the chairman of the Committee on Long-Range Planning. He has also served for the past 15 years as chairman of the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools, a sub-baccalaureate accrediting agency approved by the U.S. Office of Education.

Dr. Besch has been interested in endocrinology for the past 20 years and has published more than 120 papers, chapters, and books, primarily on steroids, drug metabolism, amniotic fluid, and pregnancy estrogens. In the last decade he has worked extensively in RIA, and recently also with marijuana. In addition to research, his duties include running a busy service laboratory and an active postdoctoral training program. He also finds time to travel extensively for AACC, NCCLS, NIH, and his College of Medicine. Recently he served the U.S. State Department, through USAID/POP, as an advisor to the Philippine Government, going to Manila and planning an RIA laboratory for population control research.

Dr. Besch has received several other awards recently. In 1976, he was presented the Founders Award by the Ohio Section, AACC. In 1977 his undergraduate alma mata, Trinity University, elected him the Distinguished Alumni Awardee for 1977, and in 1978 the Texas Section of AACC presented him with its first Outstanding Clinical Chemist Award.

Despite all the above, Dr. Besch still considers himself a cattleman, and prefers to list himself as educator, researcher and clinical chemist, and rancher.