In Memoriam: Dr. Carl A. Burtis

Carl A. Burtis, PhD, President of AACC in 1989 and member since 1972, passed away on November 15, 2019 at the age of 82.

After earning an MS and PhD in biochemistry, Dr. Burtis began a long career at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). He went on to spend a year at Varian Aerograph (1969) and 4 years at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (1976-1980), before ultimately returning to the Chemical Technology and Health Divisions at ORNL. A notable role that made him even more widely known in the field was when Norbert Tietz handpicked him in the early 1990s to become a contributing editor of the “Tietz Textbook of Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics.”

Dr. Burtis also maintained a very active role in AACC, serving on the editorial board for Clinical Chemistry and on seven committees, including the Committee on Enzymes (1974-81), the Committee on Standards (1975-81), the 1979 National Meeting Organizing Committee, the Oak Ridge Conference Organizing Committee (Chairman, 1981-86), the Meetings Management Group (1983-91; Chairman, 1986-87), the 1985 National Meeting Organizing Committee (Chairman), and the 1990 Organizing Committee of the XJV International Congress of Clinical Chemistry (Chairman).

He also received numerous awards including the AACC National Lectureship Award (1986), the AACC Past President’s Award (1989), the AACC Award for Outstanding Contribution to Clinical Chemistry (1991), and the AACC Professor Alvin Dubin Award for Outstanding Contributions (1992). In 1983, Dr. Burtis was elected to the AACC Board of Directors for three years before becoming President of the organization.

In addition to AACC, Dr. Burtis was Vice President of the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (IFCC) from 1999-2005. He served as a member of the Commission on Automation of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), the National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards (NCCLS), and the IFCC Expert Panel on Instrumentation. He also served on editorial boards for the Journal of Automatic Chemistry, and the Giornale Italiano di Patologia Clinica.

Dr. Burtis will be greatly missed and remembered for his passion for the field of laboratory medicine and his dedicated work on its behalf as an AACC member for nearly five decades.