What is your name?
Jonathan Schumacher, M.S.
What is your professional title?
Research and Development Investigator II, Molecular Hematopathology
How did you decide to enter the field/What (or who) brought you into the field?
I had a work-study undergraduate position in a genetics laboratory studying fish populations, which piqued my interest in molecular techniques. After graduating I moved to Salt Lake City, where Drs. Megan Lim and Kojo Elenitoba-Johnson provided me a laboratory section, mentorship, and patience in which to grow and develop professionally. Without their leadership I would not be in my current position.
What do you do? How would you describe your role?
My role focuses on three broad areas: the development and validation of new molecular diagnostic hematopathology tests, training and mentoring of laboratory staff, and publishing/presenting posters at regional and national meetings.
How does your work help patients?
My work helps patients by bringing new high quality testing into a reference laboratory setting where impactful results are generated quickly.We recently validated a previous send-out test for the detection of FLT3 mutations in AML.Our test has reduced result turn-around time from 7-10 days to 4-5.
What degree(s) and/or training did you receive to achieve your position?
I received a M.S. in Laboratory Medicine and Biomedical Science from the University of Utah.
What is the greatest challenge you face in your work?
The greatest challenge I face in my work is balancing short-term needs, such as new single-gene tests, with long-term goals, like implementing laboratory automation. We are clearly moving into a new age of laboratory testing but the transition is demanding.
What is the best part of your work as you see it? (most interesting, fun…)
I most enjoy solving problems, streamlining methodologies, and improving processes.Seeing my work implemented into the clinical laboratory and the benefits derived is both satisfying and meaningful to me.I also am fortunate to work with a diverse set of incredibly bright and dedicated scientists, who enrich the workplace.
What AMP resources/courses have helped you advance your career?
The AMP Annual Meetings, Journal of Molecular Diagnostics, and CHAMP have been important resources in my career advancement.I also find value in the Validation Resources, Assay Development, Clinical Practice Guidelines, and Advocacy resources.
In your opinion, what are the most valuable aspects of AMP membership?
AMP membership means that I belong to a community of skilled professional with similar goals and interests. AMP advocates not only for professionals, but patients as well, through social and political causes with patient care interest in mind.
This feature is a collaboration between the AMP Membership Affairs Committee and Training and Education Committee. If you would like to nominate an AMP member to be interviewed (self-nomination is fine) please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.