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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
Boston Globe Health and Science staff:
Karen Weintraub, Deputy Health and Science Editor, and Gideon Gil, Health and Science Editor.
Short White Coat blogger Ishani Ganguli
Short White Coat blogger Jennifer Srygley
Friday, May 18, 2007
State lab gets new boss
By Stephen Smith, Globe Staff
Maybe Al DeMaria can finally get a little rest now.
DeMaria has been holding down multiple jobs at the Department of Public Health: the state's director of communicable disease control, chief medical officer and head of the State Laboratory Institute in Jamaica Plain. DeMaria's is a well-known face at the agency and on TV, especially when viruses or bacteria go on a rampage.
Now, the lab, which analyzes blood samples and other material taken from patients, is getting a full-time director -- and DeMaria is getting a break.
In June, the veteran chief of a comparable lab in Iowa will become director of the 113-year-old Massachusetts facility, which would play a pivotal role in the event of a global influenza epidemic or amid a biological or chemical threat. Mary J.R. Gilchrist, director of the University of Iowa's Hygienic Laboratory for the last 11 years, is a nationally recognized microbiologist and author of more than 100 textbook chapters and other publications.
DeMaria will continue -- perhaps better-rested -- as disease chief and medical director at the health agency.