Title: Senior Research Scientist; Assistant Laboratory Director
Company: New York State Department of Health
Location: Albany, New York, United States
Gerald J. Mizejewski, Senior Research Scientist and Assistant Laboratory Director in the New York State Department of Health (Wadsworth Laboratories), has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Scientists for dedication, achievements, and leadership in biomedical research, teaching, and clinical laboratory regulation.
Dr. Mizejewski is an award-winning scientific professional who has dedicated his career to conducting biomedical research and teaching to benefit mankind. To date, he has amassed 52 years of experience in his field since achieving his PhD degree. Since 1990, he has served as an assistant director in a fetal defect and cancer biomarker laboratory at the Wadsworth Center of the New York State (NYS) Health Department. He has published approximately 150 peer-reviewed papers, 200 abstracts, 16 book chapters, and three full-text books on cancer, fetal defects, pregnancy distress, newborn screening, and Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP). In addition, he holds two United States patents on anti-growth (cancer-associated) patents in collaboration with a Biotech Company. The first patent is entitled “The growth Inhibitory Peptides” and the second concerns “The methods of using Growth Inhibitory Peptides.” The patents were based on Dr. Mizejewski’s discovery of a growth Inhibitory peptide segment hidden as an occult site on the normally growth-enhancing Human AFP molecule. Dr. Mizejewski is considered a known expert concerning birth defect and cancer biomarkers, Alpha-fetoprotein, and in the potential use of short peptides for cancer therapeutics. What separates him from other researchers is his creativity, spin-off ideas, theoretical insight, and conceptual approaches in cell biology, biochemistry, and biomedical science. By utilizing the creative side of his brain, (he also writes poetry), Dr. Mizejewski has been able to conceive and develop new perspectives and ability to present novel vantage points in viewing, confronting, and solving biomedical research challenges and problems. In pursuing his research efforts, he has been the recipient of various private, biotech, and federal grants. In his early years, he was awarded a National Science Foundation Fellowship to study and research marine embryology projects for 8 weeks in Bermuda; this prepared him for his later studies in fetal birth defects. In addition, his course work and training in animal surgery, electron microscopy, Biostatistics, and cell biology/physiology at the University of Maryland prepared him for his later research on developing animal models and drug targeting /imaging agents for cancer research. Other impactful roles that Dr. Mizejewski held in his science career include an 8-year period as an assistant director in the Hypothyroid Newborn screening laboratory at the New York State Health Department. The yearly detection of hundreds of hypothyroid newborns allows for early treatment and prevents the institutionalization of such babies. While at this position, he and his Lab Superior developed, tested, and published a report on a potential Newborn Screening platform for the prediction of early-onset Autism. In collaboration with a biotech company, he further developed a diagnostic serum biomarker assay to detect fetal/pregnancy distress conditions such as Intrauterine Growth Retardation, Threatened Preterm Labor, and fetal hemodynamic Redistribution. This latter blood test was based on Dr. Mizejewski’s discovery of an aberrant form of human alpha-fetoprotein known as “Transformed AFP,” a conformationally – altered circulating form of AFP. Other academic positions held by Dr. Mizejewski include an associate Professorship at the New York State University of Albany School of Public Health; Adjunct Professor at the Albany Medical College, and Adjunct Professor of Biology at Union College in Schenectady, New York. He currently works as s a Senior Research Scientist at the New York State Health Department, Wadsworth Research Center. In this capacity, his administrative service duties include approving NYS Laboratory Directorships and examining new clinical assay validation applications for Fetal Defect Biomarkers. Finally, Dr. Mizejewski developed and directed an NYS-licensed laboratory Proficiency Testing Program for Fetal Defect Biomarkers. This Proficiency Testing Program, which endured for 30 years, regulated all NYS -licensed laboratories screening for fetal defects within NY state and in laboratories throughout the United States that tested and screened maternal blood samples for NYS patients.
In order to prepare for a career in the science field, Dr. Mizejewski first had to pursue and complete a premed college education. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology/Chemistry from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh in 1961. This was followed by a Master of Science degree in Embryology/Physiology at the University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland.
As a graduate, he taught laboratory courses in general biology, human anatomy and physiology, embryology, histology, and cytology. He remained at the University of Maryland thereafter to earn a PhD degree in Cell Biology/Biochemistry three years later. To continue his professional development, he pursued further postdoctoral training Immediately after his Doctoral graduation. He accepted a position as a Research Assistant in animal sciences at the University of Maryland Agricultural Station. He researched an Infectious Bronchitis virus in poultry, where he aided in developing a diagnostic fluorescent antibody test for the virus. Thereafter, Dr. Mizejewski was awarded a Postdoctoral position as a Research Associate at the University of Michigan Medical School, Dept of Internal Medicine, Nuclear Medicine Section. In this Unit, he engaged in research projects to develop radio-imaging biochemical agents for Melanoma, ovarian, and other cancers. In 1970, he accepted a position as a Research Physiologist at the Michigan University campus Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital. Following a two year VA tenure, Dr. Mizejewski transferred to the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina as an Assistant Professor of Biology. While at Michigan and South Carolina Universities, he lectured in undergraduate and graduate courses in General biology, human anatomy, human physiology, and Immunology & Serology. While at South Carolina University, Dr. Mizejewski developed the first graduate course in Immunology and Serology with a laboratory component.
To remain at the top of his professional career, he pursued and held membership in multiple scientific societies such as; 1) American Association for the Advancement of Science; 2) American Society of Zoologists; 3) International Society for Oncodevelopmental Biology and Medicine; 4) the Reticuloendothelial Society; 5) the Society for Reproduction; 6) the American Institute of Biological Sciences; 7) the American Federation for Clinical Sciences; 8) the New York Academy of Sciences. In between his undergraduate and graduate studies, he volunteered to serve in the United States Marine Corp in the infantry. Dr. Mizejewski is married 55 years to Darlene and has five children and six grandchildren. He has previously held volunteer positions as a leader in both the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts of America, YMCA Indian Guides, and in the Christian Youth Brigades. His hobbies include woodworking, bicycling, hiking, and writing. In his additional after-work activities, he is engaged in teaching Christian Bible Studies and wrote a 400-page commentary book on the King James Bible. As a civic duty, he volunteers as a voting booth worker in local, state, and federal elections. Finally, in the years to come, Dr. Mizejewski intends to continue in the training of public health scientists and to maintain his position as a biomedical researcher in the fields of fetal defects and cancer. His long-term goals and objectives are to protect, improve, and promote people’s health in the general population, to contribute to the development of tests for detecting pregnancy distress, and to pursuing the potential use of peptide cancer therapeutics for future generations. Dr. Mizejewski currently resides in New York State near Albany, the state capital.
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