The Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the University of Minnesota Medical School is committed to bringing leading-edge basic and applied research and innovation to patient care.

The research-intensive faculty within the department have several major focus areas including cancer, immunology, cardiovascular disease, renal disease, diabetes, and genetics. The faculty consist of tenured associate and full professors, several of which currently hold endowed chairs or professorships. They interface with University of Minnesota departments and centers such as the Center for Immunology, Masonic Cancer Center, and the Institute for Translational Neuroscience.


LMP Research Network


Li directing vascular biomarkers, exercise and Alzheimer’s Disease study

danni li

Can a blood-based biological marker help predict how effective an exercise program will be in improving brain function in individuals with Alzheimer’s?  That’s a question Danni Li and her colleagues hope to answer with their study “Vascular biomarkers to predict response to exercise in Alzheimer's disease” published in December in BMJ Open.  Researchers have found that exercise interventions are a promising treatment for improving cognition in people with Alzheimer's Disease. Exercise affects brain structure in positive ways through recognized biological pathways.  Li and her team will focus on the mechanism of aerobic exercise's effects on n-3 fatty acids in plasma. Their pilot study of 25 subjects enrolled in the Effects of Aerobic Exercise for Treating Alzheimer's Disease (FIT-AD) clinical trial is designed to inform a future large-scale study to develop n-3 fatty acids-based prediction of cognitive responses to aerobic exercise treatment in Alzheimer's disease.”  Biomarker analyses will be done using gas chromatography.

Li expects patient enrollment to be completed by the end of 2017.  Her research team in the study includes Michael Tsai in ARDL, Ling Li of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology in the College of Pharmacy, David Vock of Biostatistics in the School of Public Health, and Susan Greimel and Fang Yu in the School of Nursing. The project is funded by a grant from the Alzheimer’s Association.

LMP Elective

Berger and Luquette to lead new LMP elective for medical students

David Berger

Pediatric pathologists David Berger and Mark Luquette will lead a new LMP elective for year 3-4 medical students beginning this month.  LAMP 7-120, Perinatal/Pediatric Pathology is designed to introduce medical students to pediatric pathology but could also be of interest for students planning to specialize in obstetrics/gynecology, pediatric medicine, pediatric surgery, or pathology. The elective will take place at M Health/Masonic Children's Hospital.  Medical students should contact Dr. Berger at 612-273-4014 or for more information.

Berger joined the LMP faculty last summer from Texas Medical Center where he was a pediatric pathology fellow.  He received his MD from Baylor College of Medicine and completed an AP/CP residency at Baylor.  Luquette is a pediatric-perinatal pathologist with a background in basic science and information technology.  He also joined the LMP faculty last summer. Luquette received his MD from Louisiana State University School of Medicine.

David Berger’s LMP faculty profile

Mark Luquette LMP faculty profile

U of M Medical Student Handbook

Research spotlight

Balfour's EBV vaccine project in the news

Henry Balfour

Hank Balfour and his research team were featured on KARE 11 TV, WXIA 11 TV Atlanta, and in USA Today last month.  The stories were about Balfour’s efforts to develop a vaccine to reduce the risk of Mono and other Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-related conditions.  The publicity resulted in numerous inquiries.

Balfour’s Mono Project is a research and public outreach effort dedicated to learning how EBV causes mononucleosis and other diseases.  EBV is implicated in several forms of cancer including Burkitt’s lymphoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and nasopharyngeal carcinoma. New evidence is also supporting an EBV link to multiple sclerosis and to risk of post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease (PTLD) in blood and bone marrow transplant patients.

Kare11 TV:

USA Today:

The Mono Project: EBV Diseases Research Program