The 2013 BD Award for Research in Clinical Microbiology has been awarded to Christine C. Ginocchio, Ph.D., MT (ASCP), North Shore- Long Island Jewish Health System, Lake Success, New York, for her research accomplishments in clinical microbiology. “She has often been at the forefront of clinical practice and has shown the ability to quickly evaluate new methodologies, including molecular and non-molecular techniques aimed at systemic, respiratory, fungal, viral and bacterial pathogens,” says, Randall Hayden, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Ginocchio is the Senior Medical Director and Chief of the Division of Infectious Disease Diagnostics at North Shore-LIJ Health System, the nation’s 2nd largest not-for-profit, non-sectarian health system and a Professor at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, NY. Ginocchio was part of the original medical school planning and curriculum committees and her laboratories provide comprehensive traditional and molecular infectious disease diagnostics that encompass all areas of Clinical Microbiology, including bacteriology, mycology, mycobacteriology, parasitology, and virology. Her laboratories are internationally recognized for providing both custom developed molecular assays and traditional viral culture methods for antiviral and vaccine trials. Ginocchio has been the principal investigator for more than 60 Federal and State funded research studies, diagnostic and pharmaceutical clinical trials. Her recent research has focused on novel molecular diagnostics, respiratory virus epidemiology, viral vaccine, and treatment trials.
Ginocchio received her Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology from St. John’s University. After working as a Microbiology Technologist for 16 years at St. Charles Hospital, NY, she decided to obtain her Ph.D. in Molecular Microbiology and Genetics at the State University of NY at Stony Brook, where she is now a Research Associate Professor. Under the inspiration and direction of Jorge Galan, she was introduced to the world of molecular biology while working on Salmonella pathogenesis and host cell interactions. Her low voltage scanning electromicrographs were the first to visualize the triggering of Salmonella entry into epithelial cells. She graduated in 1993 with Highest Distinction, was awarded the Irving Abrahams Award for outstanding basic science research, and received a Sarber Fellowship from ASM.
In 1994, Ginocchio was hired as a Research Associate in the Department of Infectious Diseases and as Director of Clinical Microbiology at North Shore University Hospital, NY. During the height of the AIDS epidemic, Mark Kaplan introduced Ginocchio to the world of clinical virology, retroviral research, and HIV. Together in collaboration with Joe Romano, they worked on one of the first HIV viral load assays and demonstrated its utility in the clinical setting. Her virology laboratories provided the advanced molecular diagnostics that were key during the 2009 New York City area influenza A H1N1 pandemic. At the epicenter of the NYC area outbreak, Ginocchio was able, very early in the pandemic, to publish one of the first, and largest, studies that rapidly evaluated the performance of various diagnostics for the detection of H1N1. Ginocchio was the 2012 recipient of the PASCV Diagnostic Virology Award.
Ginocchio is a member of ASM, Pan American Society for Clinical Virology (President 2012-2014), European Society for Clinical Virology, American Society for Clinical Pathology, Association for Molecular Pathology, Infectious Diseases Society of America and College of American Pathologists Microbiology Resource Committee (2006-2012). She is Co-Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Clinical Virology, Section Editor, 10th and 11th editions Manual of Clinical Microbiology, and on the Editorial Board for Clinical Microbiology Reviews. Ginocchio has been an invited speaker at over 200 national and international conferences, has published 5 book chapters, over 200 peer-reviewed articles and abstracts. She is a member of five International Biotechnology Advisory Panels and National/International Advisory panels for the CDC, NIH, NIAID, FDA, IDSA, and European Union. Marie Louise Landry, Yale University concludes, “as attested to by her advisory positions to the FDA, NIH, and IDSA, her grants, and her invited talks, which number 12-15 a year, she is clearly a national and international leader in the evaluation and implementation of cutting edge molecular techniques, especially in the diagnosis of respiratory viruses.”