December 16, 2019 Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News

John M. Mattsen, III, MD, one of the founders of ARUP Laboratories of Salt Lake City, died on November 9, at the age of 86. As a pathologist and an executive leader, he was at the forefront of laboratory medicine for many decades. A graduate of Brigham Young University (BS) and UCLA Medical School, Mattsen was managing microbiology labs at the University of Minnesota when, in 1974, he was recruited to be a pathology professor at the University of Utah. Most lab professionals know Mattsen from his long service at ARUP Laboratories, where he served as founding President and CEO in 1984. In 1993, after stepping down from those roles, he served as Chair of the lab organization’s Board of Directors until his retirement in 1999.

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The late 1970s was a time when Albert Nichols, MD—and the lab he founded in 1971, Nichols Institute—was showing that there was a fast-growing national market for reference and esoteric testing services. Mattsen, in concert with his colleagues, was early to recognize this market opportunity, which led to the founding of ARUP Laboratories in 1984. That was the same year that Nichols Institute went public with big plans to grow rapidly. Over the next decade, under Mattsen’s leadership, many lab executives would say that Mattsen outcompeted his peers. By 1994, Nichols Institute was gone, acquired by Quest Diagnostics (named MetPath at that time). Meanwhile, ARUP was in the midst of growing at double-digit rates, a rate that was unbroken and sustained during the entire time of Mattsen’s tenure.


  • DermTech of San Diego announced three new executives. Its new Chief Operating Officer is Claudia Ibarra. Her prior positions were with Exagen Diagnostics, and Genoptix.
  • DermTech’s new Chief Financial Officer is Kevin Sun. He has held executive positions with Dexcom, Inverness Medical Innovations, Biosite, and Raytheon.
  • DermTech appointed Dan Visage as its new Senior Vice President of Payer Access. Formerly, he served at Progenity, CareCentrix, BioReference Laboratories, Inc., Laboratory Corporation of America, and Florida Blue Cross.
  • Neogenomics, Inc., of Ft. Myers, Fla., appointed Lawrence Weiss, MD, as its new Chief Science Officer. Previously, he was at Clarient Diagnostic Services and prior to that was the Chair of Pathology at the City of Hope.

That’s all the insider intelligence for this report.
Look for the next briefing on Monday, January 6, 2019.

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