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James L. Wittliff, Ph.D., FACB, Honored With AACC Award

Chicago (American Association for Clinical Chemistry Annual Meeting) - Olympus Diagnostic Systems Group announces that James L. Wittliff, Ph.D., FACB, has received the AACC Award for Outstanding Contributions to Clinical Chemistry in a Selected Area of Research. A distinguished investigator at the University of Louisville, Dr. Wittliff and his research team have been recognized for innovative studies on the molecular mechanisms by which estrogens promote signal transduction in normal tissue and breast cancer. He was one of the first investigators to identify a correlation between the presence of estrogen receptor proteins in a breast cancer biopsy and response to either additive or surgical ablative hormone therapy. This finding contributed significantly to collaborative studies with the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast Project, which established the use of Tamoxifen as an adjuvant therapy for breast cancer.

Dr. Wittliff helped develop the first FDA-approved kits for assessing steroid receptor levels in tumor biopsies. Complementing this effort, his laboratory at the University of Louisville's James Graham Brown Cancer Center was designated the National Reference Facility for performing quality assurance surveys of receptor testing for cooperative clinical trial groups in the United States and Canada.

Dr. Wittliff's laboratory has provided comprehensive graduate training in molecular endocrinology for more than three decades. In 1969, he founded the International Scholars Program that has attracted more than 75 research scientists and students from 31 countries. He and his research fellows have published several hundred scientific papers and book chapters on steroid and peptide hormone receptors, covering both basic and clinical aspects.

Dr. Wittliff has held numerous professorships at universities in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Currently, he is serving as Visiting Industry Professor at Arcturus Applied Genomics in San Diego where he is conducting research on the gene expression profiles of normal and neoplastic cells procured by a novel technology called Laser Capture Microdissection.

James L. Wittliff received an undergraduate degree in chemistry and a Ph.D. degree in molecular biology from the University of Texas at Austin, and an M.S. degree in biochemistry at Louisiana State University, School of Medicine. He conducted postdoctoral studies in the Biology Division of Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. Before joining the University of Louisville in 1976 as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Biochemistry, he assisted in the development of the Cancer Center at the University of Rochester where he was Director of the Section on Endocrine Biochemistry and a member of the Department of Biochemistry.

About Olympus Diagnostic Systems Group

Since 1981, Olympus Diagnostic Systems Group has provided innovative solutions that meet the high productivity demands of hospitals, integrated health delivery networks, blood banks, reference labs and pharmaceutical labs. Offering the broadest standardized line of random access, chemistry-immuno systems, Olympus' high performance solutions save laboratories time, maximize productivity and deliver fast, reliable results.

Annually, over 1 billion clinical chemistry tests - about one in four - are performed on Olympus analyzers in the U.S. And more than 90% of North America's blood donor centers use Olympus blood analyzer systems for blood typing. Olympus Diagnostic Systems Group also offers quick response technical support nationwide through Olympus Technical Services. Service and support is available to customers seven days a week, 24 hours a day, by calling 1-800-223-0130. From telephone troubleshooting and remote modem diagnostics...to on-site service for hardware, software and application support…to on-site operator training, as well as training and field support at Olympus' Irving, Texas facility...Olympus Diagnostic Systems Group provides comprehensive customer solutions to ensure maximum system uptime with reliable results.

About Olympus America Inc.

Based in Melville, NY, Olympus America Inc. distributes a wide range of products that leverage its core expertise in optics and digital information technology for the consumer, scientific, healthcare, and commercial markets. These products include film and digital cameras, microcassette and digital voice recorders, binoculars, film scanners, personal photo printers, medical endoscopes, biological and metallurgical microscopes and measuring instruments, clinical diagnostic analyzers, and other high-technology products.

Olympus America Inc. is responsible for sales, marketing, and distribution in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Olympus America Inc. is a subsidiary of Olympus Optical Co., Ltd. with worldwide revenues of $4.2 billion for the fiscal year ending March 2001.