College of American Pathologists

  Press Release


Published on September 12, 2011

Julie Monzo
September 12, 2011
800-323-4040, ext. 7538

Carolyn Barth
800-323-4040, ext. 7185

The College of American Pathologists Honors Houston Pathologist with the Public Service Award

NORTHFIELD, ILL.— Kathleen A. McMonigal, MD, FCAP, the chief pathologist and director of the clinical laboratories at NASA at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, was awarded with the College of American Pathologists Public Service Award at a special ceremony held in Dallas on September 10, 2011, at CAP ’11 — THE Pathologists’Meeting™.

Dr. McMonigal was honored for her expertise and devotion to patients through the NASA space program. In this role, she not only attends each landing of the space shuttle, welcoming her patients on their return to earth, but assures the integrity and safe keeping of their medical specimens. In fact, while at NASA, Dr. McMonigal inventoried and organized a retrieval system for all astronaut specimens held by NASA since the 1960s. She also developed a protocol for astronauts to obtain their own specimens, in microgravity during flight for current and future investigations, as needed. These specimens are housed in the NASA Biological Specimen Repository, which is maintained by the clinical laboratory.

“I am honored to be the College’s recipient of the Public Service Award,” Dr. McMonigal said. “I would like to thank the College, the incredible team I work with at NASA, and the countless mentors I have had along the way in this profession.”

Dr. McMonigal also was instrumental in setting medical standards for astronaut selection prior to review by the Aerospace Medicine Board. As chair of the Johnson Space Center’s Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects (NASA’s Institutional Review Board), she currently oversees the safety and ethics of all human research involved in space travel.

Additionally, Dr. McMonigal serves as chair of the Human Research Multilateral Review Board and is the lead developer and director for the NASA Biospecimen Repository.

Dr. McMonigal received a BS in chemistry and biology from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minn. She also received her MD from the University of Minnesota Medical School. Dr, McMonigal completed her residency in anatomical and clinical pathology and completed a fellowship in virology and microbiology also at the University of Minnesota. She continued her postgraduate training in aerospace medicine primary at the School of Aerospace Medicine at Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.

The College of American Pathologists (CAP), celebrating 50 years as the gold standard in laboratory accreditation, is a medical society serving more than 17,000 physician members and the global laboratory community. It is the world’s largest association composed exclusively of board-certified pathologists and is the worldwide leader in laboratory quality assurance. The College advocates accountable, high-quality, and cost-effective patient care.