Chemistry and Biochemistry

Ms. Kim (Wein) Gorman, BA 1992

 

Ms. Kim (Wein) Gorman, BA 1992, received one of five 2003 Distinguished Alumni Awards, given at the Founders' Day dinner on September 25. During her time here as an undergraduate she performed research in the laboratory of Professor Wesley R. Harris in the area of biological inorganic chemistry and this led to a position in the Washington University School of Medicine during the latter stages of her studies at UM-St. Louis. She worked first in the Pediatrics Department focusing on molecular biology and cell culture, harvesting and growing human cells, and conducting glutamate metabolism experiments. Just prior to graduation from UM-St. Louis she moved to the Human Genome Project in the Washington University Center for Genetics in Medicine. Her duties there included analysis of human DNA using PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction), hybridization, and sequencing techniques. In all, Kim spent almost four years at the Washington University School of Medicine in research and she became an expert in DNA analysis and all the associated techniques. These skills led to a career move when in late 1994 she went to work in the Metropolitan Police Department-City of St. Louis Crime Laboratory, which is interestingly, headed by another chemistry graduate and former Distinguished Alumni Awardee, Harold R. Messler, BS 1970. For just over three years, Kim was the DNA expert in the City of St. Louis Crime Laboratory. The additional experience she gained in carrying out this chemical and biological detective work led to another career change when she formed her own company, Paternity Testing Corporation, in 1996. At the end of 1997 she resigned her position at the Crime Lab to devote her time to her growing company, located in Columbia, MO. From its beginning in 1996 with three employees, her husband Joe (also an alumnus and an attorney) and her daughter Michelle, the company has grown substantially such that it now has 36 employees. The company claims to offer the most reliable paternity test in the U.S. and it has developed additional procedures to avoid the opportunities for human error that have caused other laboratories occasionally to issue incorrect results. Also, in addition to paternity testing, the company has become involved in testing orphan genetic diseases. In February 2003, Congressman Kenny Hulsof presented Paternity Testing Corporation with an “Export Achievement Certificate”, in recognition of the testing her company does abroad.