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Peter Jatlow, MD

Professor Emeritus of and Senior Research Scientist in Laboratory Medicine and in Psychiatry

Contact Information

Peter Jatlow, MD

Patient Care Location

Mailing Address

  • Laboratory Medicine

    PO Box 208035, 333 Cedar Street

    New Haven, CT, 06520-8035

    United States


Dr Jatlow had been a member of the full time Yale faculty since 1968. He served as chair of the Department of Laboratory Medicine from 1984-2006, and was professor of Laboratory Medicine with a joint appointment in the Department of Psychiatry. His clinical interests were focused on clinical chemistry and, in particular, toxicology. His research activities had been concerned with the clinical pharmacology of drugs of abuse, especially cocaine, nicotine, and most recently alcohol.

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In Memoriam: Peter I. Jatlow, MD 1936–2020

Peter I. Jatlow, MD, 84, passed away at his home peacefully on Monday, May 18, 2020 after a long illness. Dr. Jatlow served as professor and chair of the Department of Laboratory Medicine at Yale School of Medicine from 1984-2006. His is a remarkable legacy. While his major contributions to both the field and to the School will continue to benefit future generations of laboratorians and pathologists, as well as those engaged in seeking the biological basis of addiction, his always insightful and encyclopedic commentary, wry wit, and deep affection for the training of the next generations of physicians, scientists, and physician-scientists, will be sorely missed.

Dr. Jatlow was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey and grew up in Mount Vernon, New York. He received his BS from Union College in 1957 and his MD in 1961 from the State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center. After a mixed medicine-surgery internship at Montefiore Hospital in Bronx, New York, Dr. Jatlow spent four years as a resident and postdoctoral trainee in laboratory medicine and pathology at Yale School of Medicine and Yale New Haven Hospital, under the leadership of David Seligson, first chair of Yale Laboratory Medicine, and Averill Liebow. From 1966 to 1968, Dr. Jatlow was in the U.S. Public Health Service, where he set up the first pathology and laboratory medicine department for the Alaskan Native Medical Center in Anchorage, Alaska. He returned to New Haven to join the faculty at Yale as assistant professor of Laboratory Medicine in 1968 and rose through the academic ranks to reach full professor in 1976. He was director of the Yale New Haven Hospital Clinical Chemistry Laboratory from 1975 through 1984. In that year, upon Dr. Seligson's retirement, he became chair and chief of the department and remained in that position until he decided to step down in academic 2006-07. Dr. Jatlow returned to his NIH-funded research laboratory, teaching, and working as a clinical chemist, continuing his investigations in nicotine and alcohol addiction through to the present year.

Peter Jatlow provided truly extraordinary leadership to the Department of Laboratory Medicine over the 22 years of his tenure as chair and chief. The department grew dramatically in research presence, clinical scope, and teaching contributions. Total grant dollars increased over six-fold; the department added NIH Center Grants and T32 training programs to its portfolio. On the clinical laboratory front, test volume increased nearly 10-fold. Moreover, programs in stem cell collection, processing, and engineering were added (including an Advanced Cell Therapy Laboratory), as were major efforts in molecular diagnostics, flow cytometry, and other state-of-the-art, leading edge technologies. From the educational perspective, the department took on responsibility for the second year medical student microbiology course in addition to medical student laboratory medicine instruction. Laboratory medicine faculty recruited by Dr. Jatlow have won the Basic Science Bohmfalk teaching award five times, attesting to the excellence of that endeavor. In addition, fellowship programs were added in microbiology, hematopathology and transfusion medicine.

Although always modest with respect to his own research and clinical contributions to the department, Peter Jatlow is the recipient of many awards, including the coveted Cotlove Award from the Academy of Clinical Laboratory Physicians and Scientists. The recipients of the Cotlove have included two subsequent Nobel Prize winners and five subsequent Lasker awardees. In addition, he garnered many major awards in his field, including an outstanding contributions to research recognition from the American Association for Clinical Chemistry, the Irving Sunshine Award in Clinical Toxicology of the International Association of Therapeutic Drug Monitoring and Clinical Toxicology, and election to Fellow of the AAAS for "Research and Leadership in Laboratory Medicine." He published over 240 original articles, mostly in the area of the pharmacology of psychotropic drugs and co-edited with Yale faculty members, Drs. Barry Zaret and Lee Katz, The Yale University School of Medicine Patient's Guide To Medical Tests. With colleagues in the Department of Psychiatry he reported some of the first studies of the human pharmacokinetics and dynamics of cocaine and its active ethanol derived metabolite cocaethylene.

Dr. Jatlow had a green thumb and enjoyed tennis and traveling with his family. He collected fountain pens and enjoyed fine wine and a good meal. He loved the outdoors and particularly enjoyed exploring the Four Corners region of the American Southwest and hiking the trails of Acadia National Park. He is survived by his beloved wife, Stephanie, and two daughters, Allison Beitler and Julie Guilmette, two sons-in-law, Richard and Keith, and by his three grandsons, Gordon, Brian, and Daniel. Peter Jatlow's academic family includes countless past trainees and colleagues–his legacy will never fade away. His sense of vision for both the department and the field of laboratory medicine, along with his wisdom and affectionate concern for all his faculty as well as for the staff of the department, made him not only a remarkably effective chair and professor, but also a deeply beloved one.

Education & Training

  • Fellowship
    Pathology, Yale School of Medicine (1966)
  • Chief Resident
    Yale-New Haven Hospital (1965)
  • Resident
    Yale-New Haven Hospital (1963)
  • Intern
    Montefiore Hospital, Bronx NY (1962)
  • MD
    SUNY Downstate Medical Center (1961)

Honors & Recognition

AwardAwarding OrganizationDate
Jean R. Oliver Award: Master Teacher in PathologyAlumni Assoc., SUNY Health Science Center in Brooklyn2001
Elected Fellow: for "Research and Leadership in Laboratory Medicine"American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)1997
For Outstanding Contributions in EducationAmerican Association of Clinical Chemistry1995
Irving Sunshine Award in Clinical ToxicologyInternational Association of Therapeutic Drug Monitoring and Clinical Toxicology1993
Seligson-Golden Award for Contributions to the Field of Clinical ChemistryAmerican Association of Clinical Chemistry (Ct Valley Section)1993
Cotlove Award and LectureshipAcademy of Clinical Laboratory Physicians and Scientists1990
Gerald T Evans Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Science and Clinical Discipline of Laboratory MedicineAcademy of Clinical Laboratory Physicians and Scientists1988
Outstanding Contributions to Clinical Chemistry in a Selected Area of ResearchAmerican Association of Clinical Chemistry1985

Professional Service

Yale School of MedicineSenior Women Recruitment Committee1996 - 1998
National Board of Medical ExaminersFLEX Program Test Materials Development Subcommittee1990 - 1991
Therapeutic Drug Monitoring (Journal)Editorial Board1990 - Present
Yale School of MedicineSearch Committee: Pathology Chair1989 - Present
Amer. Journal of Clinical Pathology (journal)Editorial Board1989 - Present
Association of Pathology ChairsUndergraduate Education Commitd\tee1988 - 2006
Yale School of MedicineSearch Committee:Pediatric Chair1987 - Present
NIH (NIDA)SBIR Grant review Committees (multiple)1985 - 1987
Clinical Chimica Acta (Journal)Editorial Board1984 - 1991
Yale School of MedicineSearch Committee: Anesthesiology Chair1984 - Present
American Society of Clinical PathologyCouncil on Clinical Chemistry1983 - 1990
NIH (NIDA)Biomedical Research Review Committee1982 - 1986
Academy of Clinical Laboratory Physicians and ScientistsPresident1982 - 1983
American Board of PathologyChemical Patholgoy Test Committee1981 - 1985
Yale School of MedicineMedical School Council1980 - 1982
NIH (NIDA)Multiple special grant and contract review committees and site visits1978 - 2009
Yale New Haven HospitalPharmacy and Therapeutics Committee1978 - 1986
FDAClinical Toxicology Device Classification Panel.1978 - 1982
College of American PathologistsTherapeutic Drug Monitoring Resource Committee1977 - 1982
College of American PathologistsToxicology Resource Committee1975 - 1982
Clinical Chemistry (Journal)Editorial Board1973 - 1983
Yale-New Haven HospsitalDirector Residency Program: Dept. of Laboratory Medicine1968 - 1984
Yale School of MedicineDirector Of Medical Studies: Dept of Laboratory Medicine

Departments & Organizations