Biochemistry undergraduate alumnus helps lead diagnostic laboratory

Photo of Michael Rummel
Michael Rummel B.S. ’05.

Only a little more than a decade out of his biochemistry undergraduate degree, Michael Rummel is an owner in and the chief operating officer of an independent laboratory based in Southern California named InSource Diagnostics.

The 2005 Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry graduate is on a mission to create a better patient experience and increase accessibility to preventative laboratory testing. His laboratory is pursuing the development of diagnostics assays that utilize a fraction of the blood needed when compared to historic assays. However, he is careful to point out that this pursuit needs to be executed in a disciplined, scientifically defensibly manner.

“I get to directly influence the technologies and ways of providing diagnostic testing, which is a great marriage of chemistry and medicine,” Rummel explains. “I want to have an impact on patient accessibility and convenience to laboratory testing. It is invaluable for early detection of many diseases and conditions. Furthermore, a patient’s ability to track biomarkers such as cholesterol, HbA1c, and others can engage a patient to actively manage their health.”

While at the University of Wisconsin–Madison Department of Biochemistry, Rummel enjoyed the quality of education and access to professors. The Delafield, Wis. native says it was a no brainer to choose UW–Madison and he chose the biochemistry major because of his deep interest in the fascinating piece of machinery known as the human body.

“It’s a wonderful academic institution that is well respected and also has an amazing atmosphere of athletics and culture,” Rummel says. “Biochemistry was a challenging major to pursue but you are exposed to a breadth of information like no other degree. It truly was a well-rounded undergraduate experience.”

After getting involved in undergraduate research in the Department of Anesthesiology and completing the pre-med requirements, he was all set for medical school. However, he ultimately decided that a career as a physician was not for him.

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Courtesy of Michael Rummel.

Instead, he started a career in analytical chemistry, finding a company that exposed him to techniques like liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry. While at the company, the techniques were growing in popularity and usefulness in the clinical laboratory thanks to their accuracy and specificity. He eventually decided he wanted to build his own facility to harness the technology, and that’s how he joined forces with colleagues to start InSource Diagnostics.

His advice for other students is to pursue what they are passionate about because waking up each day excited and thinking they are making a difference is very important.

“The work in the major also contributed to a strong work ethic that drives me,” he says. “Oh, and go Bucky! And I’d like to petition New Glarus Brewing to start retailing in California.”