Applied Health Sciences

Kristen Pesavento
  • Kristen Pesavento has been a proud Medical Laboratory Scientist for over 15 years. She currently is the program manager and faculty member for the M.S. in Medical Laboratory Science degree at Loyola University Chicago. Over the course of her laboratory career, Kristen has worked as both a laboratory generalist and a specialist in Molecular Diagnostics. These experiences have allowed her the opportunity to speak to prospective Medical Laboratory Scientists with real-life examples of life at the bench. My passion for educating others about the importance of the field has led to hosting talks and activities about laboratory science for groups ranging in age from elementary school to undergraduates in college. She served as the Molecular Pathology teaching coordinator in a hospital-based MLS program and was an instructor of Pathophysiology and Medical Terminology for healthcare certification programs at a Chicagoland community college prior to her time at Loyola. She is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Educational Leadership strives to help cultivate the future leaders of this important profession.

    What prompted you to pursue your field?

    I had always been drawn to science and knew I wanted to work in a laboratory setting rather than directly with patients in a capacity where I could directly impact care. Medical Laboratory Science opened the possibility of not only clinical work, but research, academia, and development of new scientific instrumentation.

    Why is this area of study important at this point in time?

    There currently is a critical workforce shortage of Medical Laboratory Scientists in the United States, where we roughly number 300,000 certified professionals. As the aging workforce continues to exit the profession, the demand is steadily increasing for trained Medical Laboratory Scientists. Although we are largely behind the scenes of healthcare, we impact the diagnoses and treatment of many-statistics indicate that anywhere between 70-80% of medical decisions are based on laboratory data.