Tools, Technologies and Training for Healthcare Laboratories

2016 Westgard Award: Linda Thienpont Pharm, Ph.D.

At the 17th Quality in the Spotlight Conference, Dr. Linda Thienpont was honored for her many contributions to laboratory quality.

2016 Westgard Award: Linda Thienpont Pharm, Ph.D.

2016 WestgardAward LindaThienpontDr. Linda Thienpont was the recipient of the Westgard Quality Award at the Quality in the Spotlight Conference held in Antwerp, Belgium, on March 14-15, 2016. Of all the scientists who have received the Westgard Award, no one embodies its spirit quite so much as Dr. Linda Thienpont, Pharm, PhD.


Dr. Thienpont is one of the few people who have had their face on the cover of Clinical Chemistry. See the article on “Inspiring Minds” in the October 2015 issue:

That’s how important she is to the profession – she is one of the rock stars of the field. Her work has been dedicated to improving analytical quality, guided by two passions: harmonization and trueness. She has developed reference methods and materials to improve standardization of assays, as well as traceability models appropriate for clinically complex measurands.

Linda Thienpont, 2016 Westgard Award Winner, and James O. WestgardBut she is not one to simply publish models and agitate on the page for changes – she has both deep principles and a drive to generate practical progress. Through her leadership, she has moved the laboratory industry toward better, more traceable, and more comparable results, particularly in the areas of Vitamin D and Thyroid Testing. In this capability, she has worked on committees too numerous to name.

But even those contributions do not fully describe Linda’s contribution to laboratory quality – she and her husband Dr. Dietmar Stockl have also developed the Empower Project, the Flagger and the Percentiler (pdf), new innovative tools that enable better monitoring of method performance by laboratories.

And yet, through all this work, she has never forgotten to be happy: “I am a person who is always happy. I am happy with my work, happy in my family. I’m happy with my normal life. What I mean to say is, I don’t need great things to happen before I can be happy. I close my day with enjoying a good Belgian beer.”

Even though Linda has retired as Professor at Gent University, she is still active in the laboratory field, and through the Empower Project, her impact and legacy will only grow. Great things will continue to happen for all laboratories, thanks to her.