Humans of LMP: Daniel Beriault
Each month we speak to a member of the Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology community and find out more about them.
If you would like to be featured, or know someone who should be, use the nomination form on our Humans of LMP page.
What is your role and what does it involve?
I am a Clinical Biochemist and the Head of Biochemistry at Unity Health Toronto. I am also an Assistant Professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto, and an Investigator in the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St Michael’s Hospital.
My clinical role involves all things related to lab test interpretation, utilization, and test improvements in the Clinical Biochemistry labs across St Michael’s Hospital and St Joseph’s Health Centre. I work closely with clinicians across all departments to ensure that the lab tests ordered are the right fit for the patient, and interpreted correctly in the context of the patient’s disorder. In the lab, I work closely with lab technologists to ensure tests are performed correctly, and are interpreted appropriately before results are released.
My research interests include novel applications of mass spectrometry and devices for drug analysis, as well as novel lab utilization strategies to improve patient care. My focus is on endocrinology and toxicology-related projects.
How long have you been at LMP?
I completed my Postdoctoral fellowship training in Clinical Chemistry at the University of Toronto in 2016 and then joined LMP as a faculty member.
What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?
My dad passed away in 2016 due to complications of sepsis. I am very proud that I could be the first in Canada to initiate procalcitonin lab testing for the ICU at St Joseph’s Health Centre (Toronto) to help manage septic patients.
Tell us about a project you are working on now which is top of your to-do list?
We are developing a novel handheld device (called DoseCheck) for drug analyses that could be used for rapid testing anywhere in the world. The device fits in the palm of your hand, is battery powered, and Bluetooth-enabled. The device connects to an app on a smartphone or tablet, and uses AI algorithms to automate the test interpretation.
The goal is to provide rapid, and accurate drug testing in an effort to reduce overdoses and deaths in the community.
What is your favourite album, film and novel?
Album: I don’t have 1 favourite, but I do love Dennis Lloyd’s albums and anything from Tiesto.
Film: “Home Alone” is hands down our favourite family movie with the kids. The movie quote “keep the change, you filthy animal” is a running joke in the house. I also personally love the Ironman movies (and basically anything to do with Marvel).
Novel: Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
What is your favourite joke?
I am all about the dad jokes:
What did the chicken doctor say to the patient?
…I’m just going to wing it!
Who would be your dream dinner guests?
Wayne Gretzky, Jermone Iginla, and Don Cherry at a table with my dad, brother, and myself.
In terms of science heroes, I think a dinner with Einstein would fascinating on all topics related to science, philosophy and life.
What advice would you give your younger self?
“Pressure is a privilege.”
What would it surprise people to know about you?
I was a computer gaming champion when I was younger (Quake3).
Where/what is your favourite place?
On a beach (anywhere)