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Elitza S. Theel, Ph.D.

  1. Microbiologist


  1. Rochester, Minnesota



Elitza S. Theel, Ph.D., is a Clinical Microbiologist with specialty in infectious disease serologic testing, which includes detection of pathogen-specific antibody and antigens from different body fluids. Her specific interests and clinical focus include developing and evaluating novel serologic assays for the detection vector-borne diseases, viruses and dimorphic fungi. The assays evaluated and implemented by Dr. Theel's lab are available to patients and providers at both Mayo Clinic and through Mayo Clinic Laboratories.

In addition to these efforts, Dr. Theel has been involved in an international laboratory outreach program in Belize City, Belize, with the overall goal to implement new diagnostic assays of high clinical relevance to the country and to further optimize the quality and safety of laboratory testing in the country.

Dr. Theel is Program Director for the Clinical Microbiology PhD Fellowship program, accredited through the American Society for Microbiology (ASM).

Finally, Dr. Theel authors expert content and publishes in high-impact scientific medical journals on the topics of clinical microbiology and immunology. She is also Editor for the Journal of Clinical Microbiology and the Clinical Microbiology Newsletter, and she co-hosts a monthly podcast sponsored by ASM for the Journal of Clinical Microbiology.

  1. 2012
    ResidentClinical Microbiology-PhD, Programs in Rochester, Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  2. 2012
    Postdoctoral Fellowship - Clinical MicrobiologyMayo School of Graduate Medical Education
  3. 2010
    Ph.D.University of Wisconsin, Madison
  4. 2005
    BSUniversity of Notre Dame


  1. 2012
    Medical MicrobiologyAmerican Board of Medical Microbiology

Awards and honors

  1. 2021
    Young Investigator AwardPan American Society for Clinical Virology
  2. 2020
    30 Under 40 Award Business Insider
  3. 2020
    Heroes of the Pandemic HonoreeStar Tribune
  4. 2017
    40 Under 40 HonoreeAmerican Society for Clinical Pathology
  5. 2017
    Physician's Choice AwardMayo Medical Laboratories, Mayo Collaborative Services, LLC
  6. 2015
    Mayo Quality Fellows Program - Silver AwardMayo Quality Fellows Program, Mayo Clinic Quality Academy
  7. 2012
    Distinguished Poster Award for a Clinical FellowMayo Clinic Young Investigator Research Symposium
  8. 2012
    ASM Student Travel Grant AwardAmerican Society for Microbiology
  9. 2011
    George McCracken Infectious Diseases Fellow AwardAmerican Society for Microbiology
  10. 2011
    ASM Infectious Disease (ID) Fellow Travel Grant AwardAmerican Society for Microbiology
  11. 2010
    Ortho Diagnostic Postdoctoral Fellow AwardOrtho Clinical Diagnostic
  12. 2008
    Microbial Pathogenesis and Host Responses Training GrantNational Institutes of Health
  13. 2007
    Microbial Pathogenesis and Host Responses Training GrantNational Institutes of Health

Professional memberships

  1. 2021 - present
    Board MemberMinnesota Department of Health Congenital Syphilis Maternal Morbidity and Mortality Review Board
  2. 2020 - present
    CDC Import Permit - SignatoryMayo Clinic
  3. 2020 - present
    CouncilorPan American Society for Clinical Virology
  4. 2020 - present
    Chair - Digital Outreach CommitteePan American Society for Clinical Virology
  5. 2020 - present
    Division V ChairAmerican Society for Microbiology
  6. 2019 - 2020
    MemberPLM Program Steering Committee
  7. 2019 - 2020
    Chair - Distance Learning CommitteePan American Society for Clinical Virology
  8. 2019 - 2020
    Working Group MemberCDC/APHL Lyme Disease Reporting Guidelines Working Group
  9. 2019 - present
    Member - Microbiology Resource CommitteeCollege of American Pathologists
  10. 2018 - present
    Member, Program CommitteeAmerican Society for Microbiology
  11. 2016 - 2018
    Working Group MemberCDC/APHL Syphilis Guidelines Working Group
  12. 2015 - present
    ChairQuality Group, Division of Clinical Microbiology, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology
  13. 2015 - present
    MemberInfection Prevention and Control Committee, Clinical Practice Committee - Rochester
  14. 2013 - present
    MemberGrand Rounds Committee, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology
  15. 2013 - present
    MemberInstitutional Biosafety Committee, Mayo Clinic Committees
  16. 2012 - present
    MemberInfectious Disease Society of America
  17. 2012 - present
    MemberPan American Society for Clinical Virology
  18. 2010 - present
    MemberAmerican Society for Microbiology
  19. 2010 - present
    MemberMayo Clinic Fellows Association


Research activities

See a description of research activities.