Dr. Donna M. Wolk

Dr. Donna Wolk - Director of Clinical MicrobiologyDONNA M. WOLK, MHA, Ph.D.,D(ABMM)
Division Chief, Molecular and Microbial Diagnostics and Development

100 North Academy Avenue
Danville, PA 17822-1930


Dr. Wolk is the division chief, Molecular and Microbial Diagnostics and Development, at GML and director of the Infectious Disease Research Laboratory at the Weis Research Center. She is a diplomate of the American Board of Medical Microbiology, a board-certified medical laboratory scientist, and a professor at the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine.  Dr. Wolk also serves on the faculty of the Geisinger Pathology Residency Program.


Dr. Wolk received her master’s in health administration at Wilkes University and her Ph.D. at the University of Arizona in Tucson. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in clinical and molecular microbiology at the Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education in Rochester, Minnesota.

Professional Affiliations:

American Society for Microbiology (ASM)
American Society for Molecular Pathology (AMP)
Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA)
Clinical Laboratory 2.0 (Project Santa Fe)

Recent Honors and National Service:

The Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee (CLIAC), managed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), provides scientific and technical advice and guidance to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). 2018-2022
CLIAC representative to the CDC Board of Scientific Advisors, Infectious Disease. 2019-2022
Association for Molecular Pathology, AMP COVID-19 Task Force. 2020-present
Association for Molecular Pathology, Chair of Infectious Disease Subdivision, elected by AMP national constituency. 2021-2023
Honored with a profile in the inaugural edition of “Women in Microbiology” Whitaker, R.J and Barton, H.A. eds., ASM Press, Washington, DC. 2018
Becton Dickinson Award for Research in Clinical Microbiology, American Society for Microbiology. 2016.

Research Interests:

Data analytics to improve quality and healthcare outcomes

Translational research in infectious disease diagnostics to support evidence-based interventions that focus on improving outcomes for bacteremia, sepsis, and drug resistant infections.

Recent Academic Activity (most recent 5 years' activities):

Publications in Peer-Reviewed Journals:

List of citations & h-index available via Google Scholar

Wolk DM, Lanyado A, Tice AM, Shermohammed M, Kinar Y, Goren A, Chabris CF, Meyer MN, Shoshan A, Abedi V. Prediction of Influenza Complications: Development and Validation of a Machine Learning Prediction Model to Improve and Expand the Identification of Vaccine-Hesitant Patients at Risk of Severe Influenza Complications. J Clin Med 2022; 11(15): 4342.

Shermohammed M, Goren A, Lanyado A, Yesharim R, Wolk DM, Doyle J, Meyer MN, Chabris C. Informing patients that they are at high risk for serious complications of viral infection increases vaccination rates. medRxiv 2021; 02.20.21: 252015.

Li J, Zhang Y, Jilg AL, Wolk DM, Khara HS, Kolinovsky A, Rolston DDK, Hontecillas R, Bassaganya-Riera J, Williams MS, Abedi V, Lee MTM. Variants at the MHC region associate with susceptibility to Clostridioides difficile infection: A genome-wide association study using comprehensive electronic health records. Front Immunol. 2021; https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.638913: E pub ahead of print.

Misra D, Avula V, Wolk DM, Farag, HA, Li J, Mehta YB, Sandhu R, Karunakaran B, Kethireddy S, Zand R, Abedi V. Early detection of septic shock onset using interpretable machine learning. J Clin Med 2021; 10(2): 301.

Li D, Wolk DM, Cantor M . Comparing Clinical Characteristics of Influenza and Common Coronavirus Infections using Electronic Health Records. J Infect Dis 2020; https://doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jiaa626. : E pub ahead of print.

Abedi V, Li J, Shivakumar MK, Avula V, Chaudhary DP, Shellenberger MJ, Khara, HS, Zhang Y, Lee MT, Wolk DM, Yeasin M, Hontecillas R, Bassaganya-Riera J, Zand R. Increasing the density of laboratory measures for machine learning applications. J Clin Med 2020; 10(1): 103.

Nguyen MH, Clancy CJ, Pasculle AW, Pappas PG, Alangaden G, Pankey GA, Schmitt BH, Rasool A, Weinstein MP, Widen R, Hernandez DR, Wolk DM, Walsh TJ, Perfect JR, Wilson MN, Mylonakis E. Performance of the T2Bacteria panel for diagnosing bloodstream infections: a diagnostic accuracy study. Ann Intern Med 2019; 170(12): 845-852.

Hernandez DR, Pellitteri GP, Kimmich DJ, Heiter BH, Smeal K, Wolk, DM. Near point-of-care adoption of Cepheid Xpert® Flu/RSV XC testing within an integrated healthcare delivery network. Diagn Microbiol Inf Dis 2019; 94(1): 28-29.

Yarbrough ML, Warren DK, Allen K, Burkholder D, Daum R, Donskey C, Knaack D, LaMarca A, May L, Miller LG, Parenti DM, Peterson L, Tan TY, Widen R, Hernandez DR, Wolk DM, Burnham CA. Multicenter evaluation of the Xpert MRSA NxG assay for detection of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in nasal swabs. J Clin Microbiol 2018; 56(1): 1-17.

Pancholi, P, Carroll KC, Buchan BW, Chan RC, Dhiman N, Ford B, Granato PA, Harrington AT, Hernandez DR, Humphries RM, Jindra MR, Ledeboer NA, Miller SA, Mochon AB. Morgan MA, Patel R, Schreckenberger PC, Stamper PD, Simner PJ, Tucci NE, Zimmerman C, Wolk DM. Multicenter evaluation of the Accelerate PhenoTest BC Kit for rapid identification and phenotypic antimicrobial susceptibility testing using morphokinetic cellular analysis. J Clin Microbiol 2018; 56(4): 1-21.

Hernandez DR, Wolk DM, Walker KL, Young S, Dunbar SA, Dunn R, Rao A. Multicenter diagnostic accuracy evaluation of the Luminex® ARIES® real-time PCR assay for group B Streptococcus detection in Lim-Enriched samples. J Clin Microbiol 2018; 56(8): 1-9.

Watts GS, Youens-Clark K, Slepian MJ, Wolk DM, Oshiro MM, Metzger GS, Dhingra D, Cranmer LD, Hurwitz BL. M6S rRNA gene sequencing on a benchtop sequencer: accuracy for identification of clinically important bacteria . J Appl Microbiol 2017; 123(6): 1584-1596.

Ahmad M, Jacobs D, Wu H, Wolk DM, Kazmi, SAJ, Jaramillo C, Toms SA. Cladophialophora bantiana: A rare intracerebral fungal abscess. Case series and review of literature. Surg J 2017; 2(3): e62-e68.

Buehler SS, Madison B, Snyder SR, Derzon JH, Cornish NE, Saubolle MA, Weissfeld AS, Weinstein MP, Liebow EB, Wolk DM. Effectiveness of practices to increase timeliness of providing targeted therapy for inpatients with bloodstream infections: A Laboratory Medicine Best Practices Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Clin Microbiol Rev 2016; 29(1): 59-103.

Pfaller MA, Wolk DM, Lowery TJ. T2MR and T2Candida: novel technology for the rapid diagnosis of candidemia and invasive candidiasis. Future Microbiol 2016; 11 (1): 103-117.

Stoneking LR, Winkler JP, DeLuca LA, Stolz U, Stutz A, Luman JC, Gaub M, Wolk DM, Fiorello AB, Denninghoff KR. Physician documentation of sepsis syndrome is associated with more aggressive treatment. West J Emerg Med 2016; 16(3): 401-407.

Pfaller, MA, Wolk, DM, Lowery, TJ. T2MR and T2Candida: novel technology for the rapid diagnosis of candidemia and invasive candidiasis. Future Microbiol 2016; 11: 103-117.

Hernandez DR, Newton DW, Ledeboer NA, Buchan B, Young C, Clark AE, Connoly J, Wolk DM. Multicenter Evaluation of MRSASelect II Chromogenic Agar for Identification of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus from Wound and Nasal Specimens. J Clin Microbiol 2016; 54(2): 305-311.

Other Publications:

Martinez RM, Wolk DM. Review: Bloodstream Infections . Micobiol Spectr . 2016; 4(4): 1-34 .

Wolk DM. Statistics for method verification of qualitative assays in clinical microbiolog. Clinical Microbiology Newsletter . 2017; 39(8): 59-68 .

Wolk DM, Johnson JK. Rapid Diagnostics for Blood Cultures: Supporting precision and decisions for antimicrobial therapy and value-based care. J Appl Lab Med . 2018; 9(4): 686-697 .

Wolk DM, Clark AE. Matrix assisted laser desorption time of flight mass spectrometry. Clin Lab Med . 2018; 39(3): 471-486 .

Newell TR, Wolk, DM. Modern Microbiology: Laboratory Planning and Design. Med Lab Mag . 2019; 8(5): 8 .

Abstracts, Posters, and Other Presentations:

Styer AM, Hernandez DR, Lopansri B, Riedel S, Myers MC, Kreischer LA, and Wolk DM. Verification of real time PCR for the detection of antibiotic-resistance markers and semi-quantitation of urinary tract pathogens from urine samples. Poster American Society for Microbiology, San Francisco, California, June 2019.

Bogle, B., Balduino, R., Wolk, D.M., Farag, H.A., Kethireddy, S., Chatterdee, A., Abedi, V. Predicting mortality of sepsis patients in a multi-site healthcare system using supervised machine learning. Poster The 4th Int'l Conference on Health Informatics and Medical Systems, Las Vegas, Nevada, July 30-August 2, 2018.

D.R. Hernandez, G. Pellitteri, D. Young, B. Heiter, K. Smeal, D. Kimmich and D.M Wolk. Near point-of-care adoption of molecular FluA-B/RSV testing within an integrated healthcare delivery network. Poster Pan American Society for Clinical Virology Meeting, Palm Beach, Florida, May 6-9, 2018.

Hernandez D, Styer A, Updike M, Hanson N, Wolk DM. Stability study of ß-lactamase detection from Gram-negative bacilli directly from positive blood cultures using two commercially available PCR kits. Poster American Society for Microbiology Microbe Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia, June 7-11, 2018.

Martinez RM, Kay HE, Scicchitano LM, Wolk DM. Implementation of non-batched respiratory virus assay significantly impacts patient outcomes in the ICU. Abstract Pan American Society for Clinical Virology, Daytona Beach, FL, May 19-22, 2016.

Styer AM, Rygalski KS, Scicchitano LM, Wolk DM. Verification of T2Candida Panel for the identification of Candida species in EDTA-preserved whole blood. Abstract Inaugural ASM Microbe Meeting, Boston, MA, June 16-20, 2016.

Johnson JK, Albrecht V, Karlsson M, Robinson G, Stevens V, Werner B, Schuetz A, Wolk DM, Marlowe E, Babady E, Miller M, Culbreath K, Butler-W S, Diekema D, Rasheed JK, Limbago B. Detection of CREs in US Clinical Laboratories. Abstract Inaugural ASM Microbe Meeting, Boston, MA, June 16-20, 2016.

Martinez RM, Shoemaker B, Riley J, Wolk DM. The TeleGram© of the 21st Century: the Digital Gram Stain. Abstract Inaugural ASM Microbe Meeting, Boston, MA, June 16-20, 2016.

Textbook Chapters

Schifman, RB, Cembrowski, GS, Wolk, DM, Brisbois, J. Quality Management, Requirements for Effective Laboratory Management. In Clinical Laboratory Management, 2nd . ASM, eds. Washington, DC: ASM Press; 2013.

Wolk DM. Clinical Trials and Evidence-based Laboratory Medicine. In Clinical Laboratory Management. ASM, eds. Washington, DC: ASM Press; 2013.

Whitfield NN, Martinez RM, Wolk DM. Clinical microbiology: looking ahead. In Manual of Commercial Methods in Clinical Microbiology. 2nd ed. Truant AL, eds. Washington DC: ASM Press; 2014.

Marlowe EM, Wolk DM. Molecular Method Verification and Biostatistics for Laboratory Diagnostics. In Molecular Microbiology: Diagnostic Principles and Practice 3rd ed. Persing D, eds. Washington, DC: ASM Press; 2016.

Whitfield NN and Wolk DM. Quantitative PCR. In Clinical Virology Manual. ASM, eds. Washington, DC: ASM Press; 2016.

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