Miriam Grygiel (Thomas) Obituary

It is with sadness and regret we announce the passing of another great friend and associate Miriam Thomas on 6 June. She was one of the quiet achievers of the flow cytometry community especially in Sydney. Her work and generosity spread across the country, up into Papua New Guinea. She was a gentle and dignified mentor and supported any new ideas that showed promise. Her grace, charm and humour made her a pleasure to be with at all times.

We will miss her and thank her for the work she did and friends she brought together across the shores.

Neil McNamara

ACS Clinical Liaison

It has been a privilege and an honour to have known and worked together with Miriam Thomas over the last 20 years as part of the ACS activities. Miriam was a very kind and generous person who readily sharing her knowledge and expertise to the wider community. Many haematologists who trained with Miriam are indebted to the knowledge she passed on to them. Miriam last worked for over 10 years with Symbion Laverty Pathology supervising the Flow Cytometry Department.

Miriam was one of the main drivers in establishing the ACS clinical guidelines (formally the AFCG clinical guidelines). She worked tirelessly to ensure they were up to date and she kept up with the latest international standards and guidelines. Her efforts and ensured that the AFCG matured into the professional society it is now especially in the clinical and diagnostic area.

I am sure her contributions helped ensure that AFCG (ACS) was accepted as an associated member of the International Clinical Cytometry Society.  

Miriam contributions and ideas were always forthcoming and very welcome during strategic planning for the AFCG, her comments and suggestions were always well thought through.

After retirement Miriam continued sharing her expertise in diagnostic cytometry and became involved in AFCG initiative of Train the Trainer. Miriam was involved in training technicians and clinicians in using flow cytometry to enumerate CD4 counts as well as other clinical and diagnostic applications that would be of benefit to them and their community. Miriam was happy to travel interstate or internationally with these activities in helping train the trainer and was especially helpful in facilitating knowledge and expertise to PNG cytometry technicians. The PNG cytometry community that attended courses or workshops will always have fond memories of Miriam and will be forever grateful for the knowledge she passed on to them.

Miriam leaves behind a legacy that the flow community both in Australasia and internationally will remember her for. She will be sadly missed she was a generous person with a beautiful soul.

Grace Chojnowski



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