Mitchell Fruitstone


27005 Patsy Lane
Conroe, TX 77385-9049


Clinical Research

From Gables, I went to the University of Miami for a BS in Zoology. Then to the University of Florida for a PhD in Medical Sciences (Immunology and Medical Microbiology) and marriage to Melanie Cook (Gables '66). Then back to Miami to begin a long career in academic medical research, or so I thought.

Funding of the grant I was to work under didn't happen on time, so I deserted academia for industry. I loved it, and quickly realized I would have been miserable in the "ivory tower" of academia. I spent 16 years in Miami developing clinical diagnostic reagents and test kits for cancer and infectious disease detection, for blood typing and crossmatching, and for blood and urine chemistries. During that period, Melanie and I were blessed with 2 sons, Adam and Aaron.

Then I made a bit of a career shift and a major geographic leap. Off to Buffalo, New York, to set up and manage the manufacturing and quality assurance functions of a company making test kits for detection of HIV and HTLV-I (human T-cell leukemia virus). I loved Buffalo, but some Texans lured me to Abilene in West Texas to set up and manage the manufacturing, quality assurance and regulatory affairs functions of a small clinical diagnostics company. Its sale to a California firm that went bankrupt sent me to the Houston area to set up the manufacturing and quality assurance units of a company with technology for preservation of human tissues for transplant. After 8 years of mostly manufacturing management came another career shift, but not another move. I've been planning, setting up and managing clinical studies for pharmaceutical companies and medical device companies since 1995. I retired from full-time employment in June of 2011, but remain involved part time in clinical research as an independent consultant.

My passion has always been creating things. I particularly enjoy gardening and using my craft skills to build all kinds of things. I traveled a lot as part of my job, but I still love to travel for recreation. Most of my vacations are adventure trips. I partly fulfilled a childhood dream to be a paleontologist by going on 2 expeditions with the Houston Museum of Natural Science to discover and dig up fossils of dinosaurs and prehistoric mammals. Since retirement, I've been spending more and more time at my vacation home in the mountains of Western North Carolina.

Melanie and I divorced in 1996. Our sons still live in the Miami area. One son is married and has provided me with one very precious granddaughter.