Noble, Michael

Noble, Michael


Academic Rank(s): Professor Emeritus, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, UBC | Medical Microbiologist, LifeLabs Medical Laboratory Services (formerly) | Medical Microbiologist, Vancouver Coastal Health (formerly)

Affiliation(s): UBC Hospital

Research and Scholarly Interests: Molecular Pathology and Cell Biology, Professional Contributions

Clinical Interests:

Short Bio

Dr. Noble career began in 1978 as a medical microbiologist, but overtime issues associated with laboratory quality improvement became central to his work focus. Within the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, he developed the Clinical Microbiology Proficiency Testing (CMPT) program in 1983, from a program designed to provide quality assistance for lower mainland hospitals to an international structure with interests both in clinical microbiology as well as drinking and recreational water safety. Through CMPT he created the first international training program for External Quality Assessment, teaching laboratorians essential sample production procedures. In 2003 as a result of his work with International Organization for Standardization he created the UBC Program Office for Laboratory Quality Management anessed the UBC Certificate Course in Laboratory Quality Management to help laboratorians around the world in Quality Management and Quality Improvement. . Through these two programs, he has remained actively engaged in laboratory quality education, research, and outreach on both national and international levels.

In 2013, he was appointed as the co-chair (faculty) for the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine UBC Site Safety Committee (2013-2018).

Outside of the Department he works regularly with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Standards Council of Canada (SCC), Canadian Standards Association (CSA), Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) , University of Washington International Training and Education Center for Health (ITECH), US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Organisation for Quality Assurance in Laboratory Medicine. (EQALM)

Dr. Noble maintains an active blog Making Medical Lab Quality Relevant (



  • Laboratory Quality Management (medical qualitologist)
  • Medical Microbiology
  • Laboratory Safety
  • External Quality Assessment based on clinical sample simulation
  • Teaching and training



Academic Background

  • Certification in Specialty of Medical Microbiology, FRCP(C), 1978
  • Certification in Specialty of Internal Medicine, FRCP(C), 1977
  • MD, University of Western Ontario, Zoology. 1972
  • BA, University of Western Ontario, Zoology.  1968

Awards and Recognition


Selected Publications

  • Felicity Gopolang, Fales Zulu-Mwamba, Davy Nsama, Annika Kruuner, Dailes Nsofwa, Ishmael Kasvosve, Royce Gomo, Tiny Motlhabane, Bhavna Chohan, Olusegun Soge, Daniel Osterhage, Nancy Campbell, Michael Noble, Ann Downer, Jean-Frederic Flandin, Anya Nartker, Catherine Koehn, Linda K. Nonde, Aaron Shibemba, Clement B. Ndongmo, Martin Steinau, Lucy A. Perrone. Improving laboratory quality and capacity through leadership and management training: Lessons from Zambia 2016–2018 African Journal of Laboratory Medicine | Vol 10, No 1.
  • Noble MA, Rennie R Combined international external quality assessment results of medical laboratory performance and reporting of samples with known antimicrobial resistance. Diagnosis (Berl). 2018 Jun 15. pii: /j/dx.ahead-of-print/dx-2018-0020/dx-2018-0020.xml. doi: 10.1515/dx-2018-0020. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Noble MA, Restelli V, Taylor A, Cochrane D, 2018. Laboratory error reporting rates can change significantly with year-over-year examination. Diagnosis (Berl). 2018 Mar 28;5(1):15-19. doi: 10.1515/dx-2017-0043.
  • Veronica Restelli, Annemarie Taylor, Douglas Cochrane and Michael A. Noble 2017. * Medical laboratory associated errors: the 33-month experience of an on-line volunteer Canadian province wide error reporting system Diagnosis (De Gruyter) May 8, 2017
  • Michael A Noble. 2015. Clinical Microbiology Proficiency Testing program: Thirty-three years of evolution and progress. 5th International Proficiency Testing Conference (PTConf): Proceedings.
  • Jane Lea, Anne Elizabeth Conlin, Inna Sekirov, Veronica Restelli, Komathi G Ayakar, LeeAnn Turnbull, Patrick Doyle, Michael Noble, Robert Rennie, William E Schreiber, and Brian D Westerberg, In vitro efficacy of N-acetylcysteine on bacteria associated with chronic suppurative otitis media. J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2014; 43(1): 20.
  • Michael A Noble, Robert Martin. 2014. Editorial – Making Great Strides in Medical Laboratory Quality. African Journal for Laboratory Medicine. Accepted for Publication.
  • Noble MA. 2013. Making progress in implementing quality in Canadian medical laboratories. Clin Biochem. 2013 Sept;46(13-14).
  • Vernelen K, Noble MA, Sourdeau L, Libeer J-C. External quality assessment in microbiology: a comparison between the results from Belgian and Canadian laboratories with regard to their ability to identify S. pyogenes. Accreditation and Quality Assurance. 2008; 13(9) 501-504.
  • Noble MA. Does external evaluation of laboratories improve patient safety? Clin Chem Lab Med. 2007;45(6):753-5. Review.
  • Julie Gayken, Michael Noble, Julie Taylor, Paul Epner, Charles Fenstermaker, Shahram Shahangian, David Bruns, Nancy Elder, Barbara Goldsmith, Jennifer McGeary, Barbara Mitchell, Margaret Piper, David Sundwall . 2005 IQLM and CLMA take a snapshot of America’s hospital laboratory quality management. Clinical leadership & management review: the journal of CLMA 02/2005; 19(5):E2.
  • Noble MA. Medical laboratories can be unsafe places. ISO Focus. 2004; 1;1:40-41.
  • Yassi A, Noble MA, Daly P, Bryce E. Severe acute respiratory syndrome: guidelines were drawn up collaboratively to protect healthcare workers in British Columbia. BMJ. 2003; 21; 326(7403):1394-5.
  • Boone DJ, Noble MA. editorial: Global Odyssey 2002: International conference on proficiency testing for medical laboratories. Accred Qual Assur 7. 2002; 8-9, 317-319.

Research Interest

  • Development and Design for clinical sample simulations
  • Costs of Poor Quality associated with Laboratory Error
  • Impact of Organizational Culture on Laboratory Error

Clinical Service

Current Projects In My Lab Include


Teaching Interest

  • Module 1 Standards and Quality Management
  • Module 3 Costs of Poor Quality and Quality Partnerships
  • Module 4 Modern Tools for Culture of Quality

International Training for National EQA

  • Abuja Nigeria October 2019
  • Addis Ababa Ethiopia May 2020
  • Thies Senegal September 2021
  • Conakry Guinea February 2022