Schreiber, William

Portrait photo of William  E. Schreiber

Schreiber, William


Academic Rank(s): Professor Emeritus, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, UBC

Affiliation(s): LifeLabs

Research and Scholarly Interests:

Clinical Interests:

Short Bio

Dr. Schreiber is the Clinical Director of Chemistry at LifeLabs. In this role, he provides medical oversight for all chemistry testing in British Columbia. Prior to joining LifeLabs, he worked in the Division of Clinical Chemistry at Vancouver General Hospital. He also served as medical director of the Provincial Toxicology Center, which provides both forensic and clinical toxicology services for the entire province.

Since joining the faculty at UBC, he has committed a large part of his career to the education of medical students, residents and colleagues. He directed the medical biochemistry residency program for 10 years and served as associate dean for undergraduate education at UBC from 1999-2002. He has received a number of teaching awards from students and peers, as well as recognition from professional organizations for contributions to continuing medical education. His recently published book, An Introduction to Testing for Drugs of Abuse (Wiley-Blackwell), is available at

In 2016-2017, Dr. Schreiber served as president of the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), the largest pathology organization in North America.



Academic Background

  • BA, Oberlin College, 1975
  • MD, Baylor College of Medicine, 1979
  • Residency & Research Fellowship, University of Washington, 1979-1984
  • Diplomate, American Board of Pathology, 1985

Awards and Recognition

  • Medical Undergraduate Society Teaching Excellence Award – 1989, 1992, 1993, 1997
  • The University of British Columbia Teaching Prize – 1994
  • 3M Teaching Fellowship – 1996
  • Outstanding Speaker Award, American Association for Clinical Chemistry – 1996, 1997, 2009
  • Education Excellence Award, Canadian Society of Clinical Chemists – 1998
  • Honorary Alumnus Award, UBC Alumni Association, Medical Division – 1998
  • CCE Distinguished Service Award, American Society of Clinical Pathologists – 1999
  • Distinguished Service to CME/CPD Award, UBC Faculty of Medicine – 2009



Selected Publications


Research Interest

I have a longstanding interest in diseases of porphyrin metabolism and their diagnosis.  Our laboratory developed improved biochemical tests for porphyrins and their precursors in human samples.  We also applied the techniques of molecular biology to characterize mutations that cause acute intermittent porphyria and hereditary coproporphyria.

More recently, I have collaborated on projects in the fields of clinical and forensic toxicology.

Clinical Service

Current Projects In My Lab Include


Teaching Interest

Teaching students, residents and colleagues is an essential part of my work.  In addition to lectures and small group sessions at UBC, I continue to present educational sessions at national meetings.

An Introduction to Testing for Drugs of Abuse was published by Wiley-Blackwell in 2022.  This book provides practical guidance to pathologists, clinical laboratory scientists, technologists and other health care professionals on how to order and interpret drug tests accurately.  It is available at the following website: