In This Issue...
A Meeting of Firsts
Each and every AACC Annual Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo strives to offer attendees something new and different, but this year's meeting really is chock full of firsts. For starters, free lunches will be available Wednesday and Thursday on the expo floor to all conference and expo-only registrants. This complimentary opportunity to refuel and network with laboratorians world-wide is being sponsored Wednesday by Clinical Laboratory News.
Attendees Check Out All the Great Events
This year's Annual Meeting also features several programming firsts, including a President's Invited Session and a special Symposium sponsored by Clinical Chemistry. AACC President Dr. Steven Wong's session reflects his longstanding interest in harnessing the power of genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics to tailor drug regimens and treatment protocols for better patient outcomes. He has invited two distinguished researchers, Drs. Douglas Lowy and Paul Keown, to discuss their work. Lowy, a deputy director of the National Cancer Institute, will discuss advances and opportunities in using vaccination to prevent HPV-associated cancers. Keown, a professor and medical officer at the British Columbia-based Prevention of Organ Failure Centre, will discuss how transplant medicine is becoming more tailored to patients' individual immune profiles.
Clinical Chemistry's Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Nader Rifai, will moderate a Symposium covering three hot topics from Clinical Chemistry based on the number of citations received, number of articles published, or their potential implications for laboratory medicine practice. Dr. Dennis Lo will discuss plasma genomic and methylomic sequencing for cancer detection, while Dr. Ravi Thadhani will examine the utility of bioavailable vitamin D in health and disease. Finally, Dr. Marilyn Huestis will look at the role of oral fluid testing in clinical and forensic settings.
Also in the programming realm, this year's Annual Meeting is going totally green when it comes to presentation materials. All educational materials will be available online prior to the meeting, and Symposia, which typically didn't offer handouts at all, will do so electronically in advance of the meeting. Short Course and Brown Bag registrants also will be able to download materials prior to those sessions.
Attendees who in the past have been dazzled but also a little overwhelmed by all the great science showcased in our poster sessions will be pleased that 11 AACC Divisions will, for the first time, be offering specialized poster tours. These free, expert-led walk-throughs will give participants a thorough overview of abstracts in each division's respective area of interest. Also in a first, Clinical Laboratory News will be publishing live onsite Dailies all 4 days of the Annual Meeting. Distributed at selected hotels, on the shuttle busses, and at Chicago's McCormick Place Convention Center, this new format will enable us to capture the pulse of the meeting and cover the excellent educational offerings much more thoroughly than we have in the past. Former AACC President, Dr. Ann Gronowski, is chairing the editorial board for this new effort.
Exhibitors who participate in our New Product Showcase also will have much greater exposure than in the past. New Product Showcase items will be displayed on jumbo screens in rotating 12-second images and videos just outside the McCormick Place Convention Center exhibit hall. Attendees will be able to learn more about specific products using touch screens just below the jumbo screens.
We also are making some important changes to the Original Equipment Manufacturer Lecture Series. In the past these have been held in a meeting room off the exhibit hall floor. But this year, the OEM Lecture Series will be on the exhibit hall floor in a theater built expressly for that purpose.
In another first, up to seven Industry Workshops will be offered on the exhibit hall floor throughout the exhibit hours, in addition to our traditional Industry Workshop program, mornings and evenings on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Hyatt Regency Downtown.
All these firsts have the makings for an exceptional Annual Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo. The only thing that would make it better: having you there!
AMOC: A Team of Excellence
The hardworking Annual Meeting Organizing Committee attends to all the details of making each year's meeting a success, and the 2014 AMOC is no exception. This 12-member all-volunteer group selected by chair Dr. Carmen Wiley, starts its Herculean task about 21 months before the meeting and continues right up through its post-meeting review the last day of the meeting. Wiley thought long and hard about the composition of the committee, selecting members to achieve a mix based on geography, prior (or not) AMOC experience, professional interests, and expertise.
2014 Annual Meeting Organizing Committee
In addition to being everywhere during the Annual Meeting (look for the people in black t-shirts carrying walkie-talkies), AMOC members collectively put in hundreds of hours before the meeting. They convene as a group at least three times, participate in multiple conference calls, communicate extensively with each other, brainstorm themes for the meeting, solicit, review and select programming proposals, invite and confirm speakers, write a blog, and work closely with AACC staff to ensure the success of the meeting's educational components. It's a considerable effort, but when the curtain falls Thursday afternoon, the AMOC can take exceptional pride in a job well done.
As the chair, Wiley has been overseeing and reporting to AACC leadership on this hub-bub of activity, and she wrote and coordinated the overall continuing medical education application for the meeting. Her two seconds-in-command, Drs. Rex Astles and Robert Dufour, both AMOC, AACC, and laboratory veterans, have been working closely with and supporting other AMOC members in developing their respective program areas and in backing up Wiley for other duties as assigned.
Dr. Thomas Moyer took on the heady task of identifying and arranging the Annual Meeting's five plenary speakers. He also will have the honor of introducing each speaker and of hosting these luminaries of science and medicine before and after their presentations.
AMOC veteran Dr. Thomas Annesley and AMOC newcomer Dr. Bonny Van teamed to organize the meeting's 39 Symposia sessions. Though separated by thousands of miles, Dr. Danielle Freedman from the U.K. and Mr. Steve Binder in California collaborated closely to put together a strong program of 48 Short Courses, while Dr. Mark Marzinke took the lead on programming the 80 Brown Bag presentations. Altogether, this involved soliciting and reviewing nearly 300 proposals, presenting finalist lists for AMOC approval, then completing many other steps to confirm speakers, develop CME materials and program descriptions, and during the meeting, checking that all goes well with each event. Drs. Dina Greene and Christine Snozek still are in the process of working their way through nearly 1000 abstracts that have been submitted, along with the help of the 70-member Abstract Review Subcommittee.
We couldn't possibly leave out Dr. Nikolina Babic, who, by the start of the Annual Meeting will have recruited and scheduled at least 100 volunteers who do everything from stuffing the registration bags for attendees to staffing all the educational events.
We're so grateful to this awesome team of volunteers, helping make this year's Annual Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo so memorable!