American Association for Clinical Chemistry
Better health through laboratory medicine
October 2007 Mentor Q&A Session: Gary Myers
Welcome to SYCL's Mentor of the Month.  Questions and Answers will be displayed below...

What do you feel your greatest contributions as AACC president have been?
Minneapolis, MN

Gary Myers
First has been the selection and hiring of Dr. Nader Rifai as the new Editor of Clinical Chemistry. Second has been a close working relation with Steve Zibrat, Chair of the House of Delegates to bring the House and Board closer together to benefit the AACC. Third the establishment of a Molecular Review Course to be held in 2008.

Dear Dr. Myers, I am curious to learn how you decided to form a Personal Medicine Advisory Group, and what sorts of activities does this group pursue? How can one become a part of this group?
Dallas, TX

Gary Myers
Personalized medicine is a very broad and difuse area that is growing rapidly. HHS Secretary Leavitt has a personalized medicine initiative, the AACC is a member of the Personalized Medicine Coalition, and many of the AACC Divisions have developed or are developing programs under the banner of personalized medicine. I felt it was very important that the leadership of the AACC look at personalized medicine in a more strategic way in order to decide how the AACC should embrace this new area in our projects and programs. The Personalized Medicine Advisory Group was formed with this charge in mind. The PMAG has carefully considered this question and prepared a report for the AACC Board amd Program Coordinating Committee which should serve as the basis for future program development and priortization. If you are interested in getting involved contact Dr. Broussard.

Do you think that the complete standardization of HbA1c (methods, reporting units, naming conventions, etc) will ever occur, globally?
Marshfield, WI

Gary Myers
Yes I think that eventually this will occur. The standardization of the measurement of HbA1c is well along because of the efforts of the NGSP and the IFCC. The issue is the reporting units and what we call the result. The agreement between the clinical societies and the IFCC is a compromise for now, but will obviously not result in harmonized reporting globally. However it is the best that we can expect under the current situation. I do think that eventually the groups will come together and agree on a single convention that will harmonize results in the best interest of better patient care.

Are you ready for the red jacket and what does this symbol mean to you?
USA

Gary Myers
It means I survived a very hectic year. It has really been a fantastic year and the red jacket symbolizes a special group of dedicated and talented professionals that I am soon to be part of - AACC Past Presidents.

Do you ever see the AACC morphing into the World Association for Clinical Chemistry?
Midwest, USA

Gary Myers
With nearly 1/3 of our members coming from outside the US, I think we are already there. We do not need a name change to be global in our programs and accomplishments. Unlike the IFCC, we are an association of members with interests in laboratory medicine that has no borders. AACC is known and respected worldwide. We need to continue to find ways to serve our members both domestically and internationally.

Do you have any advice on how a lab or individual could get more actively involved in laboratory standardization initiatives and committees?
San Francisco, CA

Gary Myers
Much of this type of activity is conducted within the various AACC Divisions. I suggest that you contact the Division leadership in the area of your interest to see what type of activities are available. In addition the IFCC has numerous working groups and committees focusing on a variety of standardization issues. These WGs and committees have corresponding members which are open to any AACC member. There is no travel support, but you would be able to get all of the information and materials that full members receive and also be able to provide input. This is a great way to get involved in standardization activities. If you are interested check out the IFCC web site for a list of projects.