Division of Animal Clinical Chemistry:
A Proud History and Bright Future
by Kent Gossett, Chris Perigard, Maria Helfrich, Don Forman, and Tom Reimers
(Published in Clinical Laboratory News, July 1998)
A meeting of individuals interested in animal clinical chemistry was proposed by Dr. Joseph F. Dooley at the 27th AACC National Meeting in Toronto in the summer of 1975. The interest of several in attendance and the encouragement of AACC President Dr. Royden Rand prompted the first formal meeting at AACC of animal clinical chemists to be held at the 28th National Meeting in Houston on August 2, 1976. This inaugural meeting of 10 persons included presentations on the sensitivity of various enzyme analyses to hepatotoxins and adapting the Technicon SMAC analyzer to run animal chemistries. A proposal to officially organize the group was also presented. Dr. Dooley had formally petitioned President Rand for official recognition of an Ad Hoc Committee to promote animal clinical chemistry programs within the AACC. In a letter to Dr. Carl Moyer, Dr. Rand endorsed this committee and offered the AACC, with the Board of Directors approval, as a temporary or possibly permanent home for it. Those present accepted Dr. Rand's invitation and decided to hold afternoon and evening sessions the Sunday before the 1977 AACC Meeting in Chicago. This official recognition of the Laboratory Animal Clinical Analysis Group (LACAG) marked the initiation of the process that led to the formation of AACC Divisions. The original members of the LACAG were Joe Dooley, Carl Moyer, Govinda Malya, John Moran, Dick Schroer, Paul Chin, and Bob Emmons.
This group met in Rochester, NY in the fall of 1976 and established five year goals (met within three years), planned a membership drive and a roundtable meeting held in the spring of 1977 in Cherry Hill, NJ, and organized a program for the 1977 Chicago meeting. Attendance at the LACAG program in Chicago was impressive and the organization grew steadily, publishing a semi-annual newsletter and holding regional meetings in the spring and the fall of each year. On January 1, 1983, LACAG became the Division of Animal Clinical Chemistry (DACC), the first Division of AACC. The efforts of many, in particular the Executive Committee (Don Forman, Jon Kimball, Shirley Satiritz, Edie Williams, Pat Carthage, and John Guba), culminated in the granting of permanent Division status to DACC in 1987.
The DACC has grown to more than 400 members worldwide and serves as a forum for exchange of information by those interested in all aspects of animal clinical laboratory science, including analytical methods, advanced technologies, data management systems, and regulatory issues. Each year the DACC publishes a quarterly newsletter and sponsors symposia at its Spring Meeting and CliniChem, in addition to its activities at the AACC National Meeting.
The Animal Division celebrated its 20th Anniversary at the 1996 AACC Annual Meeting in Chicago and returns to Chicago to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of AACC. The DACC Mixer on Monday evening will be hosted by Bayer Corporation, Diagnostics Division, at which time the 1998 Outstanding Contributions to Animal Clinical Chemistry Award will be presented to Dr. Thomas Reimers. Previous recipients of this prestigious award include Jerry Kaneko, Eitan Bogin, Don Forman, Bob Emmons, and Walter Loeb. The DACC EduTrak "Animal Models of Human Disease" and the DACC general business meeting will be held on Tuesday. Members of the DACC will also present several roundtables and posters.
Initiatives for DACC during 1998 include assessment of its membership demographics and interests, cultivation of the Joint International Regulatory Affairs Committee, and enhancement of the DACC Homepage. The DACC is proud of its history and accomplishments. Through the enthusiasm and dedication of its members, DACC will maintain its leadership in animal clinical laboratory science into the 21st century.