ATLANTA – AACC welcomed thousands of medical professionals and healthcare leaders to the 2015 AACC Annual Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo in Atlanta from July 26–30. The meeting showcased revolutionary advancements in clinical testing technology and research that improves the ability of healthcare providers to diagnose patients quickly and accurately and make sure patients get effective medical treatment.
As of Wednesday, July 29, more than 17,500 laboratory medicine professionals had attended the 2015 AACC Annual Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo. More attendees are expected today, the last day of the meeting.
Highlights of the conference program included five plenary talks presented by scientific luminaries on subjects ranging from the use of blood DNA to test fetuses for genetic disorders, to the ways in which greater transparency in healthcare can improve patient care. Dr. Y.M. Dennis Lo of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, winner of the 2015 Wallace Coulter Lectureship Award, delivered the opening keynote on his pioneering research involving blood DNA analysis for prenatal testing, and previewed the use of this emerging technology to screen for cancer.
Monday’s plenary speaker, Dr. Helen Hobbs of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, examined newly identified genes and molecules involved in cholesterol metabolism that could lead to new therapies that reduce the risk of heart disease. Tuesday’s plenary with Dr. Marty Makary of Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, author of the New York Times bestseller Unaccountable, discussed how transparency is shaking up the healthcare industry and making patients safer. On Wednesday, Dr. Sharon Lewin of Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, spoke about how latent HIV infection reactivates when antiretroviral therapy stops, and previewed innovative strategies that might curb this residual viral replication. And in today’s closing keynote, Nobel Prize recipient Dr. Bruce Beutler of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, explored how molecular discoveries in inflammation and immune response are helping to diagnose and treat infectious diseases and more.
Additionally, abstracts presented at the annual meeting spotlighted research on futuristic medical technologies such as a smartphone app that can test for chlamydia, a method that uses fingernail clippings instead of blood to diagnose and monitor diabetes, and the first lab-on-cartridge device that can perform all of the clinical tests that labs routinely order as part of yearly physicals. Other abstracts explored breakthrough studies in the field of clinical laboratory science, including findings that a 15-minute Ebola test could help to end the current outbreak, and research showing that testing hair for cortisol levels could offer new insights into the relationship between asthma and pregnancy complications.
The 2015 AACC Clinical Lab Expo, with 720 exhibitors filling the Georgia World Congress Center show floor, featured trailblazing innovations from top medical manufacturers, including the first and only handheld blood test for pregnancy, and the first truly handheld instrument that enables healthcare providers to determine—in the course of a regular doctor’s office visit—whether a patient who is on blood-thinning medication for the prevention of heart attack and stroke is at risk for uncontrollable bleeding.
AACC annual meeting attendees also had the opportunity to donate blood samples onsite for use in a groundbreaking scientific research initiative to improve testing methods to identify heart attacks and the risk of their future occurrence.
“The field of laboratory medicine has made impressive strides over the past few years in an ongoing effort to improve patient care,” said AACC CEO Janet B. Kreizman. “Advancements in methods to detect DNA and other molecules in the body have given lab professionals the ability to diagnose diseases with greater precision and sensitivity. Breakthroughs in biotechnology have led to the creation of tests that can fit in the palm of your hand and deliver results in minutes. This year’s annual meeting encapsulated the progress the field has made, and I look forward to seeing what next year’s meeting will bring.”
The 2016 AACC Annual Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo will be held in Philadelphia from July 31–August 4.
About the 2015 AACC Annual Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo
AACC's annual meeting offers 5 days packed with opportunities to learn about exciting science from July 26–30. Plenary sessions feature expert presentations on using tumor DNA in the blood to diagnose and monitor cancer, reducing the risk of heart disease, transparency in healthcare delivery, the latest advances that could lead to a cure for HIV, and new tests and treatment for infection.
At the AACC Clinical Lab Expo, more than 700 exhibitors will fill the show floor of Atlanta’s convention center, Georgia World Congress Center, with displays of the latest diagnostic technology, including but not limited to mobile health, molecular diagnostics, mass spectrometry, point-of-care, and automation.
Dedicated to achieving better health through laboratory medicine, AACC brings together more than 50,000 clinical laboratory professionals, physicians, research scientists, and business leaders from around the world focused on clinical chemistry, molecular diagnostics, mass spectrometry, translational medicine, lab management, and other areas of progressing laboratory science. Since 1948, AACC has worked to advance the common interests of the field, providing programs that advance scientific collaboration, knowledge, expertise, and innovation. For more information, visit www.aacc.org.