HOUSTON – AACC welcomed more than 17,500 medical professionals to the association’s 63rd Annual Meeting and Clinical Lab Expo from July 28–August 1. This dynamic convention offered attendees five days packed with information on international trends and breaking science in laboratory medicine, as well as the chance to see new technology at the world’s largest clinical laboratory exposition and network with global leaders in the field.
As of Wednesday, July 31, registered numbers totaled more than 17,500 attendees at the meeting. More registrants are expected today during the last day of the annual meeting.
Highlights of the conference program included five plenary talks presented by distinguished experts. C. Ronald Kahn, MD, winner of the 2013 Wallace H. Coulter Lectureship Award and Mary K. Iacocca professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, gave the opening Sunday keynote titled “Deconvoluting the Metabolic Syndrome at a Molecular Level” on new discoveries about the causes of insulin resistance and obesity. Monday’s plenary on “junk” DNA, “Challenging the Dogma: A New View of the Genomic Programming of Human Development,” was delivered by John Mattick, PhD, executive director of Australia’s Garvan Institute for Medical Research.
JoAnn Manson, MD, DrPH, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, and Bruce Hollis, PhD, a professor and director at the Medical University of South Carolina, debated vitamin D intake in Tuesday’s plenary, “The Vitamin D Debate: Is Enthusiasm Outpacing Evidence?” Stuart Schreiber, PhD, director of chemical biology at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, delved into “Patient-Based Therapeutics Discovery” on Wednesday. And today’s closing keynote, “Dining in With Trillions of Fascinating Friends,” was presented by Jeffrey Gordon, MD, a director and professor at Washington University in St. Louis, who revealed the immense impact the genes of microbial symbionts have on human metabolic features and diseases.
The international meeting also featured more than 200 other scientific sessions and educational programs that provided attendees with a chance to gain career-advancing knowledge and learn the latest news in laboratory medicine. One particularly exciting symposium, “The Supreme Court Decision on Human Gene Patents and Its Implications,” covered the recent Supreme Court ruling that isolated human DNA cannot be patented. Featuring ACLU Lead Counsel Sandra Park, this session explored this landmark decision’s impact on modern healthcare in general, and innovation in genetic research and testing in particular. Additionally, abstracts presented at the meeting spotlighted the best of research in chronic diseases and clinical outcomes, personalized and translational medicine, and clinical implementation of emerging technologies. This cutting-edge science included new tests to detect life-threatening prostate cancer, new cystic fibrosis tests that can be performed at the point of care, and new ways to determine the safety of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder drugs.
The 2013 Clinical Lab Expo opened on Tuesday, July 30, with 650 exhibitors filling the more than 200,000 square feet of exhibit space at the convention center. More than 100 new exhibitors from around the world also chose this year’s Expo to make their debut. These exhibitors displayed the latest diagnostic technology, including but not limited to automation, information systems, point-of-care, and biotech, as well as laboratory systems for clinical chemistry, hematology, microbiology, immunology, endocrinology, urinalysis, immunoassay, DNA testing, serology, lipids and cholesterol, animal clinical chemistry, enzymology, therapeutic drug monitoring, testing for drugs of abuse, cancer diagnosis and monitoring, and more.
“We’ve seen amazing advancements in new technologies for laboratory medicine and learned about the science that is making a difference in patients’ lives at this year’s annual meeting,” said AACC CEO Janet Kreizman. “The effect of laboratory medicine on global healthcare is significant and we look forward to what next year’s AACC Annual Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo will bring.”
Next year, the AACC Annual Meeting and Clinical Lab Expo will head to Chicago from July 27–July 31.
Dedicated to achieving better health through laboratory medicine, the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (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 breaking 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.