ATLANTA – At the 2021 AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo, September 26-30, AACC was proud to welcome thousands of laboratory medicine professionals, all of whom have been on the frontlines of COVID-19 testing. The meeting gave the laboratory medicine community a much-needed opportunity to come together safely and in-person to share lessons learned from the pandemic to date, and to discover what’s on the horizon for COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment.
As of Wednesday, September 29, nearly 7,500 people had registered for the meeting. Thanks to months of health and safety planning on the part of AACC’s members, staff, and partners, all attendees have enjoyed the incomparable benefits of an in-person meeting, while also feeling confident that they are safe on the meeting campus. More attendees are expected today, the last day of the conference.
”I’m so thrilled to have had the opportunity of an in-person annual meeting,” said Khushbu Patel, PhD, director of clinical chemistry at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. “The ability to network and make meaningful connections with colleagues could only happen at such an event. I had a great time catching up with both old and new friends at the meeting.”
Attendees have been treated to an amazing line-up of educational sessions, including five plenary talks presented by scientific luminaries. In the opening keynote, Regina Barzilay, PhD, winner of AACC’s 2021 Wallace H. Coulter Lectureship Award, described how her experiences as a cancer patient led her to recognize the trove of patient data that isn’t fully utilized, and how she is using artificial intelligence to change that.
Monday’s plenary speaker, Margaret Liu, MD, DSchc, MDhs, FISV, discussed the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 and our efforts to combat it, emphasizing that COVID-19 countermeasures must continue to adapt quickly along with the changing virus. In Tuesday’s plenary, Bonnie Ramsey, MD, recounted her scientific journey in developing a cystic fibrosis therapy known as CFTR modulators, and Caley Mauch—a cystic fibrosis survivor—told attendees how these modulators have changed her life. On Wednesday, Holden Thorp, PhD, editor-in-chief of the Science family of journals, gave his unique perspective on the effects the pandemic has had on the scientific workforce and the ability to build public trust in science. And in today’s closing keynote, Wilbur A. Lam, MD, PhD, discussed microsystems-based COVID-19 diagnostics, as well as his own lab’s recent advances in miniaturization of diagnostic platforms.
The 2021 AACC Clinical Lab Expo featured groundbreaking technology from all laboratory medicine disciplines. Though this year’s Expo was smaller than usual, AACC was pleased that the exhibitor-to-attendee ratio was on par with previous years. Overall, the Expo proved yet again to be a valuable way for IVD companies to inform laboratory medicine professionals about the latest diagnostic technology, in areas ranging from COVID-19 testing to mass spectrometry and automation.
John Sperzel, chairman and CEO of T2Biosystems said, “Laboratory medicine and diagnostic testing have taken center stage and the AACC Annual Scientific Meeting attendees were highly engaged. We commend AACC leadership for their efforts to maintain a safe environment for all attendees.”
For those who were not able to attend all the sessions they were interested in on site, the plenary and other select scientific sessions and abstracts will be available for on-demand viewing through November 1 on the AACC digital meeting platform. Press can register for digital access here, and members of the general public can register here.
“The 2021 AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo has not only been a terrific showcase of the latest diagnostic innovations—it has also been a testament to the strength and perseverance of the people behind these innovations,” said AACC CEO Mark J. Golden. “It took an extraordinary amount of effort to make sure that this meeting could take place safely and in person. We at AACC are so proud of how the laboratory medicine community came together for this event, and we look forward to seeing even more of the community at next year’s conference.”
The 2022 AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo will be held in Chicago from July 24-28, 2022.
About the 2021 AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo
The AACC Annual Scientific Meeting offered 5 days packed with opportunities to learn about exciting science from September 26-30. Plenary sessions explored COVID-19 vaccines and virus evolution, research lessons learned from the pandemic, artificial intelligence in the clinic, miniaturization of diagnostic platforms, and improvements to treatments for cystic fibrosis.
At the AACC Clinical Lab Expo, more than 400 exhibitors filled the show floor of the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta with displays of the latest diagnostic technology, including but not limited to COVID-19 testing, artificial intelligence, 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.