The science part of the 69th AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo will be shining in the more than 900 posters being presented over 2 days across topics ranging from cancer/tumor markers to technology and design development. This treasure trove of the latest clinical laboratory research will be on display from 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m. on both Aug. 1 and Aug. 2 in the Sails Pavilion, Upper Level of the San Diego Convention Center.

Attendees who would like to speak with poster authors about their research will have an opportunity to do so from 12:30–1:30 p.m. on Aug. 1 and Aug. 2 (check out the complete abstract document (PDF), document sections, or eBook files to see which groups of posters are being presented on each day). 

To better take in all this terrific science, 12 AACC divisions will be hosting free poster walk sessions led by AACC division subject matter experts from 12:30–1:30 on Aug. 1–2. These popular tours, open to 20–30 full or daily conference registrants per tour, begin outside the entrance to the poster display and last about half an hour.

AACC is about building a network within the laboratory medicine community, and poster walks offer a great opportunity to share new ideas and foster long-lasting collaborations, tour leader Frederick Strathmann, PhD, DABCC, vice president of quality assurance and director of new technology and innovation at NMS Labs in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, told CLN Stat.

“Often, some of the best discussions take place at the poster where a more productive dialogue can ensue with the author. Because the audience tends to be smaller, it is easier for questions to be asked as compared to a more formal setting with a talk,” said Strathmann, who will be leading the tour on mass spectrometry and separation sciences on Aug. 1. He added that posters offer the greatest benefit in terms of finding takeaways to apply to his daily activities. As a first-time tour leader, his goal is to find posters on new and old controversial topics, not just the current buzzwords and flavors of the month.

“There is a ton of effort in areas such as lab management, quality control, and how existing and widely available technology can be better understood. It is not uncommon for novel technologies to steal the show and that is understandable. But despite the attractiveness of those topics, it is difficult for the typical laboratorian to take anything away for practical use,” he observed.

Poster walks that focus on relevant topics can be a gold mine of ideas and solutions for everyday issues, Strathmann emphasized. “Finding posters where everyone in the group is likely to have some degree of expertise helps to spark deeper discussion so that the poster walk leader becomes a facilitator—and not a lecturer,” he says.

At CLN Stat publication time, the schedule of division poster walks and leaders was as follows:

Date

Time

Division

 

Tour Leader

 

Tuesday, August 1

12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

Biomarkers of Acute Cardiovascular Disease

Alan Wu

Tuesday, August 1

12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

Clinical Diagnostic Immunology

Maria A. Willrich

Tuesday, August 1

12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

Clinical Translational Sciences

Zhen Zhao, Vincent Ricchiuti and Octavia Palmer

Tuesday, August 1

12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

Endocrinology

Bill Winter

Tuesday, August 1

12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

Mass Spectrometry and Separation Sciences

Frederick Strathmann

Tuesday, August 1

12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

Hematology and Coagulation

John V. Mitsios

Tuesday, August 1

12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

Nutrition

Elizabeth Frank

Tuesday, August 1

12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

Tumor Markers and Cancer Diagnostics

Joshua Hayden

 

 

 

 

Weds, August 2

12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

Critical and Point-of-Care Testing

Scott Isbell

Weds, August 2

12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

Informatics

Chris McCudden

Weds, August 2

12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

Management Sciences & Patient Safety

Christine Schmotzer

Weds, August 2

12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

Pediatric & Maternal Fetal

Mark Kellogg

One of the most action-packed, rewarding events will take place on July 31: the AACC student poster contest sessions, which feature an oral competition of student work, followed by a series of individual poster presentations.

These events provide a venue for students to highlight their research in a competitive environment, Ann M. Gronowski, PhD, professor of pathology and immunology and obstetrics and gynecology at Washington University School of Medicine, and organizer of the student contest, told CLN Stat. “For those lucky enough to be chosen for the oral competition the competition is very high profile. It is also a way for students to meet others in the field—both trainees and more senior individuals,” Gronowski said. There’s also a chance that they will win money, she added. “We give out over $2,500 in awards!”

The hour-long oral abstract conference will begin at 1 p.m. in room 6D/6E of the San Diego Convention Center and features four presentations:  

  • Predicting Drug Exposure in Breast-Feeding Infants: Using Physiologically-Based Pharmacokinetic Modeling of Escitalopram in Breast Milk to Simulate Infant Plasma Concentrations - Sarah Delaney, University of Toronto, Toronto
  • Fulvestrant Interference with Six Automated Estradiol Immunoassays and an LC-MS/MS Method: An Analytical and Clinical Investigation - Carmen Gherasim, University of Utah, Salt Lake City
  • Breaking Free From the Ratio: Analytical Performance of an Immunoenrichment-Coupled MALDI-TOF MS Detection Method for Monoclonal Immunoglobulin Free Light Chains - Lusia Sepiashvili, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
  • Frequency of Instrument, Environment, and Laboratory Technologist Contamination During Routine Diagnostic Testing of Infectious Specimens - Melanie Yarbrough, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis 

Judges will rate the four presentations on scientific content, originality, and presentation, then award a first and second place and two honorable mentions.

The poster competition from 2:15 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in room 6C/6F of the San Diego Convention Center will feature more than 70 presentations this year. Judges will review, rate, and score each individual poster in timed rounds, and similar to the oral presentations, award a first and second place and two honorable mentions.

Judging slots are coveted positions, Gronowski said. People are willing to judge for several reasons: One, that it’s fun, and even more significantly, it’s a way to give back to the profession. “We were all students at one point, and this is a way to support the future generation,” she said.

More than 70 judges are participating in this year’s contest. The majority are board-certified clinical laboratorians or medical doctors and come from major academic centers but quite a few hail from industry as well, Gronowski said. “Although most are from the United States, I am happy to say that we also have a number from Canada.”

There’s still time to register for the 69th AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo July 30–Aug. 3 in San Diego, to experience the poster sessions, poster walks, and student poster competition.