Industry News: AACC Publishes Program for 2011 Annual Meeting

26 Apr 2011

The American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) has published the program for its 2011 Annual Meeting being held July 23 – 28 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA. This year the Annual Meeting features almost 300 individual educational events in a variety of formats. Hot topics for 2011 include cancer, obesity, diabetes, and healthcare reform:

Sunday, July 24: Inherited Breast and Ovarian Cancer: Fulfilling a Promise of Personalized Genomic Medicine (Mary-Claire King, PhD, University of Washington). In this opening Plenary Session, Dr. King, winner of the 2011 Wallace H. Coulter Lectureship Award, discusses the discovery of the BRCA1 gene and its use in understanding the role of genetics in development of breast and ovarian cancer. Dr. King will also discuss the role of BRCA1 in new diagnostic strategies for women from families at high risk for developing breast cancer. Information about other cancer-related events can be found here.

Monday, July 25: The Obesity Epidemic: Where Are We? (Jeffrey Koplan, MD, MPH, The Emory Global Health Institute). Dr. Koplan will examine the reasons for the nation’s growing obesity epidemic along with solutions based on scientific data on disseminating and popularizing these solutions for maximum impact. He will emphasize the novel approach of tackling the societal and health problems of inactivity and obesity among U.S children. Information about other sessions dealing with obesity is available here.

Pediatric Obesity: A Growing Epidemic Moderated by Elia Mears, MS, MT(ASCP)SM, this full day symposium features speakers from Harvard Pilgrims Health Care Institute and Harvard Medical School, Emory University School of Medicine, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention), and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. This session will include an overview of pediatric obesity, as monitored by CDC surveillance and discuss risk factors, complications, behavioral and pharmacological treatment. It will conclude with clinical treatment and strategies/initiatives for lifestyle behavior changes in the pediatric population. Information about other sessions dealing with obesity is available here.

Beyond PSA: Molecular Markers of Prostate Cancer Moderated by James Faix, MD, Stanford University, this afternoon symposium features speakers from Dartmouth Medical School, Johns Hopkins University, and Emory University. PSA screening for prostate cancer is controversial, and PSA levels do not help to establish the likelihood of aggressive tumor behavior. The speakers will review the current understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of cancer and, using prostate cancer as a model, they will also illustrate the potential for molecular markers of both genetic abnormalities and viral infection to diagnosis and management. Information about other cancer events is available here.

Tuesday, July 26 Direct-to-Consumer Genomic Testing: Opening a Pandora's Box? Moderated by KT Jerry Yeo, PhD, DABCC, FACB, University of Chicago, this morning symposium features speakers from Reykjavik, Iceland and Cleveland, OH. Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) genomic tests are widely marketed to consumers as tools of “empowering personal choices about their health and well-being”. However there are risks attached to making complex medical decisions without adequate clinical understanding or direction from health providers. This symposium will discuss the current controversies in DTC testing.

Wednesday, July 27 Update on Laboratory Medicine for the Diagnosis, Classification and Management of Diabetes: Moderated by M. Sue Kirkman, MD, American Diabetes Association, the symposium features speakers from the National Institutes of Health, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, and Brown University, Providence, RI. New guidelines for laboratory analysis and diagnosis in diabetes are being developed. In this morning symposium, recent changes and the strength of the evidence for the recommendations will be discussed. . Information about other diabetes-focused events is available here.

Thursday, July 28 US, Canadian and UK Laboratory Healthcare Systems: A Shootout Laboratories traditionally find themselves at the forefront of any healthcare expenditure reductions. This has been intensified by recent global economic pressures and unprecedented government deficits. This morning symposium will debate the recent approaches taken by US, Canadian and UK laboratories to maintain quality while coping with an increase in demands and a reduction in reimbursement.

A detailed program for the 2011 Annual Meeting is available on AACC’s website and journalists can use AACC’s new session search facility to plan their week. AACC is now accepting press registrations for the Annual Meeting. To register, complete and submit a Press Registration Form. Accredited reporters will have complimentary access to the exhibits, plenary sessions, symposia and poster sessions. Access to other events will depend on space availability and other restrictions set out in AACC’s Media Registration Policy. For more information about the Annual Meeting or AACC, contact Peter Patterson on either of the above phone numbers or at

AACC is a leading professional society dedicated to improving healthcare through laboratory medicine. Its over 9,000 members are clinical laboratory professionals, physicians, research scientists, and others involved in developing tests and directing laboratory operations. AACC brings this community together with programs that advance knowledge, expertise, and innovation.