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Theranos whistleblowers and experts on AI and genomic sequencing draw nearly 17,000 attendees to 2022 AACC Annual Scientific Meeting

AACC welcomed thousands of medical professionals and healthcare leaders to the 2022 AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo at the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago from July 24-28. The meeting featured ground-breaking diagnostic advances that will help solve challenging patient health problems, and affirmed just how essential laboratory medicine professionals are to patient safety and care.

Nearly 17,000 laboratory medicine professionals registered for the meeting – a clear sign that attendance has bounced back to pre-pandemic levels.

A major highlight of the conference programme was an indepth discussion with Theranos whistleblowers Erika Cheung and Tyler Shultz about their efforts to reveal Theranos’ fraud and protect patients. The session offered a vivid lesson in the standards of ethics and accountability at work within the profession.

Attendees also had the chance to see five plenary talks presented by life sciences pioneers.

In the opening keynote, Dr Lucila Ohno-Machado discussed performance measures that may help clinicians select precision medicine artificial intelligence models for routine use.

The plenary speaker on Monday 25 July was Dr George Church, winner of AACC’s 2022 Wallace H. Coulter Lectureship Award. He focused on combining machine learning with multiplexing and explained how this is the key to unlocking the treasure chest of genomic technologies.

On 26 July, Dr Alysson Muotri explored brain organoids, which have been used to model the neurotropic effects of SARS-CoV-2 and provide insight into organogenesis and neurotoxicology.

On 27 July, Dr Thomas Lee described a three-component model for building trust between patients and the healthcare workforce.

On 28 July, for the closing keynote, Dr Livia Schiavinato Eberlin presented on the development and application of direct mass spectrometry techniques used in clinical micro-
biology labs, clinical pathology labs, and the operating room.

Disruptive Technology

As part of AACC’s Disruptive Technology Award competition, biotech innovators presented novel technologies that could help more patients get accurate diagnoses. Nanopath won with its solid-state biosensing platform, which provides clinically actionable genetic information in less than 15 minutes and could greatly improve routine women’s health screening at the point of care.

The 2022 AACC Clinical Lab Expo featured 781 exhibitors who showcased cutting-edge tests from all laboratory medicine disciplines, including COVID-19 testing, artificial intelligence, mobile health, molecular diagnostics, mass spectrometry, point of care, and automation. “We are thrilled to see the laboratory medicine and in vitro diagnostic community back in full force at the 2022 AACC Annual Scientific Meeting,” said Mark J. Golden, AACC CEO. “Laboratory medicine professionals have had a challenging two-plus years providing the testing that is crucial to managing the COVID-19 pandemic, and this meeting has been a vital opportunity for them to share lessons learned from this experience. It has also given our attendees the chance to look beyond the pandemic and prepare the field for the future. This year’s AACC Annual Scientific Meeting showcased inspiring advances, and I am excited to see what next year’s meeting will bring.”

AACC honours 2022 Award winners

In May this year the AACC, announced the recipients of the 2022 AACC and AACC Academy Awards. Through this annual awards programme, AACC and its academy recognize individuals around the world for outstanding research and service in the field of laboratory medicine, and strive to raise awareness of the vital contribution made by all lab professionals to patient care. The 2022 AACC and AACC Academy Award winners were recognized during the 2022 AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo at Chicago’s McCormick Place Convention Center.

AACC President Dr Stephen R. Master commended the winners “whose dedication to and innovative work in the field of laboratory medicine has been essential to driving healthcare forward. Their exceptional achievements in research, service, and education have advanced the ability of lab experts to solve challenging medical problems and to ensure that patients receive high quality care, which is more important than ever as lab experts continue to play a central role in bringing the coronavirus pandemic under control.”

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2022 AACC Award winners

Wallace H. Coulter Lectureship Award

• George Church, PhD
• Harvard University

Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine

• Michael J. Bennett, PhD, FRCPath, DABCC, FACB
• University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Outstanding Contributions to Education in Clinical Chemistry

• David Hage, PhD
• University of Nebraska – Lincoln

Outstanding Contributions Through Service to the Profession of Clinical Chemistry

• James D. Faix, MD
• Quest Diagnostics

Outstanding Scientific Achievements by a Young Investigator

• Christopher W. Farnsworth, PhD
• Washington University School of Medicine

Clinical Laboratory Scientist Achievement Award

• Peggy Mann, MS, MT(ASCP), CPP
• University of Texas Medical Branch

AACC Past President’s Award

• David G. Grenache, PhD, DABCC
• TriCore Reference Laboratories

2022 AACC Academy Award winners

AACC Academy Award for Outstanding Contributions to Clinical Chemistry in a Selected Area of Research

• Rossa W.K. Chiu, MBBS, PhD, FRCPA, FHKCPath, FHKAM (Pathology)
• The Chinese University of Hong Kong

AACC Academy Professor Alvin Dubin Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Profession and the Academy

• Roger L. Bertholf, PhD, DABCC, FAACC, MASCP
• Houston Methodist Hospital

AACC Academy George Grannis Award for Excellence in Research and Scientific Publication

• Ruben Y. Luo, PhD, DABCC
• Stanford University