International gathering of world-leading pathologists

By John Connole
Thursday, 14 February, 2013

Australasia’s largest gathering of world leading pathologists is taking place in Melbourne next week.
The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA) is set to host its 12th annual Pathology Update conference at the Melbourne Convention Centre.  The conference, which features a new scientific program, will run from 22nd - 24th February 2013.
This year’s conference, themed ‘Melbourne Under The Microsope’, will bring together some of the world’s leading pathologists in all nine of the profession’s disciplines.
Speakers at the event will present the latest in pathology innovation, new reports and studies plus the latest medical discoveries. Melbourne will be the new home of Pathology Update for the next four years. President of the RCPA, Professor Yee Khong, says Pathology Update is a much-anticipated annual event.
“The best minds in pathology and medical research meet to share global best practices, talk about the latest in research breakthroughs and discuss ongoing projects in the field.  This year, we have a spectacular array of speakers who will cover all areas of pathology,” says Professor Khong.
Pathology Update 2013 has six extraordinary international speakers who are leaders in their fields and a contingent of over 150 local speakers.  Renowned international medical experts will also share their knowledge and speaking at the event.  Among them are:

  • Dr Richard DeMay, Professor and Director of Cytopathology at the University of Chicago;

  • Lynne Garcia, MS, CLS, BLM, FAAM, is the former Manager of the UCLA Clinical Microbiology Laboratory, and is currently the Director of LSG & Associates in Miami, Florida;

  • Dr Lee Hilborne is Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA;

  • Professor Kiat Ruxrungtham MD, M.Sc., Professor of Medicine at the Department of Medicine at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand;

  • Dr Charles Strom, senior medical director of the Genetic Testing Centre of Quest Diagnostsics Nichols Institute, the world renowned esoteric testing laboratory and research and development centre of Quest Diagnostics in the USA;

  • Professor Swee Lay Thein, Professor of Molecular Haematology/Consultant Haematologist at King’s College London (KCL) and King’s College Hospital where she is also clinical director of the Red Cell Centre.

A wide range of topics will cover new developments, studies, and technology. To name just a few, these topics will include: mutation testing in cancer; orphan diseases; international collaboration; accelerated diagnosis pathway using troponin; HIV point of care testing; autoantibodies in the prediction of coeliac disease; the implementation of common reference levels; subcomponents of peanut testing; and newborn screening for severe combined immunodeficiency disease.
“This type of discussion is critical to the pathology profession which is arguably the most important area of medicine.  About 11.5 million Australians, which is about half the population, have at least one pathology test each year.  This equates to over 500 million pathology tests every year,” says Professor Khong.
During the conference, the RCPA will also award those who have achieved great things for the pathology profession over the past 12 months.  This includes trainees, fellows and medical reporters.
Professor Khong says that pathologists work behind the scenes, performing the most crucial role in medicine.
“Pathologists train for 13 years to become qualified and are integral to the diagnosis of 70% of all diseases and 100% of all cancers.  All test results provided by pathologists are used by doctors to assist in diagnosing or managing patients’ health or used for research that leads to medical breakthroughs.  Without pathology, there simply isn’t medicine,” says Professor Khong.
About the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia:
The RCPA is the leading organisation representing pathologists in Australasia. Its mission is to train and support pathologists and to improve the use of pathology testing to achieve better healthcare.
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