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My IBMS: IBMS Congress 2019

In the final coverage of IBMS Congress 2019, we thank the IBMS Birmingham Branch and congratulate the competition winners and best stands.

Thank you Birmingham branch volunteers

IBMS Congress was a huge success thanks to the help and support of the Birmingham branch members, whose volunteers proved essential for this year’s event.

They helped fill 3000 delegate packs and over 400 student bags. For the four-day conference, Birmingham branch members showed their dedication to the profession and the Institute by devoting their time to ensuring the conference ran smoothly.

They helped to greet, register, prepare and guide over 300 speakers around the convention centre.

Among the first to arrive each day, Birmingham branch members provided assistance for delegates, ensuring they were headed in the right direction for the programme and exhibition. They also helped manage the poster competition.

Without the hard work and dedication of the Birmingham branch volunteers, Congress would not run as efficiently. Their commitment is proof of the fundamental contribution that IBMS branches and regions give to the organisation and the profession.

The IBMS would like to thank the Birmingham branch volunteers for their hard work and dedication.

Congress exhibition winners

At each Congress a panel of judges, including the IBMS President Alison Geddis, Chief Executive Jill Rodney and Company Members Liaison Group Chairman Mark Reed, attend the exhibition.

Visiting the stands, the judges assess each display on appearance and the welcome visitors receive. This year saw over 140 exhibitors at Congress, who impressed the judges with the interactive and informative displays on show.

This year’s winners included Best Stand, which was won by CellPath, and Best Shell Scheme, won by Scientific Laboratory Supplies (SLS).

Tim Davies of CellPath said: “This is the first time we have won the best stand award, and it was great to hear that the decision from the judges was unanimous. The stand design was fantastic, allowing hands-on demonstrations. This, with the enthusiasm and welcoming approach of our employees working on the stand, led to the award being presented to CellPath.”

Peter Chapman of SLS said: “The IBMS Congress is an important event for SLS, providing us with an ideal opportunity to meet with so many customers in such a short period of time. We look forward to raising the bar again at the next Congress.”

Poster competition

As part of the IBMS Congress programme, a poster competition was held to showcase the best new research and ideas in biomedical science disciplines.

The judging process was very difficult due to the exceptionally high standard of posters received. With so many noteworthy entries, the judges wish to thank all the poster presenters for their strong entries.

The winners are:

  • Cellular Pathology, Daniel Simmons, The first national digital pathology service: the PITHIA trial  
  • Clinical Chemistry, Cerin John, Do overloading sampling devices affect faecal immunochemical test (FIT) haemoglobin concentration?  
  • Education and Management, Martin Khechara, Engaging in SciCom from the students’ perspective – more than just engaging the next generation of biomedical scientists?  
  • Genomics and Molecular Pathology, Adewale Oke, Molecular detection of Mycobacterium ulcerans strains in South-West, Nigeria  
  • Haematology, Tahmina Hussain, The Analysis of Blood Morphology on Peripheral Blood Smears using Manual Microscopy and an Automated Analyser, The CellaVision DM96  
  • Immunology, Faye Sims, Antibodies in type 1 diabetes pregnancy  
  • Medical Microbiology, Jennifer Henderson, Prevalence of carbapenemase producing organisms in East London  
  • Point of Care Testing, Gareth Davies, Development of an External Quality Assessment Programme for POCT D-dimer  
  • Quality Management, Agatha Christie Saez, Review of EQA specimens containing multiple faecal parasites: a three-year analysis  
  • Transfusion Science, Caroline Smith, Is the Kleihauer test still relevant in the blood transfusion laboratory?  
  • Virology, Louise Nugent, HHV-6 detection in Ireland: significance of age

We wish warm congratulations to all of the poster winners and thank everyone who contributed. To see tweets from the conference, use the hashtag #IBMScongress2019 on Twitter, or for the highlights, see the IBMS’ stories on Instagram.

Congress awe-inspiring for Mary Macdonald award winners

The IBMS Congress 2019 Mary Macdonald Congress Award winners have commented on their experiences at Congress.

The award was created in honour of former IBMS Council Member Mary Macdonald, who wished to encourage and recognise excellence in others working in laboratory support worker roles.

The award sponsors up to 20 free places for non-HCPC registered members to attend the Biomedical Support Staff programme at IBMS Congress.

Sandra Power said: “The talks were very informative, interesting and enjoyable and were relevant to my job as a Medical Laboratory Assistant in microbiology at Macclesfield District General Hospital as I am currently studying General Certificate in Biomedical Science (Distance Learning) at Ulster University to top up my biology degree and hopefully progress.”

Vanimira Dzhugdanova said: “I’m grateful to have had this amazing opportunity. I found all the talks so useful and informative, it was fascinating seeing and hearing about new technology and the future of pathology. I would really encourage anyone to attend this event.”

Matthew Burdett said: “Being one of the winners of the Mary Macdonald award helped me so much by giving me and the other winners the opportunity to attend Congress and to improve our CPD. The biomedical science support staff session was very informative.”

Nikita Delgaty said: “Experience is the best teacher and being given the opportunity to visit Congress has opened up my mind to ideas around other areas of research and the chance to explore new roles in science and healthcare. Thank you for offering me the Mary Macdonald bursary and giving me an insight into the world of biomedical science.”

Zoe Andrews said: “It was an awe-inspiring experience and there were so many interesting lectures. The closing plenary was just fantastic and Professor James Grieve summed up my learning in his speech when he said: ‘How important entertainment is to education’. IBMS Congress 2019 was definitely entertaining – we were provided with enjoyment in endless amounts.”

Jen Johnson Bursary winners enjoy Congress 2019

The IBMS Congress 2019 Jen Johnson Bursary winners’ have given their feedback on this year’s event.

Created in 2017 in honour of Jen Johnson, a former IBMS Council member who was passionate about IBMS Congress, and wished for more people in the profession to have the chance to attend, the bursary supports the applications of 20 IBMS members to attend 
Congress, providing a grant of up to £1000.

Following Congress 2019, some of the bursary winners report back on their experiences at Congress.

Laura Willis LIBMS said: “Attending Congress was an exciting, positive experience for me. I came away with much more up-to-date knowledge in the field of microbiology and a renewed enthusiasm for biomedical science in general.”

Danny Gaskin LIBMS said: “It was both a privilege and an honour to attend my first IBMS Congress, facilitated by the award of the Jen Johnson Bursary. The event was brilliantly organised, and it was fantastic to meet up with many familiar faces from the online biomedical science community and enjoy learning and socialising together.”

Nina Harrison LIBMS said: “I thoroughly enjoyed attending IBMS Congress for the first time, receiving the Jen Johnson Bursary provided me with a fantastic opportunity to explore everything Congress had to offer over the three days.”

Cherie Beckett LIBMS said: “Winning the Jen Johnson bursary and being able to attend IBMS Congress 2019 in its entirety was an incredible opportunity for me. Not only to learn from experts in their field, but also to network with many of the like-minded individuals who share my passion for biomedical science.”

The IBMS is looking forward to supporting more members to attend Congress in the future.


Scotland AGM

The IBMS Scotland Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Scientific Meeting will be held on 14 November at 9.30am to 5pm.

It will take place at The Studio, 67 Hope Street, Glasgow.

The AGM is a free event for all IBMS Scotland members to attend.

The Scientific Meeting is a paid-for event for members and non-members and tickets must be purchased online from the website Eventbrite.

Further details can be found on the events section of the IBMS website.  

Northern Ireland AGM

The IBMS Northern Ireland Branch Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held on 14 November at 5.45pm

It will take place at the Raddisson Blu Hotel, The Gasworks, Cromac Place in Belfast.

It will feature an audience with the IBMS President, Alison Geddis, which will be followed by the AGM. A light buffet will be provided.

Registration is essential for catering purposes and any dietary requirements should be stated.  

Register by Thursday 7 November by emailing [email protected]

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