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April's IBMS Congress update

Congress is packed with vital material, including something unique in cellular pathology, writes Sarah May of the IBMS.

IBMS Congress: Pro Vision Photography Ltd

We really are packing an unprecedented amount of material into our cellular pathology and cytopathology programmes at Congress. This reflects the changes and developments in these two areas of practice, and we’re introducing even more andrology content too.

In response to the massive increase in interest in the Diploma of Expert Practice in Non-gynaecological cytology, we are running an intensive afternoon microscopy workshop on the Sunday for all cytologists with experience of non-gynae screening of urines, effusions and respiratory samples. This workshop will cover the timed screening and reporting of cases from these three specimen types followed by a guided tutorial on the relevant features of all of the cases screened. This is an ideal learning opportunity for all non-gynae cytologists, whether or not sitting the Diploma of Expert Practice examination – you need to book a place early as spaces are limited.

The cytopathology lecture programme from Monday to Wednesday carries a combination of both gynaecological and non-gynaecological cytology that addresses a blend of current issues in the screening programme, plus diagnostic and morphology lectures. We will also be holding daily one-hour lunchtime non-gynae microscopy workshops that delegates can attend – no need to book.

Mindful of the recent problems associated with andrology services in the context of UKAS accreditation, we are introducing a practical andrology workshop on the Monday afternoon. This is a new addition and those wishing to book early to guarantee a place should phone the booking line on 01892 779990.

The full updated programme and launch will be in the June edition of The Biomedical Scientist. This practical microscopy workshop will complement the andrology lectures we are featuring on the Tuesday afternoon.

The Cellular Pathology programme features a range of best practice lectures to help delegates to ensure that their service is operating and conforming to the highest laboratory and diagnostic standards. It is designed to benefit attendees and also the departments supporting their attendance. In addition, there will be a lecture on the Monday about the new Histopathology Reporting examination, delivered by Jo Horne who was our first successful candidate.

Jo will also be delivering a seminar on the dissection and reporting examinations, with the opportunity in this smaller group seminar for delegates to talk to Jo directly about her experiences and role. We will also be inviting a histopathologist to speak with Jo on this seminar programme about the challenges the RCPath has faced in supporting the introduction of the examination and the new extended biomedical scientist role. Full details of the Hall 4 Seminar programme will be in the June edition.

Cellular pathology is unique among all the programmes in that it is retaining a session on research and innovation. Histologists, cytologists and andrologists will find much to support their development in these programmes.

My “take-home” message on the cytopathology and histopathology programmes is: These programmes carry the most comprehensive suite of lectures, seminars and practical workshops we have ever offered. The blend of lectures will meet the needs of experienced and more recently qualified individuals. The core focus is service delivery and best scientific practice.   


Final call for research posters

Don’t forget, 30 April is the deadline to apply to present a poster at Congress

  • Working on something that is novel, and relevant to biomedical science?
  • Whether a biomedical scientist, student, lecturer, or research scientist, we’d like to hear from you. 
  • Further details, application forms and instructions for the preparation of abstracts are available from

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Each article’s contents should be read, researched and understood, and you should then come to a decision on each question. The pass mark is 17 out of 20 questions answered correctly. JBL exercises may be completed at any time until the published deadline date. Please select your choice of correct answers and complete the exercises online at: