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Top five congress picks

With IBMS Congress 2019 just a few months away and the speakers now confirmed, we ask some of the scientific programme leads which sessions they are looking forward to most and why.

Top 5 iStock

Chris Elliott

Lead Scientist, transfusion

Top pick: The role of the advanced therapies unit in the generation of advance therapy medicinal products
Speaker: Dr Laurence Pearce

Why: Currently, this work occurs in a few specialist centres across the country. However, I believe that in the future this type of therapy will expand and although the cell manipulations may stay within select labs many other labs will have to handle the finished product and ensure safe distribution to patients.

The skill set for this is similar to the existing ones in transfusion, but it is vital that lab scientists involved have a firm understanding of the science of this therapy as they currently do with blood component therapy.

Alex Javed

Service Manager - Laboratories

Top pick: One-step nucleic acid amplification for breast SLN
Speaker: Leah Tauira

Why: I am looking forward to the whole of the Tuesday morning session, which features case studies across a wide range of specialist areas (these include one-step nucleic acid amplification, Mohs’ surgery, Wilms’ tumour, for example).

It provides an opportunity for speakers to highlight these areas and for the attendees to gain an insight into the clinical complexities of the conditions and the techniques used to support diagnosis, thereby widening awareness of the critical role of the cellular pathology laboratory in improving patient outcomes.

Sheri Scott

Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Science

Top pick: Interferences in immunoassay
Speaker: Dr Karen Smith

Why: The programme is pretty great this year, with a wide range of topics across all days, so I find it difficult to pick specific sessions of interest.

If any, I think my go-to would be the “Interferences in immunoassay” session on Monday. This is very topical at the moment and should appeal to all grades of biomedical scientists.

I would also like to draw attention to the clinical case sessions running on Tuesday. Our programme aims to provide both basics and more advanced clinical biochemistry to support learning across the full range of IBMS qualifications.

Kirstie Rice

Consultant Biomedical Scientist

Top pick: HPV implementation – international perspective
Speaker: Jesper Bonde

Why: I’m very much looking forward to hearing about HPV primary screening implementation from outside the NHSCSP from our European speaker Jesper Bonde, particularly as this follows on from the earlier sessions on the Monday looking at the UK perspective.  

On a personal development perspective (and being part way through this process myself) I’m also very interested in hearing about Gary Player’s experiences undertaking the ASD Gynae Histology reporting qualification on the Tuesday.

Sally Cutler

Professor in Medical Microbiology

Top pick: Animal diagnosticians – what can we learn
Speaker: Dr Nicola Rooney

Why: Parallel sessions are often challenging, but to select a favourite from the 2019 Congress is a really tough call. As a microbiologist, I am probably bias, but see myself running between sessions.

One dilemma will be to choose between “The last days of smallpox, tragedy in Birmingham” and “Animal diagnosticians – what can we learn”, both at 16.30 on Tuesday. The final session for transfusion science looks really exciting, covering blood supply in Africa, through to blood buses and drones, but then that clashes with “Monkey pox in the UK”...


Image credit | iStock

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