CHICAGO – At the 70th AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo—the premier global conference and exhibit for laboratory medicine—trailblazers in the field will share the pioneering research and technology paving the way for better clinical testing and patient care. From July 29–August 2 in Chicago, the meeting will feature more than 200 talks on a broad range of timely healthcare topics. Highlights of these include plenaries on how to translate knowledge of the molecular pathway of cancer into specific therapies, technology that defines the genetic defects that lead to pediatric liver disease, the HPV vaccine and associated cancers, using CRISPR to detect nucleic acid sequences, and how the new WHO Essential Diagnostics List will be used to meet the medical needs of a global population.

Genomic detection. In a plenary session, Kenneth Setchell, PhD, of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital will describe how the technology of mass spectrometry can be applied to define new genetic defects – such as those his team found in children with congenital liver disease that led to life-saving treatment for this previously fatal condition.

The discovery that CRISPR-Cas13a/C2c2 can be used for the rapid, reliable inexpensive detection of nucleic acid sequences has led to the technique SHERLOCK (Specific High-sensitivity Enzymatic Reporter unLOCKing). A plenary session given by James Collins, PhD, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will focus on how his team created and used SHERLOCK to achieve detection of the Zika virus down to 1,000 copies per mL.

Cancer therapies. Brian Druker, MD, revolutionized the treatment of cancer through research that resulted in the first drug to target the molecular defect of a cancer while leaving healthy cells unharmed. In a plenary session, Dr. Druker, of the Oregon Health & Science University Cancer Institute, will discuss how to translate knowledge of the molecular pathogenesis of cancer into specific therapies, and investigate the optimal use of these molecularly targeted agents.

In a plenary session, Denise Galloway, PhD, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, will review the history of HPV vaccine development, especially the work needed to meet U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations and the importance of achieving herd immunity, as well as future steps needed to improve the vaccine’s efficacy and availability.

Population health. While medicines treat disease, diagnostics find disease. Yet in global health initiatives, diagnostics receive much less attention. Timothy Amukele, MD, PhD, of Johns Hopkins University, and Lee Schroeder, MD, PhD, of the University of Michigan, will give a plenary presentation addressing how the WHO’s new Model List of Essential Diagnostics will help patients in resource-poor settings gain access to the most effective clinical tests.

In the Chair’s Invited Session, speakers will discuss how laboratories can leverage historical and longitudinal test results to develop targeted population health management tools that can lead to improved patient health outcomes and reduce the total cost of care.

Pain treatment. Efforts to control acute and chronic pain in the late 20th century spurred rapid prescribing of opioids and resulted in the current opioid epidemic faced in the U.S. Although laboratory testing plays a key role in detecting misuse of these drugs, it cannot end the epidemic alone. The AACC President’s Invited Session will explore the tactics being deployed to combat an epidemic that is responsible for the first drop in U.S. life expectancy since the early 1990s.

Additionally, more than 800 exhibitors will display innovative technologies at the Clinical Lab Expo in every clinical lab discipline. Attendees will have the opportunity to see hundreds of new products just coming to market in areas such as mobile health, molecular diagnostics, mass spectrometry, point-of-care, automation, and more.

The boundaries of laboratory medicine continue to expand, with new innovations coming every day in areas as diverse as cancer, global population health, pain treatment, and genomics,” said AACC CEO Janet B. Kreizman. “The 70th AACC Annual Scientific Meeting will feature leaders in laboratory medicine who are actively engaging with and harnessing these innovations to bring better clinical care to all patients.”

Session Information

AACC Annual Scientific Meeting registration is free for members of the media. Reporters can register online here:

Genomic Detection

Session 12001: Genetic Defects in Bile Acid Synthesis Causing Liver Disease - Diagnosis and Treatment - Translational Medicine from Mass Spectrometry Discovery to the Bedside
Monday, July 30
8:45–10:15 a.m.
Grand Ballroom/S100

Session 14001: Nucleic Acid Detection Using CRISPR-Dx
Wednesday, August 1
8:45–10:15 a.m.
Grand Ballroom/S100

Cancer Therapies

Session 11001: Imatinib as a Paradigm of Targeted Cancer Therapies
Sunday, July 29
5–6:30 p.m.
Grand Ballroom/S100

Session 13001: HPV Associated Cancers and the HPV Vaccine
Tuesday, July 31
8:45–10:15 a.m.
Grand Ballroom/S100

Population Health

Session 15001: Essential Diagnostics: Meeting the Needs of a Global Population
Thursday, August 2
8:45–10:15 a.m.
Grand Ballroom/S100

Session 32220: Clinical Lab 2.0: How Laboratories Can Support Value Based Care, Optimize Patient Outcomes, and Reduce Total Cost of Care in Acute and Chronic Conditions
Monday, July 30
2:30–5 p.m.
Room S504

Pain Treatment

32109: President`s Invited Session. A View from the Trenches of the Opioid Epidemic: How Do We Win the War?
Monday, July 30
10:30 a.m.–12 noon
Room S106

All sessions will take place at the McCormick Place convention center in Chicago.

About the 70th AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo

The AACC Annual Scientific Meeting offers 5 days packed with opportunities to learn about exciting science from July 29–August 2. Plenary sessions feature the latest research on targeted cancer therapies, technology to define genetic defects, the HPV vaccine and associated cancers, CRISPR for detection of nucleic acid sequences, and the new WHO Essential Diagnostics List.

At the AACC Clinical Lab Expo, more than 800 exhibitors will fill the show floor of McCormick Place in Chicago with displays of the latest diagnostic technology, including but not limited to mobile health, molecular diagnostics, mass spectrometry, point-of-care, and automation.

About AACC

Dedicated to achieving better health through laboratory medicine, AACC brings together more than 50,000 clinical laboratory professionals, physicians, research scientists, and business leaders from around the world focused on clinical chemistry, molecular diagnostics, mass spectrometry, translational medicine, lab management, and other areas of progressing laboratory science. Since 1948, AACC has worked to advance the common interests of the field, providing programs that advance scientific collaboration, knowledge, expertise, and innovation. For more information, visit