Linnea Baudhuin, PhD

When the 2022 AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo kicks off this summer, it will mark the culmination of nearly 2 years of work by members of the Annual Meeting Organizing Committee (AMOC), who have been busy planning since October 2020. 

“It's a long, intense process,” said Linnea Baudhuin, PhD, AMOC chair and professor of laboratory medicine and pathology at Mayo Clinic. “We get hundreds of session proposals and abstracts, and we go through each one carefully to ensure we’re providing well-rounded, high-quality content.” 

Here, Baudhuin provides a preview of the 5-day meeting, to be held July 24-28 in Chicago.

Q: What are you most looking forward to at this year's meeting?

A: The meeting is always an inspiring, engaging event. It’s a great forum for attendees to learn from global leaders in laboratory medicine and network with colleagues. We’ll have over 250 educational opportunities in formats from lectures to interactive sessions, and roundtables to plenaries. We have an incredibly diverse group of speakers from around the world, covering all aspects of laboratory medicine and cutting-edge science.

The expo will showcase the latest technologies, including over 200 new products. We’ll have the popular Disruptive Technology competition, the Student Research and Oral Abstract awards, and the always hilarious Laboratory Feud. The meeting has so much to offer to everyone.

I'm also excited about the location. Chicago is such a fun city to visit, with great museums, a beautiful lakefront and riverfront, and amazing architecture. There’s always so much to do, especially in the summer.

How have changes in laboratory medicine affected the meeting content?

During COVID-19, laboratory medicine was a beacon of light that revealed to the world how critical our field is to healthcare. Now is the time to continue that wave of success and continue to shine through innovation and leadership.

We also need to be aware that spotlights placed on our field have led to increased interest in some legislature initiatives, including the VALID Act, which would expand the Food and Drug Administration’s power to regulate laboratory-developed tests (LDTs). It’s critically important that we understand the implications of these initiatives on our field. The “Valid Vital LDTs” expert session on Monday, July 25, is a great way to learn more about these important issues.

It's also become apparent that laboratory medicine professionals are passionate about providing optimal health care for diverse populations. We are excited this year to offer six pathways of sessions, including one on transforming population health and equity, as well as mobilizing data analytics, accelerating molecular diagnostics, and elevating point-of-care testing.

What about current medicine and science makes it critical for us to collaborate in this manner?

We’re living in an era of data and information. The vast amounts of data we can generate today present opportunities to make new discoveries and advance healthcare through data sharing. Connecting at the meeting can open opportunities to share data and form collaborations to make new discoveries. In that vein, several of our sessions are geared toward optimizing discoveries through data analytics and informatics. 

We are also living in an era of connectivity through social media platforms. Social media can be a great tool to enhance your professional presence, connect, and discover new things about the field. I'm looking forward to our “Social Media in Laboratory Medicine” session.

With all the information thrown at us today, the meeting provides a terrific opportunity to take time to focus on our field. By enhancing our knowledge and creating connections, we can continue to elevate laboratory medicine and its importance in patient care.

Was can attendees expect to take away from this meeting?

I thank the 2022 AMOC for their incredible vision and hard work. We have a gamut of clinical and scientific sessions covering areas like cardiology, endocrinology, immunology, infectious disease, oncology, personalized medicine, and others. The meeting is an excellent opportunity to learn about the latest in mass spectrometry, machine learning and data analytics, translational medicine, and lab management. I encourage everyone to take advantage of all that the meeting has to offer. If you see me walking around the convention center, please say hello, and let me know what you are enjoying most about the meeting.

Karen Blum is a freelance medical and science writer who lives in Owings Mills, Maryland. +Email: [email protected]