Plenary Sessions

Advances and Innovations

ADLM is proud to announce the following Plenary sessions. These thought-provoking lectures, held each day, Sunday to Thursday, are delivered by world-renowned experts and cover timely topics spanning the breadth of laboratory medicine.

Additional details will be added as they become available.

Sunday, July 28

Patrick Bossuyt

Why We Need More Strong Clinical Trials of Laboratory Tests
2024 Wallace H. Coulter Lectureship Awardee

Patrick M. Bossuyt, PhD
Full Professor, Clinical Epidemiology
Amsterdam UMC
University of Amsterdam
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

It is very well recognized that new pharmaceuticals should be properly evaluated in strong clinical trials, preferably in large and representative groups sampled from the intended use population. Clinical trials are also used to evaluate other interventions in clinical medicine, such as surgical strategies. In contrast, to date, laboratory medicine has not experienced serious pressure to provide evidence of clinical performance, or clinical utility, of laboratory tests based on clinical trials. In this presentation, we will present arguments, based on our research, why we need clinical trials of laboratory tests – and of other medical tests – to support evidence-based clinical practice guidelines, reimbursement decisions, and other recommendations. Strong clinical trials with pre-specified protocols can prevent “spin”, will introduce rigor and discipline in study design and methods, and may be able reduce the bias in the evaluation of laboratory medicine.

Biography: Patrick M. Bossuyt, PhD, is the professor of Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Amsterdam. His research focuses on studies of the effectiveness of clinical interventions and medical tests to guide clinical recommendations and coverage decisions. Dr. Bossuyt leads the Biomarker and Test Evaluation research program in Amsterdam, evaluating and developing methods to evaluate the clinical performance and clinical utility of laboratory tests. He spearheaded the Standards for Reporting Diagnostic Accuracy Studies (STARD) initiative for the improved reporting of diagnostic test accuracy. Dr. Bossuyt has authored and co-authored several hundred publications in peer reviewed journals and serves on the editorial board of a number of these, including Radiology and Clinical Chemistry. For 10 years he chaired the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Dutch Health Insurance Board, overseeing the national healthcare benefits package.

Monday, July 29

Kojo Elenitoba Johnson

Lymphoma Biomarkers and Therapeutic Targets from Mass Spectrometry-driven Proteomics

Kojo S.J. Elenitoba-Johnson, MD
Chair, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
James Ewing Alumni Chair of Pathology
Professor, Gerstner Sloan Kettering Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
Member, Human Oncology & Pathogenesis Program (HOPP)
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
New York, NY

Cancer remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality and the identification of novel disease biomarkers and therapeutic targets is an increasing need in improving outcomes. Mass spectrometry-driven proteomics is rapidly emerging as a powerful strategy for the discovery of diagnostic biomarkers and therapeutic targets and enabler of precision oncology. MS-based proteomics affords the opportunity for unbiased and targeted interrogation of proteins in complex mixtures from cells and tissues. The ability to unambiguously identify post-translational modifications further affords detailed investigation of the signaling consequences of cellular perturbations in a large variety of biologic conditions including cancer. This session will discuss the basic functional aspects of mass spectrometry and its applications to proteomics and the promising prospects for leveraging MS-based strategies for diagnostics and identification of therapeutic targets.

Biography: Kojo S. J. Elenitoba-Johnson, MD is the inaugural Chair of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and Member of the Human Oncology & Pathogenesis Program (HOPP) at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Prior to this appointment, he was the Director of the Center of Personalized Diagnostics, and the inaugural Peter C. Nowell, M.D., Endowed Professor, in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Penn Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine, at the University of Pennsylvania from 2015 to August 2022. He is a recognized pioneer in lymphoma proteomics, and a leader in precision and integrated diagnostics. His work is notable for the identification and mechanistic elucidation of targetable genetic alterations underlying the pathogenesis of specific lymphoma subtypes. Dr. Elenitoba-Johnson is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the International Lymphoma Study Group. (2017) and has been recognized with numerous profession honors and awards, notably the Ramzi Cotran Young Investigator Award from the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology, the Outstanding Investigator (Former Warner-Lambert-Parke Davis) Award from the American Society for Investigative Pathology and the William Gerald Award from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Tuesday, July 30

Ron H.N. van Schaik

Implementation of PGx-based Testing in Precision Health: Do You Have Your DNA-passport?

Ron H.N. van Schaik, PhD, FACB, EuSpLM
Professor, Pharmacogenetics
Head of Department of Clinical Chemistry
Erasmus MC University Medical Center

The discovery that the metabolism of drugs is highly variable among patients, but can be predicted by DNA analysis of genes encoding drug metabolizing enzymes or drug transporters, motivated the incorporation of pharmacogenetics into clinical care. The initial focus was on cytochrome P450 enzymes: genotyping for CYP2D6 (involved in the metabolism of 20% of all drugs, but deficient in 5-10% of the population) and CYP2C19 (involved in metabolism of 20% of drugs, while 2-11% of the population is deficient) could benefit psychiatry, cardiology and oncology therapies. Currently, 15-30 genes for drug metabolizing enzymes and drug transporters can be (and are) used clinically for optimizing personalization of drug therapy. Pharmacogenetics is maturing as a clinical diagnostic tool, in which we see a shift from reactive single-gene testing to pre-emptive panel-based testing. In this presentation, successes and challenges for implementing pharmacogenetics into routine health care will be highlighted.

Biography: Professor Ron H.N. van Schaik (PhD/FACB) is a European Specialist in Laboratory Medicine and Full Professor of Pharmacogenetics (2013) and Clinical Chemistry (2023). He is head of the Department of Clinical Chemistry at Erasmus MC - University Medical Center Rotterdam and Director of the International (IFCC) Expert-Center for Pharmacogenetics. His main interest is the implementation of pharmacogenetics in clinical practice. He has published >350 peer reviewed articles relevant to this work. Professor van Schaik’s specific research interests include pharmacogenetics in oncology, cardiology, psychiatry, and pain medication, as well as ctDNA/liquid biopsy analyses and opioid use disorder. Professor van Schaik participates in national (DPWG) and international groups on pharmacogenetics (ESPT, PGRN, CPIC, PharmVar, AMP, EMA) and chairs the Dutch Network Clinical Pharmacogenetics group . Next to pharmacogenetics, he is involved in prostate cancer and cardiac biomarker research. He is recipient of the Ortho Clinical Diagnostics Award for Outstanding Research (2001), the AACC Outstanding Speaker Award (2009) and the AACC/Mol Pathology Award for Outstanding Scientific Research (2010). 

Wednesday, July 31

Sharon Hillier

Empowering Choice by Providing More Options in HIV Prevention

Sharon L. Hillier, PhD
Richard Sweet Professor of Reproductive Infectious Disease and Vice-Chair for Faculty Affairs, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Departments of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences and Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Director Reproductive Infectious Disease Research, Magee-Womens Research Institute
Pittsburgh, PA

Antiretroviral drugs containing a combination of the antiretroviral drugs tenofovir and emtricitabine used as oral daily pre-exposure prophylaxis has effectively reduced HIV in some populations but not others. An injectable form of the drug cabotegravir has been proven to be very effective in preventing HIV, but its expense and availability have limited its impact. Women, especially those living in Sub Saharan Africa who have the highest incidence of HIV, have expressed a preference for a range of products which could better meet their needs. Men who have sex with men and transgender people also have a high incidence of HIV who have expressed a desire for a broader range of prevention options. This session will explore the development of new products for HIV prevention, including those that can be used “on demand” and those that would minimize systemic exposure to antiretroviral drugs.

Biography: Sharon L. Hillier, Ph.D., is a microbiologist whose research has focused on understanding both the preventive and causative roles that certain microorganisms in the vagina have with respect to genital tract infections, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV, and on the evaluation of topical microbicides for prevention of STIs/HIV. At the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Hillier is the Richard Sweet Professor of Reproductive Infectious Disease and vice chair for faculty affairs in the department of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences. In addition, she holds secondary appointments in the School of Medicine’s department of microbiology and molecular genetics and with the Clinical and Translational Science Institute, and is a senior investigator at the University of Pittsburgh-affiliated Magee-Womens Research Institute. Dr. Hillier has been recognized twice by the American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association (ASTDA) as the recipient of the ASTDA Achievement Award in 1996 and the Thomas Parran Award in 2009. She served as chair of the NIH Office of AIDS Research (OAR) Advisory Council from 2010-2013, and served on NIH’s AIDS Research Advisory Council from 2016-2019. Dr. Hillier led the Microbicide Trials Network from 2006 through 2022, is a member of the HIV Prevention Trials Network, the Adolescent Trials Network, and currently leads a $125 M USAID-funded initiative to develop new products for prevention of HIV. She has published more than 350 articles in the field, and her work has spanned both national and international efforts to evaluate microbicidal tools for HIV prevention among women.

Thursday, August 1

Diana Greene Foster

Projected Health and Social Consequences of Ending the Federal Protection for Abortion in the United States

Diana Greene Foster, PhD (she/her/hers)
Professor in Residence
UCSF Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences
Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH)
San Francisco, CA

This presentation will discuss the changing landscape of abortion law since the Dobbs decision in June 2022 and how this legal change affects access to care. With the closure of legal clinics across much of the Midwest and southern United States, people are traveling large distances and ordering medication abortion pills online. We will discuss the consequences for people who are unable to get an abortion and instead carry an unwanted or unsafe pregnancy to term, based on data from the Turnaway Study collected from nearly 1,000 pregnant people that presented for care at 30 abortion facilities across the US. We will present mental health, physical health, and socioeconomic consequences for people who received abortions versus carry pregnancies to term, as well as for their children. Finally, we will discuss whether clinical laboratories may be called to test for use of abortion medications among pregnant people who present for care for miscarriage.

Biography: Diana Greene Foster, PhD, is a demographer and professor at the University of California, San Francisco. She led the United States Turnaway Study, a nationwide longitudinal prospective study of the health and well-being of women who seek abortion including both women who do and do not receive the abortion. She is leading a study of the health, legal and economic consequences of the end of Roe in the United States and a Turnaway Study in Nepal. She is the author of over 120 scientific papers as well as the 2020 book, The Turnaway Study: Ten Years, a Thousand Women and the Consequences of Having – or Being Denied – an Abortion. She was named as one of ten people who shaped science in 2022 by the journal Nature and a MacArthur Fellow in 2023.

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Explore the Conference Program

ADLM 2024 offers something for everyone in laboratory medicine, from Plenaries featuring world-renowned scientists to intimate Roundtables.