22nd European Congress of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine
“EUROMEDLAB 2017” – 22nd European Congress of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine will take place in Athens, on June 11th-15th 2017 at the Megaron Athens International Conference Centre.
Held every two years, the Congress is organized by the Greek Society of Clinical Chemistry- Clinical Biochemistry, the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and the European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine.
The Congress is addressed to the local and international community of biochemists, biologists, laboratory doctors, clinical chemists, chemists and pharmacists as well as employees in diagnostic and research centres with a relevant field of expertise.
It aims at broadening the cognitive field and deepening on cutting-edge matters, through a creative dialogue, reflection and exchanges on the latest developments and innovations in Laboratory Medicine.
“We believe that hosting such an important Congress in Athens will contribute not only to the city’s promotion, but also to the promotion and recognition of the academic and clinical work that is taking place in Greece”, pointed out Dr. Alexander Haliasos, General Secretary of the Greek Society of Clinical Chemistry – Clinical Biochemistry (GSCC-CB), Doctor of Medicine, Clinical Chemist, EurClinChem and Chairman of “EUROMEDLAB 2017” 22nd European Congress of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine.
The scientific program includes, inter alia, 33 symposia, six “meet the expert” sessions, an author’s workshop, 35 educational workshops sponsored by IVD companies, the welcome address and four satellite meetings.
Two of the symposia are expected to attract the interest of the participants: “The role of laboratory in the management of ICU/critically ill patients”, chaired by George Baltopoulos, Professor Emeritus, Intensive Care and Pulmonology, NTUA and “The role of laboratory in stroke diagnosis and monitoring of patients”, organized in cooperation with the Hellenic Stroke Society.
The program also includes four thematic satellite symposia. Two symposia on “Metabolic Bone Diseases” and “Inborn Errors of Metabolism” will be held on Saturday June 10th, while the thematic satellite meeting on Diabetes will be held in collaboration with the Hellenic Diabetes Association on June 15th-16th. The symposium on the “Advances in Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology” is scheduled to take place on the island of Santorini during the weekend of June 16th-19th.
As an invited speaker, Professor George Malliaras from the Department of Bio-electronics of the École des Mines de Saint-Étienne, France shall speak of “New technologies for interfacing with the brain”. This technology promises to deliver new tools for diagnosis and treatment of a host of pathologies including epilepsy and neurodegeneration (Alzheimer, etc.).
Another highlight in the Congress program involves the debates between world-class scientists. They are open to the general public and cover interesting subjects, such as:
• Lessons from 30 years of cancer screening. (Monday 12/6 12.30-14.30)
Dr. Ann McTiernan (USA) will provide evidence on the contribution of screening in life expectancy in certain types of cancer, and particularly in breast cancer, while Dr. Laura Esserman (USA) will counterpoint that the cost of diagnostic tests is greater than the anticipated benefit, while it also leads to side effects, such as overdiagnosis and excessive treatment.
• The ethics of gene editing (Tuesday 13/6 12.30-14.30)
Dr. Nicholas Katsanis (Greece – USA) and Dr. Françoise Baylis (Canada) will cross their swords on how gene editing for plants, animals and humans can be carried out without upsetting social cohesion.
• Direct to consumer testing (DCT) Ethical issues and confidentiality (Wednesday 14/6 12.30-14.30)
Dr. Rodger Seccombe (Canada) will argue that free and anonymous access to diagnostic tests can contribute to overall better health, while Dr. Daniel Holmes (Canada) will focus on providing evidence that, under current conditions of use, the new technologies on which direct-to consumer testing is based may possibly lead to unreliable results and contribute to overdiagnosis and excessive treatment of particular conditions.
• Antidoping testing. Should we allow doping if it is medically safe and accessible to all? (Thursday 15/6 10.30-12.30)
Dr. David Epstein (USA) will argue that antidoping testing should be intensified, while Dr. Geoffrey S. Baird (USA) will try to convince the audience that free access of all athletes to medically safe pharmaceutical substances that boost physical performance is the only way of solving the problem of doping.
“The selection of subjects for these debates was driven by the need to make scientific achievements understood by citizens, so that they may decide, at any moment, with the help of the scientific community on the necessity of diagnostic testing, the use of which is accompanied by moral dilemmas. Special attention is also given to public participation in these debates. All participants will have the chance to pose direct questions and express their opinion on what the guest speakers will say”, explained Dr. Haliasos.
Taking the floor, Professor Howard Morris, President Elect of the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (IFCC), referred to the role of the Federation in the promotion and development of Laboratory Medicine and the importance of clinical laboratories in the diagnosis and treatment of serious conditions.
Finally, Konstantinos Makris, Ph.D., EurSpLM, FACB, Clinical Biochemist, Clinical Biochemistry Department of KAT General Hospital, Athens, a Member of the Organizing Committee and of the Scientific Programme Committee of the 22nd European Congress of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine “EUROMEDLAB 2017”, commented on the scientific program of the Congress and pointed out that its main thematic units are:
• Standardization of the laboratory testing procedure from collection of biological samples to result announcement.
• Management of laboratory tests carried out outside clinical laboratories (Point-of-Care testing)
• New technologies and their contribution to the diagnosis of diseases
• Personalized Medicine.
“I would like to refer specifically to our four key speakers at “EUROMEDLAB 2017 “ who shall elaborate on developments on fundamental issues of scientific research. Moreover, as you may notice in the program, three of these speakers are distinguished Greek scientists. In particular, George Chrousos, Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Athens, will deliver a speech on “The influence of stress in human disease risk”; George Pavlakis, Chief of the Human Retrovirus Section at the National Cancer Institute, USA, will refer to the New vaccines and immunotherapies for AIDS and cancer, while Nicholas Katsanis, Director at the Centre for Human Disease Modeling of Duke University (USA) will analyze the role of whole genome sequencing in health and disease. Finally, Professor and Canada Research Chair in Bioethics and Philosophy Françoise Baylis, will analyze the ethical dilemmas that arise from human gene editing”, added Dr. Makris.
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