New insights into COVID-19 vaccines and virus development, artificial intelligence in the clinic, miniaturization of diagnostic platforms and much more to be explored at the AACC's annual scientific meeting in 2021 and Clinical Lab Expo | MCUTimes

New insights into COVID-19 vaccines and virus development, artificial intelligence in the clinic, miniaturization of diagnostic platforms and much more to be explored at the AACC’s annual scientific meeting in 2021 and Clinical Lab Expo

ATLANTA, September 26, 2021 / PRNewswire / -At the AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo in 2021, laboratory experts will present the groundbreaking research and technology that is revolutionizing clinical testing and patient care. From 26.-30. September in Atlanta, Georgia, the meeting’s 200-plus sessions will provide insight into a wide range of timely health topics. Highlights of these include discussions on investigating COVID-19 vaccines and virus development, research lessons from the pandemic, artificial intelligence in the clinic, clinical translation of engineered microsystems, and improvements in cystic fibrosis treatments.

(PRNewsfoto / AACC)

(PRNewsfoto / AACC)

COVID-19 vaccines and virus development. SARS-CoV-2 is an RNA virus that mutates easily and mutants that are not suppressed by the immune responses generated from previous infection or vaccination can then become dominant strains. In this plenary session, Dr. Margaret Liu, CEO of PAX Therapeutics and Chairman of the Board of the International Society for Vaccines, will shed light on whether the vaccines to combat this virus should be able to neutralize emerging strains, or whether SARS-CoV-2 vaccines should be made annually as the influenza vaccine to try to respond to current clinical circulating strains.

COVID-19 research: lessons. The COVID-19 pandemic led to enormous scientific advances in a short time, and the development of the vaccines and the understanding of the virus took place at unprecedented speeds and with great success. However, the effects of the pandemic have been dramatic for the scientific workforce, for the speed with which publication has taken place, and for the ability to build public confidence in science. In this plenary session Holden Thorp, PhD, Editor-in-Chief, Science Family of Journals, will meet the need for the scientific community to come together to meet the enormous challenges associated with the need for greater confidence in science in the public domain in the United States and beyond.

Artificial intelligence in the clinic. In the meeting’s opening key, Dr. Regina Barzilay, School of Engineering Prominent Professor of AI and Health at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will examine the fact that many traditional clinical tasks, such as risk assessment, treatment efficacy prediction, and patient pathway prediction, can by nature be considered prediction problems. Given sufficient amounts of patient data with results, a machine learning model can make predictions that often exceed human experts in accuracy. However, to make these tools more useful in the clinical setting, there is a need to expand models of artificial intelligence with the ability to explain their decisions to humans and assess their uncertainty.

Alteration of life in patients with cystic fibrosis. Over the last 30 years, there has been a remarkable expansion in the understanding of the genetic basis, molecular biology and pathophysiology of cystic fibrosis due to loss of cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator (CFTR) protein function. The most extraordinary achievement has been the international efforts of patients, families, clinicians, researchers and non-profit foundations to translate this scientific knowledge into approved therapies, known as CFTR modulators, that change the lives of people with cystic fibrosis. This plenary session will contain two perspectives: that of Bonnie Ramsey, MD, Endowed Chair in Cystic Fibrosis Research at the University of Washington School of Medicine, which participated in the clinical development of this class of drugs, and that of Caley Mauch, a person living with cystic fibrosis, who will describe the effect of this therapy on daily life.

Miniaturization of diagnostic platforms. In this, the meeting’s concluding keynote, Dr. Wilbur A. Lam, W. Paul Bowers Research Chair and Chief Innovation Officer, Pediatric Technology Center at Emory University/Georgia Institute of Technology, will discuss microsystem-based COVID-19 diagnostics and his own laboratory’s recent advances in miniaturization of diagnostic platforms focusing on hematology and hemostasis / thrombosis.

In addition, more than 400 exhibitors at the Clinical Lab Expo will showcase innovative technologies that are just on the market in all clinical laboratory disciplines.

“If the pandemic has shown us anything, it is the ability of laboratory medicine to adapt to changing health conditions and use the scientific insights of the field to improve the quality of life. This capacity is constantly growing and advanced diagnostic technologies are emerging every day in areas as diverse as SARS. CoV-2, artificial intelligence, cystic fibrosis and miniaturization, “said the AACC CEO Mark J. Golden. “The AACC’s annual scientific meeting in 2021 will focus on pioneers in laboratory medicine that mobilize these innovations to improve patient care.”

Session information

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

COVID-19 vaccines and virus development

Session 12001 COVID-19: Vaccines and Tango for Viral Evolution and Host Immune Responses
Monday, September 27th
8:45 – 10:15
Georgia Ballroom

COVID-19 research: lessons

Session 14001 Curating and Documenting Research Under Chaos: Lessons from COVID-19 onwards
Wednesday, September 29th
8:45 – 10:15
Georgia Ballroom

Artificial intelligence in the clinic

Session 11001 Artificial intelligence in the clinic: Strengths, weaknesses and opportunities
Sunday, September 26th
5 – 18.30
Georgia Ballroom

Alteration of life in patients with cystic fibrosis

Session 13001 The remarkable journey from bench to bed: Changing individuals’ lives with cystic fibrosis
Tuesday, September 28th
8:45 – 10:15
Georgia Ballroom

Miniaturization of diagnostic platforms

Session 15001 Clinical translation of engineered microsystems: From COVID-19 to hematology and hemostasis
Thursday, September 30th
8:45 – 10:15
Georgia Ballroom

About the AACC’s annual scientific meeting and clinical laboratory exhibition in 2021
AACC’s annual scientific meeting offers 5 days filled with opportunities to learn about exciting science from 26.-30. September. Plenary sessions examine COVID-19 vaccines and virus development, research lessons from the pandemic, artificial intelligence in the clinic, miniaturization of diagnostic platforms and improvements in treatments for cystic fibrosis.

At the AACC Clinical Lab Expo, more than 400 exhibitors will fill the exhibition floor of the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta with demonstrations of the latest diagnostic technology, including but not limited to COVID-19 testing, artificial intelligence, mobile health, molecular diagnostics, mass spectrometry, point-of-care and automation.

About AACC
AACC is dedicated to achieving better health through laboratory medicine and brings together more than 50,000 clinical laboratory professionals, physicians, researchers and business leaders from around the world focusing on clinical chemistry, molecular diagnostics, mass spectrometry, translational medicine, laboratory management and other areas of advancement in laboratory science. Since 1948, the AACC has worked to advance the area’s common interests and provide programs that promote scientific collaboration, knowledge, expertise and innovation. For more information, visit

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