International Affairs Working Group Report
By Patrik Vitazka, MD, PhD
I would like to take this opportunity and thank all the International Affairs Working Group (IAWG) members, namely David Barton, Bibhuranjan Das, Andrew Fellowes, Rami Mahfouz, Lei Po (Chris) Wong and Denis York for their effort and hard work in making the group's first year a very fruitful one.
Over the past year the group has worked on several projects to advance the practice and promote the field of molecular pathology and molecular diagnostics among international healthcare and laboratory professionals.
Firstly, the group launched the AMP International web portal, where the international community will be able to find useful resources, ongoing news updates as well as information on the IAWG and progress on group's current projects.
IAWG has been also successful in reaching out to members in India, the Middle East as well as Europe. Bibhuranjan Das in collaboration with Rajan Dewar and the Association of Indian Pathologists in North America (AIPNA) spearheaded the organization of the AMP sponsored International Symposium on Molecular Pathology that will take place in Manekshaw Centre, New Delhi, India on January 28-29, 2012. Rami Mahfouz helped with the organization of the Arab School of Pathology Pre-Congress Workshop on Molecular Pathology that preceded the 23rd Congress of the Arab Division of the International Academy of Pathology in Beirut, Lebanon on November 29-30, 2011. David Barton and his colleagues from the EuroGentest network have organized a meeting on the regulation of genetic testing being held in Leuven, Belgium on October 27-28, 2011. The meeting focuses on the impending reform of IVD device regulation in the USA and the EU and its impact on genetic tests and molecular diagnostics and Elaine Lyon, the Chair of the AMP Professional Relations Committee was invited to represent AMP at this meeting.
IAWG also listened to the voice of the community. In May of this year we conducted a survey to assess the need for a peer-to-peer web based platform that would facilitate inter-laboratory sample exchange for purposes of clinical test validation. Overall, 93 laboratory professionals participated in this survey with 95% of them expressing need for such a platform. Therefore, Lei Po (Chris) Wong and I with lots of help from the AMP staff have worked on this AMP Sample Exchange Database and we plan to announce the availability of this tool at the upcoming Texas meeting.
IAWG is always looking for new topics and input from members. We would like to invite all attendees from outside North America to join us at the "AMP International" tables in the General Luncheon to discuss initiatives to advance molecular pathology outside of North America. See you in Texas!