Association for Molecular Pathology                       
October 2009, Volume 15, Number 3

Inside this Issue

Front Page
President's Message
Special Features
• AMP Advocacy
• AMP Test Directory
• JMD Report
• Web Editorial Board
• AMP 2009 Preliminary Program
• AMP 2009 Corporate Workshops

• Announcements
Committee Reports
• Clinical Practice Committee
• Membership & Professional   
  Development Committee
• Nominating Committee
• Professional Relations
• Program Committee
• Publications Committee
• Training & Education Committee
Subdivision Reports
• Genetics
• Hematopathology
• Infectious Diseases
• Solid Tumors
2009 AMP Officers and Appointees

Genetics Subdivision Report

Hanna Rennert, PhD By Hanna Rennert, PhD
Chair, Genetics Subdivision

As Summer finally heats up after days of rain here in New York, I am reminded that Fall is almost here and so is the 2009 AMP Annual Meeting & Exhibits at The Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Kissimmee, FL.  It has been a remarkable experience working with our Chair-Elect, Arlene Buller and the rest of the Program Committee to put together the annual program for the Genetic Subdivision.  The genetics program this year is exciting and wonderful with more topics in multiple sessions than ever. 

Plenary session
Molecular genetics of common diseases and the identification of genetic variants contributing to these complex but common traits is our theme for this year’s Meeting.  At our Friday morning session, we are thrilled to have Dr. Hakon Hakonarson, from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, as our Plenary Session speaker.  Dr. Hakonarson will describe genome-wide mapping and association studies focused on identifying genetic variations associated with the development of common diseases of childhood including asthma, diabetes, ADHD, and others.

A workshop provides an opportunity to review and discuss practical aspects of selected topics in more detail.  Building on the complexity theme, our principal workshop in clinical genetics will address the question of how monogenetic disorders can become complex.  This Workshop will highlight some of the challenges associated with the genetic diagnosis of inherited disorders caused by large and/or complex reiterated genes.  At our Saturday morning Workshop, Dr. Sandro Rossetti, from Mayo Clinic, will talk about autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease and the clinical utility of next generation sequencing platforms in genetic testing.  This will be followed by Dr. Maria New, from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, who will talk about the complex genetics of
congenital adrenal hyperplasia. 

Saturday afternoon Puzzlers by Prior returns!  Moderated by our own Thomas Prior, this session will offer a unique opportunity to present your most challenging cases in inherited disorders and cancer genetics.  In this session you will also get a chance to participate and figure out some of the more difficult molecular diagnostic conundrums provided by the AMP membership.  So brush-up on your genetic skills and prepare to attend!

Friday morning, November 20, following last year’s success, Arlene Buller and I will highlight selected abstracts for platform presentations in Genetics.  We have tried to choose abstracts that will particularly capture your interest, addressing various topics in molecular genetics and cytogenetics.  We hope that you will support our abstract presenters and attend this session!

An additional theme at the Annual Meeting will include a comprehensive workshop on gene patents.  A panel of experts, consisting of Jean Amos Wilson, Roger Klein, David Ledbetter and Debra Leonard, will discuss everything that you would like to know about the current status of gene patenting.  This Sunday morning workshop will be moderated by our President-Elect, Karen Mann

Finally, a special concurrent workshop on Saturday afternoon will be devoted to “Breaking Topics.”  This special workshop moderated by Timothy O’Leary, will highlight the latest information in areas of special interest including H1N1 influenza and non-invasive prenatal diagnosis for our members. 

Early Bird Sessions
Our Early Bird Sessions in Genetics provide a great opportunity to get an update about the current status of various programs in clinical genetics.  We are particularly happy this year to have numerous AMP members contributing to the program.  Friday early morning will launch with Iris Schrijver leading a session about cystic fibrosis newborn screening, shedding more light on newborn
screening practices and algorithms currently used across the nation.  This will be followed up on early Sunday morning by Vicky Pratt and Bin Chen, who will be presenting results from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) regarding molecular genetic testing for heritable diseases.  Lee-Jun Wong will present a concurrent workshop discussing genetic testing for mitochondrial DNA using microarray-based applications.  Surely, you do not want to miss these eye-opener sessions!

The Genetic Business luncheon, which will be held this year at noon on Friday, is always a great way to share information, network, and solicit new ideas regarding exciting new topics in genetics.  In addition, we will hear an update about the various on-going projects from our Genetics representatives to the
Clinical Practice Committee, Nominating Committee and the Training & Education Committee.  All are invited!    

We are truly excited about the upcoming 2009 AMP Meeting and hope that you are already working on your poster or talk.  Looking forward to see you all in Kissimmee in November!