Looking back to move forward

Sept. 1, 2011

Medical Laboratory Observer has come a long way in 12 years. As many of you may know, I purchased MLO back in July 2010. Yes, it's my name atop the masthead, open to your critiques and constructive ideas. Our goal at MLO is to continue delivering the key information you need.

To fulfill that purpose, one of our jobs is to keep on top of industry events, the latest of which is the annual American Association for Clinical Chemistry meeting. Somehow in our relentless pursuit to catch all the newest innovations at the AACC 2011 annual meeting in July, the MLO staffers compared notes. Who had been where? Who had we talked to? Where were we going next? And, oh no, how were we going to get to all the places and sessions we wanted to go to? Alas, there wasn't enough time.

As we traveled through the show aisles we noticed many new developments in laboratory automation systems. They don't just move test tubes or Petri dishes any more; they capture the test results, notify the lab personnel, and enable image analysis of completed test plates at the lab or via the Internet. We saw new molecular diagnostic systems that enabled automatic extraction, multiplex amplification, and detection. Just think what your lab could do analyzing DNA.

In addition, there were many faster and more accurate rapid tests for a much broader array of diseases. There were new in-vitro diagnostic products, medical imaging systems, and we noticed a heavy interest in temperature monitoring – just to name a few.

Though I haven't seen an official AACC 2011 attendance number yet, the traffic was heavy – right up to the last hour. The keynote sessions were crowded, filled to capacity by lab professionals from all around the globe. There were also many international exhibitors.

Rest assured, we'll be using the information we gathered from AACC 2011, CLMA and other key industry association conferences to build MLO's editorial coverage for 2012. But we don't want to just pick areas we think might be useful to you. We also want to hear from you on topics that you want to know about or need refresher continuing education on. We get our best ideas from listening to you, our readers and contributors.

We also welcome a new Editorial Advisory Board Member in Dr. John Brunstein, who received a B.Sc. at Simon Fraser University and a Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia, both in biochemistry with a focus on molecular virology.
Dr. Brunstein was part of UBC's Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine as a Clinical Assistant Professor and a Clinical Lab Scientist in the Microbiology/Virology laboratory of the Children's and Women's Health Centre of BC. He was also the Chief Scientific Officer for the British Columbia Provincial Health Service Authority's Centre for Translational and Applied Genomics where he gained exposure to molecular diagnostics across the full range of clinical applications. Since late 2010 he has been the Director of Assay Development at iCubate Inc. in Huntsville, AL.

On a final note, we bid farewell and fair travels to Carren Bersch, former editor of MLO. Carren was a key member of the MLO staff for the last eight years in growing the publication. She will be missed.

To help MLO move forward please send me an email at [email protected]