The accelerated investment and adoption of new pathology platforms and practices due to the pandemic has meant that Australia’s laboratories are well placed to tackle a range of current and emerging health challenges.

What may have seemed far into the future before the pandemic is possible now and is the theme of the AIMS National Scientific Meeting. Entitled Re-Vision for the Future it will examine how the pathology profession can harness these new opportunities.

This is the preeminent meeting of medical scientists to discuss the latest scientific developments. Convened online from 30th August – 1st September, the conference will feature presentations from across all pathology disciplines as well as attention to rapidly developing areas. Molecular pathology will be a central pillar of content for the conference, with more and more pathology disciplines exploring new ways of testing that have become possible from improved access to molecular technology.

AIMS CEO Michael Nolan says it is an area of increasing interest in the laboratory hence the attention in the scientific program:

“These days, the commonality of all the disciplines is molecular genetics. Many diseases that are diagnosed by pathology are now detected by molecular genetic testing. A number of stars are in alignment with new technologies coming on board to hasten the speed of diagnostic testing. There is the opportunity to do more with this technology now that most labs will have access to it.”

“You can diagnose more accurately what the genetic variants of the disease are, and from that can choose the therapies that may be more appropriate. Now we can target a cancer using monoclonal antibodies and other therapies which have been developed specifically for that tumour,” says Nolan.

The opportunity from companion diagnostics is an important theme in the conference. The ability to deliver personalised therapies for patients to deliver better outcomes will be explored by plenary speaker Professor Vanessa Hayes from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research who will examine how pathology diagnosis is enabled by genomic testing in her presentation ‘The roadmap to our future is written in the path already travelled’.

Originally scheduled as an in-person event in 2020 but postponed due to lockdown restrictions, the delay has offered the chance for the organisers to attract a wide and impressive array of speakers.

“We’ve managed to attract more speakers than we would have if it was fully face-to-face and, as you can see from the program, many of the presenters are from the major research institutions, hospitals and pathology laboratories across Australia.” says Nolan, “I’m looking forward to it”.

The virtual meeting will include recordings of all the sessions with registered delegates able to watch on demand for up to 90 days after the conference. More information can be found on the AIMS website.