Chemical Pathology Directorate
Box 14 Rundle Mall Post Office
Adelaide SA 5000 - Australia
Prof. Howard Morris (PhD, FAACB, FFSc(RCPA)) holds a joint appointment as Professor of Medical Science in the School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of South Australia and Clinical Scientist in Chemical Pathology at SA Pathology, Adelaide Australia. Between 2012 and 2014 he served as IFCC Vice-president, between 2003 and 2008 he was the Secretary of the Scientific Division of the IFCC and has served as members of the IFCC Task Forces on the Global Campaign on Diabetes Mellitus (2003- 2008) and on International Clinical Liaison (2009-2011). He chairs the IFCC-International Osteoporosis Foundation Joint WG on Standardization of Bone Turnover Markers.
Within the Asia Pacific Federation of Clinical Biochemistry (APFCB) he served as Chair, Scientific Committee (2002-2004) and Chair, Scientific Organising Committee, Member Organising Committee for 10th Asian Pacific Congress of Clinical Biochemistry (2002-2005). He was the Australasian Association of Clinical Biochemists (AACB) representative to the Councils of the IFCC and APFCB (1998-2004), served on AACB Council (1998-2002) and Editor of the Clinical Biochemist Reviews (1994-2002). He was awarded an AACB Outstanding Service Medallion (2003) and the W. Roman Travelling Lectureship (2004). Dr Morris is currently a Clinical Scientist in the Chemical Pathology Directorate, SA Pathology providing clinical advice and comments in the discipline. He has 30 years’ experience working in diagnostic clinical biochemistry in the field of immunoassay and endocrinology including management of a major clinical endocrinology laboratory. In 1997/98, the laboratory reported some 245,000 patient results. Between 2003 and 2009 he was the Director of the Hanson Institute, the research arm of the IMVS and RAH. In 2009 the Hanson Institute administered infrastructure to support the research of some 300 staff and 100 postgraduate students who generated external grants amounting to approximately $AUD 30 million annually.
Professor Morris leads an active research team that has received over $10 million in competitive research grants and has published 280 refereed publications, reviews and book chapters. His research interest includes the pathophysiology of metabolic bone disease and the effects of hormones including vitamin D funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council and Australian Research Council, the major competitive funding bodies in Australia. His latest work has identified anabolic actions of vitamin D following metabolism within bone tissue providing a molecular mechanism for vitamin D requirement to reduce the risk of fractures amongst the elderly. He was awarded the Louis Avioli Memorial Lectureship for 2009 by the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research on this topic.
Prof. Howard Morris Position Statement
Laboratory medicine faces significant challenges and the IFCC requires a dynamic Executive Board to provide leadership for our profession. These challenges face all in the delivery of healthcare however laboratory medicine faces particular issues arising from its perception as merely a service provider rather than a driver for optimal healthcare. Clinical laboratories are required to assume increased responsibilities for service provision and patient safety with ever decreasing budgets. Financial constraints also impact our corporate members, moderating their ability to collaborate in professional development and, at the same time, our academic basis is diminishing. Therefore IFCC professional leadership has never been more vital to provide strategies for improving the crucial role of laboratory medicine in patient care. To build on the foundation of 60 years of IFCC leadership in laboratory medicine I believe the following areas are critical.
(1) Improving clinical laboratory performance through standardisation and traceability as it impacts on the rational use of clinical laboratory resources. International harmonization activities will further contribute to this field during the next triennium and the IFCC is required as a leading partner. A major challenge is to extend these activities to regions in which the current multi-national In-Vitro Diagnostic industry members are not the major provider of clinical laboratory instruments and reagents, in particular in the Asia Pacific and Central and South American regions.
(2) Continue educational and training activities amongst our membership capable of meeting the needs of both developing and developed communities across general and specialised services including promotion of eLearning opportunities.
(3) To ensure the financial sustainability of the IFCC
(4) Promote closer interaction between international organisations representing various disciplines of laboratory medicine to provide common engagement by our profession with clinical professionals and their international organisations as well as government organisations and other stakeholders in healthcare.
(5) Enhance communication between our members through electronic platforms and increasing availability in non-English languages.
(6) Extending our partnerships to relevant patient organisations. The IFCC is a federation of national societies and corporate members. The major resource of the IFCC is the voluntary contributions of individual professionals arising from our membership. Thus the effectiveness of the IFCC is dependent on this committed support of members to meet our goals and commitments. The next EB is required to enhance and strengthen the relationships upon which our organisation is founded. As President I will work within the EB to direct the IFCC Divisions, Task Forces, Committees and Working Groups to meet strategic goals ensuring the widest consultation and discussion amongst the National Society representatives, the regional federations and our members as we chart our progress for the future development of laboratory medicine. My current employers fully support my professional activities and should I be elected I will be able to devote up to 75% of my time to IFCC responsibilities. As a Visiting Lecturer for IFCC I have discussed issues facing our profession with national representatives of 24 IFCC members and, as well, presented at 23 international or regional congresses. I look forward to continuing these discussions, for you to provide your suggestions as to how best IFCC can assist to improve the practice of laboratory medicine in your country.