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News from Regional Federations and National Associations


News from the Polish Society of Laboratory Diagnostics

Contributed by Professor Grazyna Sypniewska, IFCC National Representative

December 2011: First Joint Conference of the Polish Society of Laboratory Diagnostics and Polish Diabetology Society

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Prof. Grazyna Sypniewska

The Polish Society of Laboratory Diagnostics and the Polish Diabetology Society held their first joint conference with the theme "There is no diabetology without laboratory diagnostics" in Warsaw on December 14th with a video-transmission to other two cities: Bydgoszcz and Wroclaw, allowing to reach approximately 400 diabetologists, clinical biochemists and medical students. Dr. David B. Sacks, from the National Institute of Health (Bethesda, USA), and international expert in the field of laboratory tests in the diagnosis of diabetes mellitus and the first author of the 2011 guidelines and recommendations on the quality of laboratory tests in the diagnosis of diabetes mellitus, delivered the inaugural talk. It was followed by by two presentations on HbA1c "HbA1c measurements - out of the chaos" (W.Gernand) and  "HbA1c - a new marker in the diagnosis of diabetes mellitus  - should it be introduced in Poland?- pros and contras" (M.T.Malecki, L.Czupryniak). Other talks covered the whole field of diagnosis in diabetes from "Diabetes in children - differences in diagnostics and treatment monitoring" (P.Jarosz-Chobot) , "Detecting of gestational diabetes - time to the new algorithm? (K.Cypryk),  and "Disturbances of bone turnover in diabetes and their biochemical evaluation" (G.Sypniewska), "Diabetes kidney disease" (D.Moczulski) through "Assessment of insulin resistance - possible, necessary? (I.Kowalska), "Dyslipidemia in diabetes" (L.Klosiewicz-Latoszek) up to "Monitoring of diabetes treatment - real time and retrospective assessment of glycemia" (B.Solnica) and "Molecular testing in diabetes - today, tomorrow, the day after tomorrow" (T.Klupa).

Participants affirmed that the Conference was a frank success, and Presidents of both Societies, the main organizers and responsible for the scientific program, declared that such joint meetings will be held in the future.

It is important to underline that Dr. Sacks' visit in Poland was made possible through the support of the IFCC VLP program.

Photo 3 D SacKs.jpgDr David B. Sacks delivering his lecture

News from the Australasian Association of Clinical Biochemists

Contributed by Sandra Klingberg, Chair AACB Media and Communications Committee;
Editor, Clinical Biochemist Newsletter

  AACB News - Looking Back to Look Ahead

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Sandra Klingberg

2011 has been a year of milestones for The Australasian Association of Clinical Biochemists (AACB), the most notable of these being the celebration of 50 years since the formation of the AACB in May 1961.
Our Golden Jubilee was celebrated throughout the year with special events held in each of the Branches including the Roman Lecture tour featuring one of our founding fathers, Professor Geoffrey Kellerman. The Golden Jubilee was also the key focus of our annual scientific meeting in October celebrating 'Laboratory Medicine - Past, Present & Future.'

Photo 5 Vic Branch 50th Celebrations with GK.JPGCelebrating the AACB's 50th Birthday:
Prof Geoffrey Kellerman (2nd from the left), 2011 AACB Roman Lecturer, with the Victorian AACB Branch Committee

Other significant milestones for the AACB include the induction of a new President Dr Andrew St John and a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Peter Graham.
Professor Leslie Burnett vacated the office of President at the annual general meeting of the Association in October with Dr Andrew St John taking the helm. In articles recently published in the Clinical Biochemists Newsletter, both Prof Burnett and Dr St John reflected on things past, present and future.

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The new AACB President, Dr Andrew St John,
     with the immediate Past President, Prof Leslie Burnett
New AACB CEO, Mr Peter Graham

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Dr Andrew St John presenting Mr Tony Prior with his Outstanding Service Medallion

Key issues and highlights noted in these two reports included:

  • Development of international collaborations and co-operation with sister Associations such as the APFCB, IFCC, AACC and ACB
  • Forging new links with the EFCC and emerging Associations in South-East Asia
  • Progression of workforce issues through the reactivation of Pathology Associations Council
  • Initiation and participation in a number of major new scientific initiatives, including the introduction of reporting of the eGFR, international standardization and dual reporting of HbA1c, standardization of pathology and terminology, and most recently, pathology harmonization
  • Relocation of the AACB Head Office from Perth to Sydney with co-location and strategic alliance with the Human Genetics Society of Australia (HGSA) to better position the AACB for the genomic revolution

The relocation of the Office has also brought about another of the significant changes to the 'face' of the AACB in 2011 with the recent retirement of our CEO, Mr Tony Prior. The AACB is indebted to Tony's dedicated service over the last ten years, which was recognized with the presentation of an outstanding service medallion at the annual scientific meeting. The good news is that we have a new CEO in Mr Peter Graham who brings a wealth of laboratory and management experience with him. The AACB looks forward to long and productive working relationship with Peter as we move forward into our next 50 years!

News from the Society of Medical Biochemists of Serbia

Contributed by Dr. Snežana Jovičić, Member of the IFCC eNews Working Group

The XIV Annual Scientific Conference "Professor Ivan Berkeš" 

Photo 9 Snezana.jpg  Dr Snežana Jovičić

The 2011 Annual Scientific Conference "Professor Ivan Berkeš" was held on December 1st at Military Medical Academy in Belgrade. As it is customary, the lecturers were clinical laboratory professionals who have defended their doctoral thesis in the course of the past year at the Faculty of Pharmacy and Faculty of Medicine. This year, they were: Dr Janko Pejović (Military Medical Academy, Belgrade), Dr Marijana Dajak (Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Belgrade), Dr Jasenka Laloš-Miljuš (Faculty of Medicine, University of Banja Luka) and Dr Jelena Popović (Faculty of Medicine, University of Niš).

This Annual Scientific Conference and Fund "Professor Ivan Berkeš" was established to honor life and work of professor Ivan Berkeš, one of the founders of medical biochemistry in former Yugoslavia. He taught medical biochemistry at Universities in Zagreb, Skopje and Belgrade. His work at the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Belgrade was in great part directed towards the definition and foundation of the specialist studies program. Also, professor Berkeš introduced Clinical Enzymology as an independent discipline. With over 200 publications, mentoring of 150 specialists in medical biochemistry and several tens of doctoral candidates, professor Berkeš left an indelible mark in clinical laboratory profession in Serbia. After his death in 1997, the Society of Medical Biochemists of Yugoslavia and the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Belgrade founded the Scientific Fund and Annual Scientific Conference named after him, as a sign of appreciation and respect for this remarkable teacher and eminent expert.

Awards from the Scientific Fund "Professor Ivan Berkeš" are given yearly to the two best graduate students from the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Belgrade, one graduate in pharmacy, and the other in medical biochemistry. However 2011 called for a special event as the first students graduated according to the new syllabus harmonized with the Bologna declaration. Hence, this year the Fund gave four diplomas and monetary awards; two to students graduated according to previous school system - Mladen Milović (pharmacy graduate) and Milena Anđelković (pharmacy-medical biochemistry graduate), and two to "Bologna graduates" - Sanela Đorđević (Master of Pharmacy) and Ana Milojević (Master of Pharmacy-medical biochemistry).

After the traditional welcoming address of colonel Professor Marijan Novaković, Head of Military Medical Academy, and of Professor Nada Kovačević, Dean of Faculty of Pharmacy and Chair of the event, Professor Majkić-Singh, presented awards.

With this successful conference, we remembered once again, the legacy of professor Ivan Berkeš, whose students represent the core of science of medical biochemistry and clinical laboratory practice in Serbia today.

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Awarded students with the Dean and Professors of Faculty of Pharmacy (from left to right):
Milena Anđelković, Professor Nada Majkić-Singh, Professor Nada Kovačević, Sanela Đorđević,
Ana Milojević, Professor Svetlana Ignjatović

News from the Slovak Society of Clinical Biochemistry (SSKB)

Contributed by Marko Kapalla, Slovakian EPMA Representative and Program Committee Chairman

Labkvalita 2011- report on the expert conference on quality in laboratory diagnostics

In November 2011, the beautiful city of Poprad, "Capital" of the Slovak High TatrasMountains greeted the biennial international conference Labkvalita 2011, on quality in clinical laboratory diagnostics of the Slovak Society of Clinical Biochemistry (htts:// Since 1993, this conference, accredited to give continuing medical education credits, attracts Slovak and foreign laboratory professionals, practitioners and specialists.

This year the program focused on new trends in predictive, preventive and personalized medicine (PPPM) not only from the technology and quality points of view but also from those of ethics, law, finance and politics. Approximately 180 delegates registered, and 19 suppliers and manufacturers provided exhibits to promote new products in the field of clinical laboratory diagnostics.

The Scientific program was divided into 5 sections: Preanalytics; Predictive, Preventive and Personalized Medicine; Cooperation between the laboratory and the clinicians; Accreditation and quality in medical laboratory; and Quality of healthcare policy, visions and ethics. Lecturers from Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, United Kingdom and Slovakia gave the various talks on particular topics. Details of the program are available at ( or

Among invited lecturers there were also top representatives of European Association for Predictive, Preventive and Personalized Medicine (EPMA) who kindly accepted the invitation and were delighted by warm welcome and the interest of SSKB in promoting PPPM among clinical laboratory professionals in Slovakia. Implementation of PPPM at different levels has been repeatedly presented as an attribute of increased quality in healthcare.

Highlighted Themes and Debates

The lectures given and the subsequent discussions have emphasized the role of new predictive markers, role of information systems, importance of good cooperation between laboratory and clinicians, essential role of education, interactive communication with health insurance, greater participation of Slovak laboratory professionals on shaping the healthcare policy for the benefit of the patient, and the role of communication with the patient. Among the highlighted themes were also the following:

  • PPPM will have impact on laboratory diagnostics and it may substantially improve the quality and complexity of the services in the field of laboratory diagnostics if implemented into daily routine of clinical laboratories
  • Accreditation of the clinical laboratories in Slovakia continues and more laboratories realize that the benefits of accreditation outweigh the troubles, paperwork and the required energy dedicated to keeping the accreditation once the lab is accredited. On the other hand, accreditation itself can not guarantee the quality under insufficient quality of healthcare policy where there are numerous distortions in the field of laboratory diagnostics
  • Distortion of professional attitude is repeatedly noticed in the case were competing laboratories, being under pressure from investors, try to gather as much samples as possible, often forgetting that the service they offer is done for the patient and not for the sheer profit of the investor
  • Distortion of laboratory services and decreasing quality is also caused by the attitude of the health insurance companies which often "reimburse" money according to very questionable policy that frequently ruins any possible and essential progress in clinical laboratory diagnostics. This distortion of the common sense comes from the utterly underestimated role of the laboratory diagnostics in healthcare by the government and politicians
  • Distortion of fair competition in laboratory diagnostics resulting from the potential conflicts of interests is another problem of clinical laboratory diagnostics in Slovakia which delegates of the conference perceive as an unacceptable situation
Although clinical laboratory diagnostics is essential field for medicine, and is recognized by EPMA in the concept of predictive, preventive and personalized medicine, with help and political backing from other experts and international organizations, clinical laboratory professionals must exert substantially more effort to change the unsustainable situation in Slovak clinical laboratory diagnostics in order to increase the quality to the level that can be appreciated by the patient.

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From left to right: Katarína Daňová, President of the Slovak Society of Clinical Biochemistry,
Ján Balla, IFCC representative in Slovakia and program committee member,
Marko Kapalla, EPMA representative in Slovakia and program committee chairman.
Photo by Magdaléna Kačániová

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