Advancing excellence in laboratory medicine for better healthcare worldwide

IFCC President Message Jan-Feb 2021

Happy New Year to you all in the IFCC family :). Moving into 2021, the IFCC is eager to continue its mission of “advancing excellence in laboratory medicine for better healthcare worldwide”. In 2020, we made significant progress towards impacting healthcare delivery and patient outcomes, initiating a number of new programs in the areas of newborn screening, global lab quality, putting together the infrastructure to become the largest provider of free distance learning in the field of laboratory medicine, and aiding clinical laboratories in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic through development and publication of laboratory practice guidelines. Despite unique challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic over the past year, the IFCC has had an immensely successful year, laying the foundation for the 2020-2023 strategic plan. We look forward to continuing this momentum into 2021!

In my previous president messages, I had detailed the terms of reference and strategic plans for the new taskforces on Global Newborn Screening, Global Laboratory Quality (iQC and EQA), and Global eLearning/eAcademy. I am happy to inform you that the membership for all these new taskforces is now complete and the taskforces have begun their work. They will be meeting on a monthly meeting via zoom and have already initiated detailed plans to implement the new strategic plans around these key areas of priority for IFCC. We will keep you updated over the coming months. Below please find the full membership rosters for TF-NBS, TF-GLQ, and TF-GEL.

As you are all well aware, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have an enormous impact on our daily life as well as our laboratory practices. The pandemic has engaged the laboratory community in test development, validation, and implementation at unprecedented rates to support patient care and public health initiatives. In March 2020, a new Taskforce known as the IFCC Taskforce on COVID-19 was established by IFCC to summarize, critically review, and disseminate the most up-to-date, evidence-based information about the novel coronavirus as well as provide recommendations regarding test implementation. Beginning in April, the Taskforce published the IFCC Information Guide on COVID-19 to share key information and resources with laboratory professionals worldwide and has since regularly updated this guide on a biweekly basis as new information becomes available. This group also published an evaluation of the latest evidence on clinical testing (Bohn et al. CCLM 2020), as well as guidelines on biosafety (Lippi et al. CCLM 2020). In addition, the Taskforce administered and published the results of surveys to understand how laboratories were managing operational and biosafety challenges during the pandemic (Loh et al. CCLM 2020). Most recently, the Taskforce published interim guidelines based on available evidence for publication, providing practical recommendations to laboratories on molecular testing of SARS-CoV-2 infection, serological testing for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, as well as biochemical and hematological monitoring of COVID-19 patients.

Importantly, a kind reminder that IFCC has planned an exciting new IFCC Global Conference on COVID-19, which will take place virtually on February 15-17, 2021. The theme of this conference will be the Critical Role of Clinical Laboratories in the COVID-19 Pandemic, with the goal of bringing together leading experts on a global virtual platform to present the latest advances in COVID-19 diagnostics and therapeutics. I am pleased to inform you that we have received strong sponsorship support for this conference and over 2400 registrations from over 95 countries from around the world (as of January 22nd) and have planned an exciting scientific conference with excellent speakers representing regions from around the world, making this a truly international event. Do Not miss this unique event and register if you have not already done so!

Joint Task Force of IFCC and International Society of Newborn Screening (ISNS)

V. Leung-PinedaCo-ChairUS
J. BonhamCo-Chair/ISNSUK
A.F. Al OthaimMemberSA
M.A. Ascurra de DuarteMemberPY
F. BoemerMemberBE
U. CeglarekMemberDE
A. Habib KhanMemberPK
M. KaseMemberFI
K. ValdyanathanMemberIN
D. WebsterMember/ISNSAU
E. LebredonchelMember/Young ScientistFR

Task Force on Global Lab Quality (TF-GLQ)

E. AmannCo-ChairDE
Q. MengCo-ChairUS
R. BaisMemberAU
I. BlasutigMemberCA
JM. GiannoliMemberFR
A. GuimarãesMemberBR
P. Kumar DablaMemberIN
E. LianidouMemberGR
A. Perret-LiaudetMemberFR
A. ThomasMemberUK
A. VassaultMemberFR
S. WheelerMemberUS
C. ZhangMemberCN
K. A. CendejasCorp. Rep./Bio-RadUS
J. LinCorp. Rep./AbbottUS

Taskforce on Global eLearning/eAcademy (TF-GEL)

A. ParkChairUK
H. Can ÇubukçuMemberTR
R. El-SharawayMemberEG
M. Kneip FleuryMemberBR
L. LangmanMemberUS
P. MitraMemberIN
N. TabatadzeMemberGE


Rojeet ShrestaCoordinator for Asia Pacific areaNP
Agustina Fares-TaieCoordinator for Latin/North America areaAR
Paul HamiltonCoordinator for Europe and Africa areaUK

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