The Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP) Annual Meeting & Expo is where the molecular diagnostics community gathers to advance clinical knowledge, discuss new discoveries, share recent successes, and showcase the latest technological advances in molecular medicine.

Since its founding in 1995, AMP has provided structure and leadership to the molecular diagnostics field. This year sees the society host its 24th Annual Meeting, with the theme of ‘Precision Medicine Starts Here’.

This year’s meeting is taking place on November 1st to 3rd, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Centre in San Antonio, Texas. To ensure you are up to date with everything going on at the premier meeting for molecular professionals, we sat down with AMP President, Kojo S. J. Elenitoba-Johnson, MD for the inside scoop.

Dr. Elenitoba-Johnson states, “The AMP Annual Meeting is the de-facto aggregation point for all individuals practising molecular and genomic pathology and diagnostics worldwide. If you work in this field, I think it’s critically important to be at this meeting in this environment filled with like-minded individuals. This is a forum for us to learn from one another about the latest technological advances and laboratory techniques to ultimately improve our ability to create new high-quality diagnostic tests.”

AMP is a meeting where people can come do business, make connections, learn, and have a fantastic experience. Trainees will have the opportunity to get opinions and advice from more experienced molecular pathologists, who are very accessible and eager to share wisdom.

The days leading up to the Annual Meeting feature very important opportunities to learn and interact with molecular pathology experts. On Tuesday, registrants can attend the AMP Reference Materials Forum to discuss genetic testing reference materials availability and needs (for test validation, quality control, and proficiency testing). Meanwhile, Wednesday is the day for all of the corporate workshops. This year, there will be more than 80 workshops, running from 8am to 5pm. These workshops are open to the public and provide the perfect opportunity to hear about all of the latest updates from the leading companies in the field.

The annual meeting kicks off with an opening reception in the exhibit hall on Thursday at 5:45pm, offering a great, relaxed venue for attendees to explore the new instruments and technologies and speak with representatives from close to 200 exhibitors. During the meeting, attendees should be sure to stop by ‘AMP Central’ in the exhibit hall to meet with AMP members and discuss how to get involved in the many AMP initiatives.

Similar to previous Annual Meetings, this year’s program schedule is packed full of interesting presentations that will not disappoint. The hard work of the AMP Program Committee can’t go unnoticed, especially since it has been hand-crafted to meet the needs of molecular pathologists today. The program committee has identified topics that are on the cutting edge of molecular medicine and that have practical applications for our members. This year’s program features seven separate ‘paths’ that help direct attendees to sessions that most interest them. These paths include lab management, oncology, informatics, infectious diseases, inherited conditions, molecular methodologies, and education & professional development.

This year’s keynote lecture will be given by the AMP Award for Excellence winner Dr. Jonathan Rothberg, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Butterfly Network. It is scheduled for 8:30am-9:45am on Thursday, November 1st. This presentation is not to be missed as Dr. Rothberg will share his vision for the future in a presentation entitled, ‘Reimagining healthcare: Next-Generation DNA sequencing to ultrasound-on-a-chip.’

Dr. Rothberg is receiving AMP’s highest honour for his groundbreaking work and noteworthy achievements in genomics. He is the founder of multiple life science and medical device companies including CuraGen, 454 Life Sciences, Ion Torrent, RainDance Technologies, Hyperfine Research, Quantum-Si, Lam Therapeutics, and Butterfly Network. With Butterfly Network, Dr. Rothberg aims to democratise medical imaging with the world’s lowest-cost and first whole-body scanner. He is best known for inventing massively parallel (next-generation) DNA sequencing. When the technology was brought to market in 2008, it became the first new way to sequence genomes since Sanger and Gilbert won the Nobel Prize for their method in 1980. Among his many honours, Dr. Rothberg is a recipient of the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the country’s highest honour for technological achievement.

Before we let you go and explore all that’s to offer, we wanted to remind you that the AMP Annual Meeting is the only scientific meeting solely devoted to the practice and advancement of molecular pathology.

“AMP separates itself from other meetings through its collegiality. AMP is truly a sharing organisation that recognises the importance of the central nature of DNA. Everybody is friendly, everybody is united by a common cause, and everyone is accessible,” said Elenitoba-Johnson. “In fact, many of the more experienced AMP members have benefited from tremendous mentorship during our careers and the AMP Annual Meeting provides us with an opportunity to pay it forward with the next generation of molecular diagnostics professionals.”

It is exactly for this reason that AMP is not only a resource-rich event to attend, but an enjoyable one, where you find yourself surrounded by like-minded people all working towards bettering patient care.

“The meeting is a celebration of our community,” reinforces Elenitoba-Johnson. “AMP’s membership is diverse in its molecular specialities, international in its makeup, and inclusive in its heart (and DNA).”

Check out some of the featured presentations within the seven ‘paths’ designed to help you identify the sessions which most interest you:

  1. Oncology/Cancer
    • Somatic and Germline Mutations in Hematologic Malignancies 
    • Tumoral Genomic Diversity
    • Finding the Patient Perspective: Molecular Testing in Advanced NSCLC
  1. Molecular Methodologies & Technologies
    • Reimagining Healthcare: Next Generation DNA Sequencing to Ultrasound-on-a-Chip
    • Artificial Intelligence in Genomic Medicine
    • Utilisation of CRISPR/Cas Technique as Anti-Viral Therapeutic Agent and as an Adaptive Immune Modulator in DNA Editing and RNA Targeting
    • AMP Guidance for Non-standard or Emerging NGS Applications: Liquid Biopsy
    • AMP Guidance/Standards for NGS Germline Variant Confirmation
  1. Infectious Diseases
    • Microbiome and Predictive Response to Immunotherapy 
      Role of Next Generation Sequencing for Outbreak Investigation
    • Meningitis/Encephalitis Syndromic Testing in the Clinical Setting: Is it Ready for Prime Time?
    • Lab of the Future: Cool Toys for the Diagnosis of Infectious Diseases 
  1. Informatics
    • Cutting Edge Informatics Infrastructure for Personalised Medicine
    • Show Me the Data: Visualisation at the Interface of Molecular Pathology and Patient Care
    • Best Practices for Clinical Validation of NGS Bioinformatics Pipeline
  1. Inherited Conditions
    • Life Starts with DNA: Sequencing of the Baby Genome 
      Variant Interpretation: Challenges and Progress towards Solutions
  1. Education & Professional Development
    • Training the Next Generations of Next Gen
    • Keys to Publishing in Scientific Journals
  1. Advocacy / Laboratory Management
    • Test Utilisation and Clinical Utility of Molecular Test
    • Payer Perspectives on Coverage and Reimbursement of Molecular Diagnostics
    • The Growth and Evolution of Consumer Genetic Testing

Don’t Miss It!

AMP Award for Excellence in Molecular Diagnostics Keynote Presentation and Lecture
Thursday, November 1st at 8:30 to 9:45am

Reimagining Healthcare: Next Generation DNA Sequencing to Ultrasound-on-a-Chip

Jonathan Rothberg, PhD, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Butterfly Network, Inc.

On that note, we hope you thoroughly enjoy your time at AMP, make some new friends, and learn something new about molecular diagnostics!