The 43rd Annual Conference of Pakistan Association of Pathologists and 8th Joint Conference of Societies of Pathology was held from 25th to 27th November at Pearl Continental Hotel, Karachi. This year the Association of Molecular Pathology Pakistan (AMPP) conducted its largest ever scientific program at the main conference which was accompanied by a two pre-conference workshops. The program at the main conference was led by President AMPP; Dr Zahra Hassan and Chair Scientific Committee AMPP; Dr Natasha Anwar whereas the pre-conference workshops were led by Dr Asghar Nasir, member Scientific Committee AMPP.
The pre-conference workshops were held at CPSP on 24th November. Workshop #1 entitled 'Introduction to Next Generation Sequencing' was in collaboration with Illumina and facilitated by Dr Abdulelah Alissa Sr. Partner Account Specialist Illumina Middle East. Workshop #2 entitled 'Clinical applications of NGS' was in collaboration with HEC and facilitated by Dr M Israr Nasir - FRPMC Faisal Base Karachi, Dr Asghar Nasir, Dr Ali Raza, Dr Javeria Ashraf – AKUH, Karachi. Both the workshops were well attended by Pathologists, research scientists, postdoctoral fellows, healthcare workers and students from across the country.
The first day of the conference on 25th November was marked by the inaugural event featuring keynote by Professor Karoline Kuchenbaecker, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology, University College London and her talk was entitled as 'The Role of Genetic Epidemiology in Global Heath and Well Being'. Day two (26th November) comprised of multiple Scientific Sessions, these included Scientific Sessions 1: Genomics in the Clinic included keynote talk 'Implementation of Genomics in Clinical Practice: Lessons from Inherited Diseases' by Dr. Ayisha Abid, Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation, Karachi; Scientific Session II: Genomics and Surveillance included keynote talks 'The Role of Molecular Pathology in Surveillance and Detection of Pathogens by Dr. Zahra Hasan, Aga Khan University, Karachi and 'Use of NGS in Genomic Surveillance of Viral Diseases by Dr. Massab Umair, National Institute of Health, Islamabad; Scientific Session III: Exomes and Transcriptomes included keynote talks 'Whole Genome and Transcriptome Sequencing in Clinical Oncology' by Dr. Mark Ross, Illumina Cambridge, UK and 'The Application of Genome Sequencing in Rare and Undiagnosed Disease' by Dr. Alison Coffey Illumina Cambridge, UK; Scientific Session IV: Molecular Oncology included keynote talks 'Molecular Diagnostics in Neuropathology' by Dr Ahmed Gilani, Aga Khan University, Karachi and MPNST Genomic Copy Number Profiles Correlate with H3K27me3 Immunohistochemistry, and are Detectable in cell-free DNA of Patients with NF1 by Dr. David Miller, Boston Children's Hospital; Scientific Session V: Quality Assurance and Accreditation - Molecular Pathologists, who are we, and what will we be? that included a panel discussion by the AMPP council members and leading molecular Pathologists including Dr Rizwan Naeem, Dr Zahra Hasan, Dr Israr Nasir, Dr Natasha Anwar, Dr Arshi Naz, Dr Javaria Aijaz, Dr Salma Batool, Dr Romena Qazi and Dr Saeed Khan.
Day three (27th November) incorporated the final scientific session, Scientific Session VI: Emerging Ethical Issues in Genomics included keynote talk 'The Ethical Challenges and Concerns Surrounding New Genetic Technologies' by Prof Farhat Moazam, Centre of Biomedical Ethics & Culture, Karachi followed by a panel discussion by the AMPP council, Clinical Geneticist including Dr Salman Kirmani, Dr Zahra Hasan, Dr Israr Nasir, Dr Natasha Anwar, Dr Arshi Naz, Dr Salma Batool and Dr Saeed Khan. The day concluded with awards distribution for best poster presentations and Best Oral speaker.