ISAC E-News -- Fall 2003
Be at the Forefront: The 1st International Cytomics Conference
6-9 May 2003
ISAC and the Royal Microscopial Society will host the 1st International Cytomics Conference 6-9 May 2003 in Newport, Wales.
The conference will address new technologies for cell-based analyses and their applications within the main theme of biotechnology and genomics for health. Substantial presentations of cutting-edge studies and a keynote speaker who will provide a wonderful focal point are planned. Schedule permitting, the conference will be formally opened by the Right Honourable Rhodri Morgan, AM, MP, the First Minister of the National Assembly.
Conference organizers expect 400 attendees and sessions will be composed of single sessions and high-profile speakers. Platform presentations, poster sessions and commercial tutorials are also planned.
An exhibitor prospectus and call for abstracts will be mailed in the next few weeks. Online abstract submission will be available for this event.
The world-class Celtic Manor Resort is the site for this high-profile event. The stunning Caernarfon Suite in the Resort's Convention Centre will be the center of the Conference. The four-day conference will feature a banquet and the premier of a sponsored music/drama event by the Welsh College of Music and Drama, Wales' National Conservatoire.
For more information on exhibiting, sponsoring or registering for this new ISAC event, contact Madhuri Carson by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; for speaker or general information, contact Aurelia McCoy by e-mail at email@example.com. You may also call ISAC headquarters at 847-205-4722 or check the ISAC Web site at www.isac-net.org.
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1st International Cytomics Conference Offers Sponsorship Opportunities
The generosity of sponsors allows ISAC to keep prices for attendee and exhibitor registrations at our meetings reasonable. The 1st International Cytomics Conference offers a number of sponsorship opportunities
Sponsors are acknowledged in the final program and through appropriate signs, announcements and materials provided at the conference. A number of special sponsorship opportunities will be available including meals, a reception, the final night banquet, and other events and attendee materials. Sponsors of $5,000 or more receive a complimentary half-page ad in the final program (a $600 value).
For information on sponsorship packages, to personalize a sponsorship, or to place an ad in the conference's final program, please contact Madhuri Carson by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 847-205-4722.
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Renew Your ISAC Membership Online
by Harry Crissman
Most of us are familiar with online purchasing and payment for all types of merchandise. In fact, postal services in some countries now complain that they are losing money due to increased use of electronic processing.
Last year ISAC initiated an online membership renewal system that makes it simple to pay your ISAC membership dues online.
I encourage everyone to take advantage of this convenient payment method for their 2003 membership fees. The invoicing is scheduled to begin in mid-October. The online method of payment is easy and fast and can prevent the interruption of your issues of Cytometry, while at the same time saving the Society thousand of dollars in postage and handling fees.
In the past, multiple mailing notices were sent out. However, last year only the initial and final notices were mailed. Three additional notices were sent in the interim -- either by fax or e-mail. The new procedure was fairly successful with 35 percent of the members paying dues online for fiscal year 2002 and 38 percent of the new members of ISAC also paying online.
Currently 92 percent of the ISAC members have e-mail access and we are looking for suggestions for incentives to encourage early payment of dues online.
Please let us know of your ideas regarding improvements for online. Of course, payment by mail is still welcome, if you prefer.
Regardless of your payment choice for membership in ISAC, remember that membership is the most important factor in the health of our Society.
Next year marks the 25th year anniversary of the founding of ISAC as an international scientific organization.
ISAC has grown in size and diversity over the years but it also has maintained a cohesive set of interests that continue to appeal to our members.
The success of our Society, as with any organization, relies on a large assembly of individuals with common interests who continue to benefit from membership and are proud of its accomplishments.
Indeed, there is pride in being a member of ISAC, an organization that has made the significant contribution of 25 years of service to scientific growth in the research, clinical and commercial sectors.
Your membership is valued. We look forward to your continued commitment to ISAC and we welcome your views and comments. If there are things that you would like to see changed or modified to improve ISAC, please make your voice heard. This is your Society and we look forward to each member's participation.
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Hurley Resigns as Regulatory Affairs Chair
By By Peter Rabinovitch and Scott Cram
Earlier this year, Anne Hurley resigned as chair of the ISAC Regulatory Affairs Committee after many years of service. Hurley also co-chaired the CCS Regulatory Affairs Committee with Denise Zito.
She remains a delegate to the Immunology Committee of the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), which writes both the Specialty in Immunology Exam and the Qualification in Cytometry Practicum, and she continues to serve as ISAC's representative to the ASCP committee, as she has for the last 10 years. Her term with ASCP will be completed soon and a new representative will be appointed. However, Hurley will continue to be the associate editor for Improving Laboratory Practices for our journals Cytometry and Clinical Cytometry.
Hurley has been a member of ISAC from very early days. For the last 26 years, her work has been dedicated to quality control (QC) issues related to instruments, cells and cellular biology, and analyses. After much hard work and more than a share of frustration due to lack of involvement and help by others on these important issues, she very much deserves a rest. We invite members to become proactive in this important arena.
She also reminds us that she was often frustrated by lack of involvement and help by others in these regulatory issues. Both she and we invite members to become proactive in this important arena.
Hurley is now working on a retrospective review of QC and regulatory issues in cytometry, which will appear in Clinical Cytometry.
She says, "We continue to fight the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS, the U.S. agency that runs Medicare and Medicaid, formerly named HCFA), for coverage codes for our increasingly sophisticated testing. Believe it or not, we continue to fight for consistency in having the QC material be, not only uniform, but treated in the same way as the samples. We continue to strive for consensus documents. Many scientists have developed both physical materials and software to give our analyses some level playing ground. This history is probably not known to our newer members, and there are really relatively few of us left who have not retired or moved on to other things who can remember all of this. With cytomics embracing other diverse but related fields, and with many of our laboratories and scientists involved in clinical trials of pharmaceuticals, the efforts must continue."
One of Hurley's goals has been to address the New York State Department of Health regulations as they pertain to flow cytometry, particularly their position on "home brew" reagents and the state's position on flow cytometry proficiency testing.
Hurley and Zito coauthored a book on CLIA inspections (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments, the CMS guidelines that regulate all U.S. laboratory testing of human samples), which the FDA inspectors have adopted as their guideline. (Contact Aurelia McCoy at ISAC Headquarters at 847-205-4722 or e-mail her at email@example.com to order your copy of this book.)
With Hurley's resignation, in consultation with the Clinical Cytometry Society (CCS), ISAC has agreed that CCS will take leadership in North American regulatory issues. We will coordinate with the CCS in this area with Frank Mandy as liaison. At the same time, ISAC will coordinate with the European community on regulatory affairs.
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Finance Committee Report
By Frank Traganos
Chair, Finance Committee
Current assets are about $1.2 million while liabilities are $8,000. Although not all the figures are in yet, the San Diego meeting is expected to generate $95,000 to $115,000 surplus due to record attendance.
At the moment, it looks like the 1st International Cytomics Conference in Wales will be revenue neutral. We do not yet have a budget for the fourth Samuel A. Latt Meeting scheduled for 20-22 November 2003 at the Yosemite Lodge in California.
Now for the bad news. As might be expected in this economic climate, our invested reserves (both short- and long-term) have fallen from $934,000 at the end of May to $856,000 at the end of August (a loss of $78,000 or about 8.35 percent).
While this is unfortunate, our losses are less than they may have been -- the markets are down 15 percent for the quarter and about 25 percent for the year.
Our losses in the long-term fund (from $607,000 at beginning of the year to $539,000 at the end of the second quarter) are basically due to the investment philosophy of Legg Mason portfolio managers to position the portfolio for economic recovery -- which, of course, has not yet happened .
The short-term fund, which is invested in corporate bonds and certificates of deposit, increased from $335,000 to about $342,000 during the same period.
The Finance Committee will be conducting a conference call with our account executive at Legg Mason this fall to discuss where we are and what, if anything, we should do differently going forward.
Members of the Finance Committee are Frank Traganos, Chair, Michael Ormerod, David Coder, Lori Krueger and Allen White.
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A Journal Update
By Chuck Goolsby
Editor, Cytometry and Clinical Cytometry
As all I am sure are aware, after serving as interim editor of Cytometry from November 2001 through April 2002, and as editor of Clinical Cytometry since 1998, last spring I was honored to be chosen to serve as permanent editor of Cytometry.
This is an exciting time in the field of cytometry and I am pleased to have been selected to lead and assist in the building of the journals during this time. This has also facilitated the merger of the editorial offices into a single effort.
In June 2002, all editorial office functions were moved to the Department of Pathology at Northwestern University Medical School. A new editorial assistant, Joy Holliday, joined the editorial office at this time. Under her excellent supervision, this transition went very smoothly and we were almost immediately up and fully operational.
The new address for the editorial office, which is also listed in the journals, is:
Cytometry/Clinical Cytometry Editorial Office
Northwestern University Medical School
Department of Pathology
Ward Building 6-204
303 E. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611-3008
Joy Holliday can be reached at 312-503-1847 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. The fax number is 312-503-1848.
Excitingly, during this transition, the new electronic submission and review system, Manuscript Central from Scholar One, also came on line for both Cytometry and Clinical Cytometry.
Although there were several glitches with some of the early manuscripts handled through the system, Manuscript Central was brought on line remarkably quickly with very few problems.
Nonetheless, we apologize to any authors who have encountered problems due to unclear directions or bugs during this transition. To date, between Cytometry and Clinical Cytometry, we have used Manuscript Central to handle the submission and review of about 200 manuscripts with extremely positive feedback from most reviewers and authors.
To submit a manuscript, access Manuscript Central either by linking through the journals' Web sites or directly at http://cyto-wiley.manuscriptcentral.com.
Both Joy and I, along with the editorial boards of the journals, look forward to the task of building and improving the quality and exposure of the journals. These are your Society's journals and we welcome your comments and suggestions at any time.
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Looking for Feedback on Online Congress Presentations
If you haven't already gone online to view the cytomics presentations from the XXI Congress in San Diego, it's not too late. Click now to activate your free member access to this valuable service: (http://isac.digiscript.com/register/index.cfm).
Sign on, run the READINESS TEST provided by Digiscript, and view. And if you have viewed or tried to view the lectures already, we'd like to hear from you. Please complete a very brief survey on your use of this online feature.
Please offer your feedback after you've viewed the presentations, or in the event that you weren't able to view them due to technical issues. We'd like to know whether or not this is a service of value to our members, or a luxury we're not ready to expand.
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A Note from the E-News Editor
The Importances of Volunteers
By Scott Cram
Editor, ISAC ENews
Volunteerism. Is that a noun or a verb? The dictionary says it's a noun. For Anne Hurley it has always been a verb -- a lot of action by someone who is passionate about getting things done and done well.
Hurley has been among a select group of committee chairs who work tirelessly for the benefit of the Society, cytometry and most importantly for those patients who will ultimately benefit from high-quality cytometric analysis.
Seldom has this editor witnessed such a long, productive and tireless commitment from a committee chair.
Thank you, Anne, for your dedication and many contributions.
Please continue to push those issues you see as critical for us all.
Lastly, ok, how many have read this far? Being an optimist I will restrain from asking to hear from everyone to protect my poor server from overload! However I would like to hear from folks with ideas and suggestions for things they would like included in E-News,for example, calls for the NIH Shared Instrument program. Other suggestions are welcome. Please send your ideas and requests to me at email@example.com. Many thanks!
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Enabling Molecular Profiling with Cellular Resolution: Microgenomics Using Homogeneous Cell Samples, 5-6 December 2002, Wyndham San Diego at Emerald Plaza, San Diego, California. More information is available at http://www.healthtech.com.
Fourth Samuel A. Latt Meeting: Quantitative Biology for the Clinic, 20-22 November 2002, at Yosemite Lodge, California, organized by Maria Pallavicini, Joe Gray and Graeme Hodgson. Watch the ISAC Web site for details.
First Annual Cytomics Meeting, 6-9 May 2003, in Cardiff, Wales, organized by Paul Smith. More information will be available soon on the ISAC Web site.