Pathology/Biology Section News – January 2016

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the articles contained in the Academy News are those of the identified authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Academy.

Source:  Jim L. Caruso, MD, Section Secretary

With the holidays now in the rearview mirror, many of us will be able to shift gears and look ahead to the AAFS 68th Annual Scientific Meeting in Las Vegas. Hopefully, you have all made your reservations and registered for the meeting. As noted elsewhere in this newsletter, the hotel reservation cutoff deadline is January 18 and the deadline to pre-register for Special Functions (workshops, breakfast seminars, luncheons, and special sessions) is January 27. Your section officers are looking forward to seeing everyone at The Rio.

The diversity of breakfasts, workshops, and abstracts is impressive as always. There are workshops on media relations, pediatric homicides, elder abuse, and next generation sequencing, to name a few. You can take in one workshop that presents cutting edge imaging technology and then shift your focus (pun intended) to another workshop to learn how to properly use an indirect ophthalmoscope in the autopsy suite. Other options include topics such as extreme violence, mass disasters, and repatriating our deceased military from overseas battle sites. It is hard to imagine not finding something that piques your academic interests.

Joyce deJong has done an excellent job of setting up the poster and podium presentations. There are two pediatric sessions, a session devoted to trauma, another focusing on natural disease, and the usual Saturday morning potpourri session for the diehard attendees. The Pathology/Biology joint session with the Toxicology Section is on the schedule as are sessions dedicated to forensic entomology/DNA and forensic biology. As usual, the Jay Dix Memorial Bonus Day will be presented on Thursday morning.

The review process of applications for initial membership and promotion has been completed and the results will be posted at the meeting. Individual notification will also take place. Interest in status change was very high with 93 total applications: 9 for promotion to Fellow; 17 for promotion to Member; 32 for Associate Member status; 16 for Trainee Affiliate; and 19 for Student Affiliate. The review process emphasized the diversity of our section with applications received from pathologists, emergency medicine physicians, veterinarians, forensic biologists, and, of course, students in various stages of training. If you are already qualified or will be qualified for promotion during for the next cycle, please consider submitting your application by the October 1 deadline. New membership and progression through the categories to the Fellow level is the lifeblood of the Academy and is essential for an organization to thrive.

Finally, a plug is in order for our journal, the Journal of Forensic Sciences. Michael Peat does a fantastic job as Chief Editor and he is always looking for original articles, comprehensive reviews, and educational case reports. If you are presenting an abstract in Las Vegas, please consider the follow-up task of converting the abstract to a paper and submitting it for publication. In this case, what happens in Vegas need not stay in Vegas!