Pathology/Biology Section News – September 2015

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 Caruso, MD, Section Secretary

The program for the AAFS Annual Meeting in Las Vegas is taking shape! I just returned from the International Association of Coroners & Medical Examiners (IAC&ME) meeting in Las Vegas. John Fudenberg, the IAC&ME immediate past president and recently appointed Clark County (Las Vegas) Coroner, has been the driving force behind the success of the IAC&ME meetings and training courses for the past few years. The IAC&ME has done a terrific job filling the void created with the departure of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology from the training scene. Many members of the Pathology/Biology Section were in the classroom for the AFIP’s Basic and Advanced Forensic courses, Forensic Anthropology course, and the Odontology and DNA Forensic ID course. Those AFIP courses were excellent as many can attest to and the forensic community should be grateful that their legacy continues on through other organizations.

My recent stay in Las Vegas reminded me that many of us will be there this coming February for an even larger gathering of experts in the forensic sciences. Lisa Gavin, one of the forensic pathologists in the Clark County Coroner’s Office, is the AAFS Local Arrangements Chair for our own meeting in Las Vegas. Lisa dedicates herself fully to any task she undertakes so we are most assuredly in good hands!

Our chair for the 2016 scientific program, Joyce deJong, tells me that she has received over 300 abstract submissions, including more than 160 for poster presentation and more than 130 for oral presentation. This exceeds last year’s totals and ensures that Dr. deJong will have gainful employment (in addition to her day job) for the next few months. I applaud all of you who have offered to share your research efforts and experiences with the rest of the Academy by submitting an abstract. Joyce will have some very difficult decisions to make in selecting the highest quality abstracts for February, but she is up to the task.

Dr. deJong has also asked me to pass along a solicitation for moderators for the various Pathology/Biology oral presentation sessions. For those of you who have never moderated a session at a scientific meeting, it is an enjoyable experience and usually not very taxing. The major tasks include ensuring the presentations are all pre-loaded prior to the beginning of the session, introducing the presenting authors, and keeping track of time to effectively move through the program. If you are interested in moderating a session in Las Vegas, please contact Joyce at

Don’t forget to get your meeting registration and room reservations taken care of early. Registration opens in early November; please check the AAFS website for up-to-date information and specific dates. While the host hotel is very large, it is not on the Las Vegas Strip. Staying at neighboring hotels requires a considerable walk across some very large parking lots at a minimum.

Thanks again to those who submitted abstracts. It is the enthusiastic participation of our members that ensures the success of the section. Kathy, Joyce, and I look forward to seeing many of our colleagues from the Pathology/Biology Section in Las Vegas!