AACC University Courses

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AACC University Speaker


Online Session Search

AACC University Courses are special ticketed events that take place on Sunday, July 24. These 3- or 6-hour sessions for up to 48 participants per course are interactive and case-based by design and often include hands-on exercises and tutorials in small group formats. Topics may range across the spectrum of laboratory medicine and focus on practical application of skills.

Advance registration is required to participate. Access to courses is an additional cost. View the fees for AACC University courses here.

Note: All times below are in U.S. Central Time.


8:30 – 11:30 a.m.


12:30 – 3:30 p.m.


8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Lunch is not provided. Lunch break is from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.


8:30 – 11:30 a.m.

191001 Autoantibody Serology: What Every Laboratorian Needs to Know

Laboratory testing for autoimmune diseases centers around the detection of antigen-specific autoantibodies. Demand for autoantibody testing continues to rise, with the increasing prevalence of autoimmune diseases and the identification of novel antigen specificities. Understanding the complexities of autoantibody serology testing and the available methods will ultimately lead to improved analytical and clinical performance. This course will begin with a review of autoantibodies and the methods used for their detection. This will be followed by a presentation on challenges unique to autoantibody serology, including analyte heterogeneity, assay standardization, and relative quantitation. Finally, a discussion on practical considerations for autoantibody testing will be conducted, with a focus on assay validation, quality control strategies, proficiency testing, and lot-to-lot evaluations. Throughout the course, the audience will have the opportunity to review and discuss case studies and analytical data in order to illustrate important concepts related to autoantibody testing.

  • Melissa Snyder, PhD | Mayo Foundation (moderator)
  • Stacy Kenyon, PhD, DABCC, NRCC | Labcorp
  • Lusia Sepiashvili, PhD, DABCC, FCACB | The Hospital for Sick Children

191002 Drug of Abuse Testing: What Lab Staff and Providers Need to Know

The laboratory serves essential roles related to drug of abuse testing, including guiding appropriate test selection for clinical needs, and aiding in result interpretation. This AACC University Course will provide basic to intermediate level instruction in various aspects of drugs of abuse testing in urine, oral fluids, and other matrices. Interactive case studies and discussions will highlight common issues with drug testing, result interpretation, and clinical utility. The course will also emphasize current trends in drug abuse including novel compounds, as well as newer methodologies and tools for drug testing.

  • Christine Snozek, PhD, DABCC, FAACC | Mayo Clinic (moderator)
  • Jennifer Colby, PhD, DABCC, FAACC | MedTox Laboratories
  • Sarah Delaney, PhD, MSc | Unity Health Toronto

191003 Integrating Chemistry and Hematology in Clinical Practice: An Introduction to Chematology

Peripheral blood is a rich resource of information about a patient. Clinical chemistry analysis has historically focused on clues from serum or plasma. However, many conditions also leave their mark on the cellular portion of blood. This session aims to provide clinical chemists with foundational knowledge on routine hematology testing. This AACC University Course aims to empower participants with foundational knowledge on common routine testing in the hematology laboratory. This session will provide a basis for how to interpret complete blood count (CBC) results, red cell indices with red blood cell morphology. Participants will learn the features of different causes of anemias on routine hematology testing and cell morphology. Cases will be used to guide discussion on how hematology and chemistry results can be integrated to solve clinical cases.

  • Sean Campbell, PhD, DABCC, FAACC | Montefiore Medical Center (moderator)
  • Nadia Ayala-Lopez, PhD, DABCC, MLS (ASCP), NRCC | Labcorp Drug Development

191004 Part One: Instrument Basics - Troubleshooting for Clinical LC-MS/MS

This course provides a tool kit for troubleshooting liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) systems using lectures and in breakout groups, hands-on exercises, and case review. Key instrument components, their functions, connections, and common failure points will be presented. The interpretation of chromatograms, MS/MS neat standards infusion, and LC pressure traces to identify the source of instrument problems will be discussed. The generics of MS/MS hardware components, their safe handling, and cleaning will be discussed, as will maintenance for vacuum pumps. Participants will observe in groups and then practice hands-on skills such as cutting PEEK tubing, making PEEK and stainless steel fitting connections, handling LC columns, and exchanging parts for LC pump heads and autosampler injection valves. The groups will then work through case histories of instrument failures from the instructors’ laboratories. See part two for the complementary AACC University Course.

  • Deborah French, PhD, DABCC (CC, TC), FAACC | University of California, San Francisco
  • Judy Stone, PhD | University of California, San Francisco


12:30 – 3:30 p.m.

192005 Beginner’s Guide to Next Generation Sequencing: From Validation to Practical Considerations in Germline and Somatic Testing

Next generation sequencing (NGS) has transformed genetic testing and clinical care based on precision and personalized medicine. This interactive session will introduce and describe key laboratory aspects of NGS and its applications for both hereditary and somatic testing, including technology, assay validation, bioinformatics, quality control and assurance, and the limitations and opportunities of NGS. Different clinical scenarios and appropriate test selection will be introduced, with interactive case studies to emphasize the essential components of each topic.

  • Vera Paulson, MD, PhD | University of Washington (moderator)
  • Susan Hsiao, MD, PhD | Columbia University Medical Center
  • Jillian Buchan, PhD | University of Washington

192006 Changing Leadership Mindsets for Addressing Critical Issues in the Laboratory and Adopting Disruptive Change

Navigating through crisis and bringing about rapid change brings many challenges to laboratories. This AACC University Course focuses on innovation leadership in uncertainty. Laboratory leaders set goals that align with organizational strategic plans, and they establish value creation targets that rally talent to invent better ways to improve and make laboratories more sustainable. Adopting innovative and problem–solving mindsets to navigate through both secure and uncertain times is of vital importance. This session uses a mixture of focused presentations and interactive case studies to achieve its main goal of providing insights to respond to complicated challenges. The session will cover developing key skills, establishing problem-solving strategies, a novel mindset, and turning the time of crisis into a catalyst for strengthened value-based laboratory utilization. Moreover, based on experiences gained from leading through crisis the session faculty will explore what can be done to assure its resilience and plasticity for change.

  • Edward Randell, PhD, FCACB, FAACC | Memorial University/Eastern Health Authority (moderator)
  • Sedef Yenice, PhD, MBA | Gayrettepe Florence Nightingale Hospital
  • Matthias Orth, MD, PhD | Vinzenz von Paul Kliniken gGmbH Marien Hospital
  • Praveen Sharma, PhD | All India Institute of Medical Sciences

192007 LC-MS/MS Operations and Quality Assurance: A Primer

The distribution of liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry across the clinical landscape has grown substantially in the 21st century. With expansion of complex technology comes the learning curve of how best to execute/maintain high quality operations. This session will focus on tips and techniques of how to achieve such an maintain a high quality LC-MS/MS clinical laboratory.

  • Brian Rappold, BS | Labcorp

192008 Part Two: Identifying Method Problems and Building Robustness – Troubleshooting for Clinical LC-MS/MS

This course is an introduction to the skill set needed for troubleshooting liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) laboratory developed methods and production batches. The course incorporates lectures and case history discussion in breakout groups. Details of sample preparation flaws, common LC method errors and MSMS detection pitfalls will be presented and basics of LC and MS/MS theory as they apply to method development will be reviewed as needed. Further, the interpretation of chromatograms, LC pressure traces and system suitability tests will be discussed. Examples will be shown of maintenance calendar annotation, service reports, batch documentation and longitudinal chromatogram overlays within batch and between day as tools for pinpointing method and process weak points. Participants will discuss a case history in breakout groups of instrument or reporting failures sourced to suboptimal LC-MS/MS method design/implementation and then critique a hypothetical LC-MS/MS method for potential improvements. See part one for the complementary AACC University Course./p>

  • Deborah French, PhD, DABCC (CC, TC), FAACC | University of California, San Francisco
  • Judy Stone, PhD | University of California, San Francisco


8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Lunch is not provided. Lunch break is from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

193010 Building a Laboratory Stewardship Program Brick by Brick

This course will discuss the process of laying the foundation and building a Laboratory Stewardship Program from the ground up. We will identify the key features and resources required for the implementation of a successful laboratory stewardship program. These include guidelines, a multidisciplinary team, data acquisition and analytics, patient centered initiatives, and partnerships with reference laboratories and benchmarking organizations. By using case-based examples, we will guide attendees through these and a list of practical steps needed to harness these resources in order to start and maintain a laboratory stewardship program. Presentations will be interactive and will include audience response questions, breakout sessions, and peer-to-peer discussions to help attendees to develop personalized strategies for laboratory stewardship initiatives they can implement at their own institutions.

  • Alison Woodworth, PhD, DABCC, FAACC | University of Kentucky (moderator)
  • Jessie Conta, MS, CGC | Seattle Children's
  • Lee Schroeder, MD, PhD | University of Michigan
  • Brian Jackson, MD, MS, MBA | ARUP Laboratories/University of Utah School of Medicine
  • Erin Schuler, PhD | University of Kentucky

193011 Doing More with R: Create Your Own Automated Reports and Dashboards

This AACC University Course aims to develop skills in the use of R and RStudio for (1) reproducible data analysis and visualization workflows, (2) producing highly effective, publication-quality graphics, and (3) generating reports and dashboards that can be automated and easily shared. The focus will be on analyses and reports commonly used for clinical laboratory operational and quality assurance monitoring activities. Attendees will create a beginning-to-end workflow (i.e., from creating the RStudio project to generate a shareable data analysis report or dashboard) using provided templates and example data sets. The flexibility of visualization and report outputs from R makes this session applicable to anyone who wants to enhance their ability to reproducibly create figures and communicate data analyses. Attendees will work with R and RStudio installed on their laptop.

  • Shannon Haymond, PhD, DABCC, FAACC | Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago
  • Dustin Bunch, PhD, DABCC | Nationwide Children's Hospital

193012 Ten Hut! Fall in for the Essential Elements of a Point-of-Care Testing Boot Camp

This course focuses on ‘hot topics’ in point-of-care testing (POCT) and elements of POCT program management. Training/competency assessment, integration of quality management and regulatory compliance, communication, implementing/troubleshooting connectivity and using data analytics to help address preanalytical, analytical and post-analytical error will be discussed. Presentations will include polls, table exercises, and peer-to-peer discussion.

  • Jeanne Mumford, MLS, MT (ASCP) | Johns Hopkins Hospital (moderator)
  • Peggy Mann, MS, MT (ASCP), CPP | University of Texas Medical Branch
  • Kimberly Skala, MT (ASCP) | Werfen
  • Kerstin Halverson, MS | Instrumentation Laboratory

193013 Trust, But Verify: Getting the Most Out of Method Evaluation Experiments, Including Establishing QC After Accepting the New Method

This course will discuss the process of evaluating clinical laboratory methods and develop an understanding of the correct approach to this key clinical laboratory task. This course uses a series of real-world examples to focus attention on critical aspects of the method evaluation process. Evaluating a new method is a common and important step before implementing a new method. Verification requires performing experiments and analyzing data for acceptability according to pre-determined criteria. The emphasis in the morning session is on protocols that a clinical laboratory professional should accomplish for those methods that are approved by the FDA. Qualitative methods will be covered briefly. The emphasis in the afternoon is practical stories from the speakers’ own practices, including a few examples of Lab-Developed Tests (LDTs). Finally, after accepting the new method, the observed performance of the new method helps to prescribe the appropriate quality control plan to be implemented.

  • David Koch, PhD, DABCC, FAACC | Emory University/Grady Memorial Hospital (moderator)
  • Janetta Bryksin, PhD, DABCC | Emory University
  • James Nichols, PhD, DABCC, FAACC | Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • Anthony Killeen, MD, PhD, DABCC, FAACC | University of Minnesota

193014 Using the CLSI Test Life Phases Model and Guidelines for Meeting International and National Requirements for Establishment of LDTs and Implementation of Validated Test Methods

This AACC University Course presents requirements and shares accepted practices for quality development of LDTs and implementing developer-validated test methods by using the Test Life Phases Model. The speakers explain the developer’s establishment of an LDT through design, development, and validation phases for determining and documenting test method performance specifications. They will discuss transferring LDTs into a testing environment and implementing established test methods, whether LDTs or FDA-cleared, through preliminary evaluation, verification of performance specifications, launch, test maintenance, and retirement phases. Scenarios will exemplify contemporary issues, such as those discussed in The AACC Artery. Speakers will review the FDA, CLIA, and ISO requirements for each phase of the Model. Specific examples of LDTs illustrate how CLSI documents can be used to meet requirements and avoid pitfalls. One speaker reviewed LDT submissions to the New York State Department of Health and will discuss problems observed in real-life submissions.

  • J. Rex Astles, PhD, FAACC | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (moderator)
  • Marcia Zucker, FAACC | ZIVD LLC
  • Lucia Berte, MA, MT (ASCP) | Laboratories Made Better PC
  • Paula Ladwig, MT (ASCP) | Mayo Clinic
  • Zhimin Tim Cao, MD, PhD, DABCC, FAACC | SUNY Upstate Medical University
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2022 AACC offers something for everyone in laboratory medicine, from Plenaries featuring world-renowned scientists to intimate Roundtables.