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 23. 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. Pacific 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 Visualizing Laboratory Data: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

As “Data-Driven” becomes an increasingly common term within our field, it is essential that we continue to adapt to the evolution of the day-to-day work of running a clinical laboratory. Visualizing our data is crucial for generating hypotheses, drawing conclusions, and communicating results, but few of us get the formal training necessary to develop the skill-set. In this course, we will discuss some best practices for producing high-quality visualizations for the data types common to our field, highlight some common pitfalls of ineffective or misleading figures, and summarize key graphic design principles that make your results both eye-catching and effective. Through a series of interactive lectures, we will present the good, the bad, and the ugly of data visualization that we hope will benefit all kinds of laboratorians as we adapt to the new reality of data-driven laboratory management. Online Session Search.

  • Dustin Bunch, PhD, DABCC, Nationwide Children's Hospital (moderator)
  • Nicholas Spies, MD, Barnes-Jewish Hospital
  • Vahid Azimi, MD, Washington University School of Medicine

191002 Next Generation Sequencing for Laboratorians: Understanding the Essentials

Next generation sequencing (NGS) has transformed genetic testing and clinical care based on precision and personalized medicine. This interactive course will introduce and describe key laboratory aspects of NGS and its applications for both hereditary and somatic testing, including technology, assay validation, 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. Online Session Search.

  • Vera Paulson, MD, PhD, University of Washington (moderator)
  • Christina Lockwood, PhD, DABCC, DABMGG, University of Washington
  • Jillian Buchan, PhD, DABMG, University of Washington

191003 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 course will provide basic to intermediate level instruction in various aspects of drugs of abuse testing in urine, oral fluid 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. Online Session Search.

  • Christine Snozek, PhD, DABCC, FAACC, Mayo Clinic (moderator)
  • Jennifer Colby, PhD, DABCC, FAACC, Abbott
  • Sarah Delaney, PhD, DABCC, Unity Health

191004 Using Patient Data-Derived Biological, Analytical, and Preanalytical Variation to Optimize Patient Data QC/QA, RCV Calculations, and Test Ordering

We have developed a calculus that transforms sequential intra-patient test results into total variation comprising preanalytical (sPA), analytical (sA) and biological (sI) variation. We used this approach to critically compare and evaluate the analytical and clinical performance of multiple analytical systems including those for HbA1c, point-of-care, and central laboratory electrolytes, metabolites, and blood gases. This total variation can be transformed into highly specific reference change values (RCV) for tests repeated from a few hours to minimally one year later. RCVs can be selected by age and sex and even coexisting laboratory test abnormalities. This interactive course will give participants an overview of common statistical approaches to assess laboratory and biological variation, as well as applications of such assessment including interpreting results, developing reference intervals, and RCVs using simulations. Participants will also learn how to transform sequential patient data into individual components and how to implement patient-based real-time quality control. Online Session Search.

  • George Cembrowski, MD, PhD, University of Alberta/ccQCc (moderator)
  • Anders Kallner, MD, PhD, Karolinska University Hospital
  • Mark Cervinski, PhD, DABCC, FAACC, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center


12:30 – 3:30 p.m.

192005 Indirect Reference Intervals: A Workshop Regarding Principles, Prerequisites, and Practical Application of Statistical Techniques

Reference intervals are available with accredited methods and laboratories need to verify published intervals. However, published intervals may not cover local populations, and are usually incomplete regarding infancy, childhood, puberty, pregnancy, menopause, and the elderly. CLSI C28-A3 acknowledges limitations of direct reference interval techniques and supports indirect reference interval techniques. However, using laboratory data a-posteriori has many challenges such as mixed distribution of healthy and diseased patients. The appropriate statistical technique must also be selected, and we have progressed from early techniques like Hoffman and Bhattacharya to sophisticated algorithms like TML and refineR. This course will demonstrate the sequential processes to obtain, inspect, and clean laboratory data for indirect reference interval analysis. The course will then demonstrate the application of modern indirect reference interval tools. Participants with some experience in data handling are welcome to bring their own data and laptop to apply the demonstrated techniques. Online Session Search.

  • Kenneth Sikaris, BSc(Hons), MBBS, FRCPA, FAACB, FFSc, Melbourne Pathology (moderator)
  • Jakob Zierk, PD Dr med, University Hospital Erlangen
  • Thomas Streichert, Dr med, University Hospital Cologne

192006 Understanding Clinical Coagulation Testing: Basics for the Non-Hematologist

This interactive course will cover laboratory testing used in the diagnosis of coagulation disorders. Participants will be taught foundational information on coagulation testing, preanalytical issues such as underfilled tubes, and typical causes of abnormal results including the use of warfarin and novel oral anticoagulants. This will be followed by introductions of illustrative cases by the presenters. Topics will be discussed using a case-based approach, starting with the patient’s presentation and basic tests. The participants will then be challenged by highly interactive exercises aimed to teach them how to interpret the results and order the correct follow-up testing. Participants will work through relevant testing and results until we diagnose each patient successfully. Online Session Search.

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

192007 Navigating Laboratory Issues in the Preanalytical, Analytical, and Postanalytical Phases

Young professionals entering the realm of laboratory medicine can be confronted with a myriad of troublesome issues. With little experience in troubleshooting, some may feel they are navigating uncharted waters as they encounter various analytical issues or problematic specimens. During this course, three chemists with 50 years combined experience will discuss problems encountered in the preanalytical, analytical and post-analytical phases of laboratory testing. Issues involving specimen collection, specimen type, specimen transport, instrument malfunctions, assay interferences, result transcription and result calculation will be addressed. Participants will be presented with strategies for troubleshooting issues, as well as solutions for error prevention. This course will involve a combination of expert lecture, case studies, and small group discussion. Online Session Search.

  • Patrick Kyle, PhD, ABFT, DABCC, FAACC, University of Mississippi Medical Center (moderator)
  • Alison Woodworth, PhD, DABCC, FAACC, University of Kentucky
  • Mark Cervinski, PhD, DABCC, FAACC, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center

192008 The Laboratory Leader as Strategist: Extending Boundaries for Clinical Laboratory Influence and Impact

This course describes how to shift the focus of laboratory leaders from managing and directing internal laboratory operations to develop relationships and extending influence outside the laboratory. The main goal is to equip lab managers with a set of skills that will enable them to effectively interact with stakeholders and gain influence. The session will address four main areas related to interacting with stakeholders and improving personal effectiveness: 1) influence and the art of persuasion, 2) effective communication strategies for laboratory technicians, 3) the laboratory technician as a patient safety advocate, and 4) principles of program evaluation. Within these four main topic areas, the following will be discussed: the determinants of influence; how persuasion works from both sides; improving personal communication skills; the do's and don'ts of representing the laboratory and its interests; how disclosure should be made when a patient has been harmed; how to design an evaluation strategy. Online Session Search.

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

192009 Serum Protein Electrophoresis: Best Practices for Everyday Interpretation

Navigating and interpreting the appropriate testing for plasma cell proliferative diseases (PCDs) via protein electrophoresis (PEP) and other supplemental testing (isotyping, serum free light chain, etc.) can be challenging. The goal of this course is to convey best practice recommendations in a case-based format. Participants will gain knowledge on test utilization for initial diagnosis and monitoring, reflex testing strategies, factors affecting accurate quantitation, common interferences, and reporting of monoclonal proteins (M-proteins) in an interactive case-based format. All current clinical methodologies will be highlighted (gel, capillary, immunonephelometry, mass spectrometry) along with different quantitation methodologies (perpendicular drop, tangent skimming). This session will be formatted with introductory presentations addressing the fundamentals of electrophoresis and the challenges for clinicians taking care of patients with PCDs which will be followed by an interactive set of case examples highlighting best practices. Online Session Search.

  • Katherine Turner, PhD, DABCC, Spectrum Health (moderator)
  • David Murray, MD, PhD, MBA, MT (ASCP), Mayo Clinic
  • David Manthei, MD, PhD, University of Michigan


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 How to Truly "Excel" at Data Analysis and Visualization: An Introduction to the R Programming Language

R is a freely available statistical programming language that supports the complex data manipulation and analysis activities needed for efficient clinical laboratory practice. In this interactive course we introduce basic concepts of R programming as well as more generalizable best practices in working with laboratory data. Online Session Search.

  • Robert Benirschke, MD, DABCC, FAACC, Northshore University Health System (moderator)
  • Amrom Obstfeld, MD, PhD, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia/University of Pennsylvania
  • Patrick Mathias, MD, PhD, University of Washington School of Medicine

193011 Solving Problems and Resolving Challenges in Point-of-Care Testing

This hands-on course focuses on identifying problems and challenges faced in point-of-care testing (POCT). This includes the key components of setting up a training program, administering regulatory-focused competency assessment, vendor and program integration of quality management systems, and maintaining regulatory compliance in the face of changes. In this course, we will discuss how to carry out daily operational management to ensure high quality results and start-to-finish project management of implementing point-of-care connectivity for vendors and point-of-care managers. The faculty will also highlight how to use data analytics to help address problems related to preanalytical, analytical and post-analytical errors. Seasoned veterans and novices alike will appreciate the discussion and problem-solving elements. Presentations and break-out sessions include interactive participation polls, table exercises, and peer-to-peer discussion. Online Session Search.

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

193012 Establishment and Implementation of Test Methods into the Clinical Laboratory Using CLSI’s Test Life Phase Model

This course will demonstrate how to meet requirements using best practices to ensure quality in the establishment of LDTs and the implementation of both LDTs and FDA-cleared or approved test methods into a laboratory using CLSI’s Test Life Phases Model. This course reviews good practice in the establishment of an LDT by a developer and implementation of established test methods, whether LDTs or FDA-cleared or approved, by the laboratory as an end user. Speakers will use examples to represent contemporary issues, for example discussions in the AACC Artery. Speakers will review the FDA, CLIA, and other requirements for each phase of the Model. Specific examples of LDT establishment and implementation will illustrate how CLSI documents can be used to meet requirements and avoid pitfalls. A speaker who reviewed LDT submissions to the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) will provide examples of common errors observed in real-life submissions. Online Session Search.

  • Paula Ladwig, MS, MT (ASCP), Mayo Clinic (moderator)
  • J. Rex Astles, PhD, FAACC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Christopher Dailey, PhD, Miravista Diagnostics
  • Zhimin Cao, MD, PhD, DABCC, FAACC, SUNY Upstate Medical University

193013 LC-MS/MS Operations in the Clinical Laboratory

This course will provide details on the components specific to running an LC-MS/MS laboratory for clinical diagnostics. As virtually all LC-MS/MS testing is lab-developed and wide-spread adoption of the technology is relatively recent, there are details specific to LC-MS/MS which are not published or readily available. Faculty will approach LC-MS/MS education from the practical view of how to use the technology on a day-to-day basis and troubleshoot the challenges of keeping the assays and instruments running. Participants will be engaged in lectures, small group discussion, and example exercises for team-based evaluations. This course will address items specific to the execution and maintenance of LC-MS/MS testing from a cradle-to-grave perspective, giving participants tools to improve turn-around time, reduce errors and increase quality. Online Session Search.

  • Brian Rappold, BS, Labcorp (moderator)
  • Russell Grant, PhD, Labcorp
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2023 AACC offers something for everyone in laboratory medicine, from Plenaries featuring world-renowned scientists to intimate Roundtables.