AACC is proud to announce the following Plenary sessions. These thought-provoking lectures, held each day, Sunday to Thursday, are delivered by world-renowned experts and cover timely topics spanning the breadth of laboratory medicine.

Additional details will be added as they become available.


Jeffrey Gordon

Developing Microbiome-Directed Therapeutics for Treating Childhood Undernutrition
2023 Wallace H. Coulter Lectureship Awardee
Jeffrey I. Gordon, MD
Dr. Robert J. Glaser Distinguished University Professor
Founding Director, The Edison Family Center for Genome Sciences & Systems Biology
Washington University School of Medicine
St. Louis, MO

Human postnatal development is typically viewed from the perspective of our ‘human’ organs. As we come to appreciate how our microbial communities are assembled following birth, there is an opportunity to determine how this microbial facet of our developmental biology is related to healthy growth as well as to the risk for and manifestations of disorders that produce abnormal growth. We are testing the hypothesis that perturbations in the normal development of the gut microbiome are causally related to childhood undernutrition, a devastating global health problem whose long-term sequelae, including stunting, neurodevelopmental abnormalities, plus metabolic and immune dysfunction, remain largely refractory to current therapeutic interventions. The journey to preclinical proof-of-concept, and the path forward to clinical proof-of-concept emphasize the opportunities as well as the experimental and analytic challenges encountered when developing microbiome-directed therapeutics.


Atul Butte

Precisely Practicing Medicine from 700 Trillion Points of Data
Atul Butte, MD, PhD
Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg Distinguished Professor
Director, Bakar Computational Health Sciences Institute
University of California, San Francisco
Chief Data Scientist
University of California Health
San Francisco, CA

There is an urgent need to take what we have learned in our new data-driven era of medicine, and use it to create a new system of precision medicine, delivering the best, safest, cost-effective preventative or therapeutic intervention at the right time, for the right patients. Dr. Butte's teams at the University of California build and apply tools that convert trillions of points of molecular, clinical, and epidemiological data – measured by researchers and clinicians over the past decade and now commonly termed “big data” – into diagnostics, therapeutics, and new insights into disease. Dr. Butte, a computer scientist and pediatrician, will highlight his center’s recent work on integrating electronic health records data from over 8 million patients across the entire University of California, and how analytics on this “real world data” can lead to new evidence for drug efficacy, new savings from better medication choices, and new methods to teach intelligence – real and artificial – to more precisely practice medicine.


Thea James, MD, MPH, MBA

Choosing Equity in Healthcare: An Organizational Transformation
Thea James, MD, MPH, MBA
Vice President of Mission, Associate Chief Medical Officer, and Co-Executive Director of the Health Equity Accelerator
Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine
Director, Violence Intervention Advocacy Program
Boston Medical Center
Boston, MA

The session will highlight the reckoning of racism in America in 2020, and its intersectional impact on health, healthcare delivery, and medical education. This session will present an example of one academic healthcare system’s approach to an enterprise-wide transformation toward organizational equity. The session will share an evolution, interventions, and early outcomes as a result of the process.


Nanette Wenger

Cardiovascular Disease in Women: Epidemiology, Awareness, Access, and Delivery of Equitable Health Care
Nanette K. Wenger, MD, MACC, MACP, FAHA
Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology
Emory University School of Medicine
Emory Heart and Vascular Center
Founding Consultant
Emory Women’s Heart Center
Atlanta, GA

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the leading cause of mortality for US women. Research has identified important biologic differences between women and men and their responses to social, environmental, and behavioral stresses. Underrepresentation of women in all aspects of biologic research has delayed translation of these discoveries to women. Pervasive gaps in knowledge and care delivery require urgent attention to reduce sex-based disparities and achieve equity. Awareness campaigns must identify CVD as the major health threat for women, emphasizing the benefits of prevention in that 80–90% of CVD is preventable Advocacy is needed for public policy and legislative interventions that focus on the social determinants of health. A cultural shift is needed when presenting cardiovascular health data to the public and to health professionals that identify characteristics in men as the implicit “gold standard” with presentations in women termed “atypical.” These presentations are typical for women.


Mark Walters

Advances in Curative Therapies for Sickle Cell Disease
Mark C. Walters, MD
Jordan Family Director, Blood & Marrow Transplant Program
Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland
Chief, Hematology Division
Professor, Pediatrics/Hematology
University of California, San Francisco
San Francisco, CA

Against the backdrop of traditional hematopoietic cell transplantation for sickle cell disease, diverse new approaches are under development that apply genomic modifications to autologous cells that will elicit a therapeutic effect predicted to expand curative outcomes. This session will review strategies of genomic modification to induce fetal hemoglobin, to add an anti-sickling globin gene and to directly repair the sickle mutation. Examples both of promising results and pitfalls will be presented. The parallel challenge of ensuring access to these new therapies in a disorder long affected by social determinants that limit lifespan and access to competent healthcare will be highlighted.

Register for 2023 AACC

Join us in Anaheim, CA, USA to explore the cutting-edge science + technology shaping the future of laboratory medicine.

Explore the Conference Program

2023 AACC offers something for everyone in laboratory medicine, from Plenaries featuring world-renowned scientists to intimate Roundtables.