Recent AMP Meeting Brings Signs of Life to McEnery Convention Center

The Association for Molecular Pathology’s annual meeting was held at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose on November 18 and 19, 2010. This impressive meeting included about 319 vendor exhibits, many poster exhibits, and numerous plenary talks about molecular pathology and diagnostics.

The first session that I attended was the “Single Cell Analysis Of Circulating Tumor Cells In Cancer.”  Stefanie Jeffrey, MD, at Stanford University School of Medicine discussed single cell analysis of circulating tumor cells in cancer.  She talked about the 20 most commonly expressed genes, CTC’s grown in vivo, and FAST (fiber array scanning technology).

I listened to Madhuri Ramanathan from the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey who gave a talk about autism.  She discussed the percentage of pro-inflammatory genotypes. In another session Betty Wong, MS, at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Canada discussed the search for functional polymorphisms in the vitamin D binding protein gene, Gc.  She said that Gc was discovered in 1959 and named Group-specific component or Gc.  She said the objective was to search for functional DBP gene polymorphisms.  The study population was 66 percent Hispanics, 23 percent African-Americans, and 11 percent Europeans or other descent.  The methodology was denaturing HPLC and sequencing, etc.  The results were 24 different DBP gene variations in their 2-tail sample.  DBP is a highly polymorphic multifunctional protein.  Very little is known about the molecular variations responsible.

The size of the vendor exhibition suggested to me that business might be picking up in the molecular diagnostic product space.  Companies such as Roche Diagnostics, Illumina, Abbott Molecular, Illumina, Agilent, Qiagen, Siemens and others were there. Maybe 2011 will become a growth year for these vendors.

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