HISTORY OF THE CLINICAL
APPLICATIONS OF CYTOMETRY ANNUAL MEETING, THE CLINICAL CYTOMETRY SOCIETY
AND COMMUNICATIONS IN CLINICAL CYTOMETRY
In late 1984, Mariano La Via initiated a series of conversations
with Jerry Hudson, Paul Hurtubise and Daniel Stites concerning the possibility
of organizing a meeting on clinical applications of cytometry. It was apparent
that cytometry was growing as a diagnostic and monitoring technology in
the clinical laboratory and that it might be useful to establish a forum
to exchange information, to present research data and to explore new clinical
applications of the rapidly expanding technologies of image and flow cytometry.
In planning for the first Clinical Applications of Cytometry
(CAC) meeting, certain basic principles were established and accepted as
important. The meeting would be organized by a Steering Committee and constituted
as a Not for Profit' Corporation; it would be directed to an audience representing
all levels of expertise in clinical cytometry; it would encompass discussion
of well established applications but would also include presentation of
new promising technologies ready for clinical application; and it would
foster close collaboration with industry. At that time Charleston was identified
as an ideal location for the meeting.
It was agreed during early conversations that this new
meeting was not an attempt to compete with the International Society for
Analytical Cytology (ISAC), but represented an effort to address a specialized
area of application of cytometric techniques and, therefore, was directed
at a special audience. The CAC Steering Committee asked the ISAC Council
to appoint a liaison member to serve on the Committee. Scott Cram was appointed
and became the fifth member of the Steering Committee.
The first CAC meeting took place in September 1986 and
was an immediate success. In time, new members were added to the Steering
Committee in order to replace Dan Stites and Jerry Hudson who resigned
and to enlarge the committee. These new members were John Parker, Janis
Giorgi, John Koepke, Brian Mayall, Sally Self, Thomas Fleisher and Leon
Wheeless. In 1993 the CAC Meeting was incorporated in the State of South
Carolina. The initial officers of the corporation were Mariano La Via,
President, John W. Parker, Vice President, and Paul Hurtubise, Secretary/Treasurer.
As attendance at the annual CAC meeting continued to
grow, the Steering Committee decided that it was time to consider establishing
a journal to serve the needs of the clinical cytometry community and to
publish the abstracts submitted to the annual meeting. In January of 1992
the journal concept was approved by the Steering Committee and Mariano
La Via and John Parker were asked to prepare and submit a proposal to several
publishers in the summer of that year. Three of the publishers responded
positively and negotiations were begun. Following successful negotiations
with ISAC and the publisher, Wiley-Liss, Communications in Clinical Cytometry
(CCC) was launched. Although a section of Cytometry, CCC was clearly identified
as a separate journal with its own volume numbers. Mariano La Via and John
W. Parker were confirmed as Editors. The ISAC Council and the ISAC Publications
Committee approved the arrangement and co-signed the contract with CCS,
with Wiley-Liss. Solicitation of manuscripts began in 1993 and the first
issue appeared in March, 1994. In the ensuing two and a half years of publication,
CCC has become a leader in its field and has experienced a growth rate
well beyond everyone's expectations. Starting as a quarterly journal, the
Journal will increase to six issues per year in 1997.
In September 1992 the Steering Committee reviewed the
continuing growth in number of meeting registrants, the composition of
the audience, and the increasing interest in new developments in clinical
cytometry. From these considerations it became apparent that a constituency,
clearly different from that of ISAC, had been formed. This suggested that
the time had come to consider the establishment of a new society to provide
a scientific organization and forum for those engaged in all aspects of
clinical cytometry and to represent their interests in the regulatory arena.
CAC meeting registrants agreed that it was a worthwhile and timely project.
After further consideration, legal documents were prepared in late 1992
to establish the Clinical Cytometry Society (CCS) as a Not for Profit'
Corporation in the State of South Carolina. It was also decided that the
CAC Steering Committee should serve as a transition body in organizing
CCS and in holding the first election for officers and council. Once formed,
CCS applied for affiliation with ISAC as an associated society. The journal,
Communications in Clinical Cytometry (CCC) then became the official journal
of the Society.
Attendance at the CAC meeting has continued to grow.
The meeting has maintained its format of four plenary sessions, luncheon
workshops, poster sessions and oral abstract presentations. In recent years
a pre-meeting conference devoted to discussions of flow cytometry and HIV
infection has been co-sponsored by CCS and NIAID. Commercial workshops
are also presented during the same day.
All who have attended any of the CAC meetings are aware
that the meeting has been very successful in achieving the initial goals
established by the funding Steering Committee. The eleven meetings held
thus far have provided members of the clinical cytometry community with
a scientific forum where they can meet with colleagues, discuss mutual
interests, present results of their research, learn about new methods or
improvements of old methods, and interact with their commercial colleagues
who provide the tools for their work. While numbers never tell the whole
story, the increase in the number of meeting participants from the initial
270 to over 500 in 1995 indicates that this meeting has met a need.
The publication, (CCC), and the new Society, (CCS), both
outgrowths of the CAC meeting have improved communications among clinical
cytometrists. All three are thriving. Thus the goals of the individuals
who established the meeting in 1984 have been achieved and then some.
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