“Bones, flesh, horses! Loved it!,” said one attendee at the Foundation for Genetic Technology (FGT) Southeastern Regional meeting.
Maryville-based Molecular Pathology Laboratory Network, Inc. (MPLN) hosted the FGT genetics conference held in Knoxville for the first time.
Ninety-five people attended from across the southeast, including laboratory technologists, genetic counselors and lab directors. From domestic horse chromosomes to cancer to prenatal testing to forensics, a wide range of topics were presented to appeal to each specialty represented, including molecular genetics, biochemical genetics and cytogenetics.
The keynote speaker was William M. Bass, Ph.D., world-renowned forensic anthropologist and director of the forensic anthropology division at the University of Tennessee. Several other speakers took the podium or led breakout sessions, including MPLN’s Chief Scientific Officer Nick Potter, Ph.D., Immunohistochemistry Manager Kelly Parman, Technical Director Elizabeth Stone and Cytogenetics Laboratory Director Katy Phelan, Ph.D.
Presentations included discussions on CellSearch™, a new method of detecting circulating tumor cells for monitoring metastatic breast cancer, first and second trimester prenatal screenings, hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, integrating molecular genetics and molecular diagnostics, compliance with industry guidelines, the use of complementary techniques in the diagnosis of leukemia, and chromosome translocations associated with early embryonic loss in the domestic horse.
“We wanted to provide a valuable opportunity for networking and to introduce new techniques and ideas to our peers in genetics,” said Dr. Phelan, who organized the event with cytogenetics lab manager, Patsy Lunde, and other members of the cytogenetics staff at MPLN. “The meeting was a great success based on the comments we received. We earned excellent scores for all of the criteria used to evaluate the meeting.”