Welcome from the ASIP 2021 Program Chair

Welcome from the ASIP 2021 Program Chair

Jonathon W. Homeister, MD, PhD
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Jonathon HomeisterOn behalf of the American Society for Investigative Pathology (ASIP), I am very excited to venture with you into our first virtual and interactive ASIP Annual Meeting, April 27-30, 2021, held in conjunction with the virtual Experimental Biology 2021. The organizing principle for this year is carried over from the cancelled 2020 meeting - From Microbiota to Artificial Intelligence: Emerging Technologies and Approaches for Discovering Mechanisms of Pathobiology” – and the content is updated to reflect the newest available scientific results and concepts.

An exciting lineup of basic and translational research talks presented by both well-known senior and up-and-coming junior scientists have been organized by the ASIP 2021 Program Committee in collaboration with our membership, Scientific Interest Groups, and guest societies – American College of Veterinary Pathologists (ACVP), American Society for Matrix Biology (ASMB), American Physician Scientists Association (ASPA), Histochemical Society (HCS), National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME), North American Vascular Biology Organization (NAVBO), Società Italiana di Patologia e Medicina Traslazionale/Italian Society of Pathology and Translational Medicine (SIPMeT), Society for Cardiovascular Pathology (SCVP) and the Society of Toxicologic Pathology (STP).  Sessions will explore the connection between the microbiome and the pathobiology of different organ systems, the molecular basis for cancer and non-neoplastic disease, and highlight how a variety of emerging technologies and approaches (e.g. artificial intelligence, organoid cultures, big data) are impacting pathobiology research and precision oncology.

The 2021 ASIP Annual Meeting includes symposia and workshops communicating cutting edge science and translational research, commingled with educational and professional development sessions appealing to trainees and junior faculty.  As a reflection of the research interests of the ASIP membership, there will be strong emphases on liver pathobiology, neuropathology, gene expression regulation, inflammation, immunopathology, cardiovascular biology, neoplasia, endothelial and epithelial cell biology, and fundamental cell biology.

  • One major theme will be how the microbiome influences pathobiology across different organ systems. Recent research has shown that the gut microbiome influences normal function and pathobiology of organ systems throughout the body. Consecutive symposia will explore this connection between the gut microbiota and the liver and brain, as well as how it impacts cancer therapy. A symposium sponsored by the Blood Vessel Club will explore the role of the microbiome in vascular disease. These symposia will provide a broad perspective of a very exciting area of emerging research.
  • Several major symposia will cover a variety of emerging technologies and how they impact research and medicine. A session co-sponsored by the Gene Regulation SIG will cover the impact of single cell transcriptome analysis on our understanding of epigenetic regulation of gene expression. Other sessions will cover the impact of artificial intelligence in pathology, machine learning in neuropathology, and the practical utility of big data. In addition, there will be a symposium exploring disease modeling using induced pluripotent stem cells to generate organoids, as well as a symposium organized by the Society for Toxicologic Pathology discussing the role of the toxicologic pathologist in animal model research. Together, these symposia will cover a wide range of cutting-edge experimental and computational approaches that are changing how we investigate, understand, diagnose, and treat human disease.
  • In the field of cancer pathobiology, there will be a symposium on precision oncology and the translation of personal genomics into clinical practice. The genomic era has led to dramatic changes in both basic cancer biology as well as personalized medicine. How we use this information to impact patient care is a very challenging but critically important topic. Club Hepatomania will expand the cancer pathobiology focus with a session on the mechanisms of hepatic tumorigenesis. In addition, there will be a workshop on the role of the tumor microenvironment in the pathobiology of breast cancer.
  • Several sessions will be devoted to the role of inflammation and immunity in disease. The Pathobiology Course for research scientists will cover mechanisms for the resolution of inflammation. A major symposium will cover modulation of the innate immune response by components of the activated coagulation and fibrinolytic systems. A cardiac pathology-focused symposium will explore the fascinating connection between clonal hematopoiesis, inflammation, and cardiovascular disease.
  • In what promises to be a fun session format again this year, a combined symposium and debate will delve into the similarities and differences in the mechanisms of fibrosis across different organs. The Presidential symposium will examine second chapters in academia after life in the research laboratory. In addition, there will be a mucosal pathobiology session dedicated to new regulatory mechanisms and functions of epithelial junctions, and the ACVP will host a symposium on hemostasis and thrombosis.

Fundamental components of the four-day program are multiple ASIP-sponsored abstract-driven virtual mini-symposia and virtual poster sessions. The virtual nature of the meeting offers new opportunities for the ASIP to enhance its strong commitment to supporting young investigators and trainee members, and the program emphasizes these opportunities for trainees and junior faculty. Importantly, ASIP Trainee members (including undergraduate students) and Junior Faculty who submit abstracts to ASIP Topic Categories are eligible to be considered for travel awards.  Please see the details about the many special award opportunities at www.asip.org/awards/.

As a member of the investigative pathology community, we invite and encourage your participation in the ASIP Annual Meeting. The virtual format offers new, exciting and flexible options to deliver meeting content and enhanced options for your participation. Please join us to stay abreast of leading scientific research into deciphering the pathways of health and pathology that will lead to biomarker development, and disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.

Lastly, an invitation…Besides participating in the Annual Meeting, any faculty (senior or junior) or trainee with interest in becoming more involved in the many ASIP-related educational, career development, research, and leadership opportunities should feel free to contact me (homeiste@med.unc.edu), Bill Coleman (wbcoleman@asip.org), or Lisa McFadden (lmcfadden@asip.org) at the ASIP office.

We look forward to seeing you virtually in a common ethernet ‘room’ at EB 2021, wherever you might happen to be!