Association for Molecular Pathology


October 2010, Volume 16, Number 3


Membership & Professional Development Committee Report

By By Helen Fernandes, PhD
e-mail:, and

Rick Press, MD, PhD

Co-Chairs, Membership and Professional Development Committee

The Membership and Professional Development Committee (MPDC) continues to assist the various committees to reach out to the AMP membership for help with new projects and ideas. All of our communication for volunteers and requests for surveys go out via CHAMP. We request you to respond to surveys that are relevant to your specialty as numbers make the analysis more meaningful. Thank you for responding to our request on your affiliations and involvement with other relevant organizations. We turn to our liaisons for input when needed. If you are active in any organizations related to molecular diagnostics, please contact one of the members of the MPDC and we will add your name to the database.

The AMP membership is one of the most diverse of any professional organization involved in patient care and management. To foster interaction and enable further discussions AMP has introduced the formation of "Geographic/Theme Interest groups" and "International Working groups." Please see for information. To date we have the Rocky Mountain Interest Group led by Robyn Temple-Smolkin, Pharmacogenetic Interest group headed by Raj Sachdeva and an International Working group of more than 15 AMP members from more than six different countries, founded by Patrik Vitazka (see below). If you are interested in any of the existing groups or if you would like to start your own Geographic/ Theme Interest group, please contact any of the MPDC members or Mary Williams at

Early this year AMP awarded membership grants to six international applicants. These grants are very much appreciated by the recipients and are being put to good use (see Many of the recipients are active on CHAMP and a few have presentations at the Annual Meeting. To further encourage international membership, AMP has offered a one-time complimentary registration for the six recipients to attend the 2010 AMP Annual Meeting in San Jose. We will be requesting applications in the near future from international applicants for 2011 membership grants. Please encourage your international colleagues to apply for AMP membership.

Again, if you are interested in getting involved as a volunteer with AMP, please visit the website at or contact either us or Membership and Professional Development Committee members Robyn Temple-Smolkin ( or Shuji Ogino (

International Affairs Working Group

By Patrik Vitazka, MD, PhD

The AMP International Affairs Working Group (IAWG) is excited to report that it was formally approved by the Council and is now an official self standing Group within the Membership & Professional Development Committee (MPDC). The group has seven core founding members representing different parts of the world: Patrik Vitazka (Slovakia), Lei Po (Chris) Wong (Hong Kong), Rami Mahfouz (Lebanon), David E Barton (Ireland), Bibhuranjan R Das (India), Andrew P Fellowes (New Zealand), Denis Francis York (South Africa).

In April this year, the IAWG conducted a survey aiming to understand the needs of the international community of molecular pathologists and professionals working in the molecular diagnostics field. The results of this survey guided IAWG to concentrate on most imminent issues that the international community is facing: the training in molecular genetics, the differences in the regulatory stringency among different countries, and the need for global consensus on validation standards.

The IAWG is planning to utilize the upcoming AMP Annual Meeting in San Jose to make the non-US members aware of its activities and therefore invite meeting attendees to gather near the end of the Thursday Welcome Reception for informal discussions with the committee members. We hope to see everybody in San Jose!