Category Archives: 2017

Unique Conference Focused on the Future of Pathology

With two successful Pathology Horizons conferences on opposite sides of the globe under his belt and the third one due to take place next month, Dr. Hugh Cormican, Cirdan CEO opens up about the rationale for staging such an event and what delegates can expect to gain from attending.


Why did Cirdan start Pathology Horizons?

Cirdan has been involved in the diagnostics industry and particularly pathology since the company started in 2010. We have attended a lot of conferences and it’s very clear to us that technology and the diagnostics sector is going through huge change now, probably more than there has ever been. We found that a lot of the conferences that we attended tended to be very focused and very specific. There didn’t seem to be a forum or event focused on the future of pathology that allowed people to stand back and look at the wider picture. We didn’t see anything that highlighted what the implications for the industry are and what the implications for people like ourselves, who are a key supplier to that industry in terms of informatics systems would be. We felt that there was a gap there and that is why we set up Pathology Horizons.

Who is Pathology Horizons aimed at?

It’s aimed at all the key stakeholders in the diagnostics market, for example pathologists, laboratory managers, medical scientists and people who are suppliers to that market, including informatics companies. To date the conference has drawn a broad a mix of all disciplines interested in pathology within the diagnostics market and we would like this to continue. It’s an inclusive event, where all stakeholders can come along and share their views. We are interested in hearing their opinions on how change in the sector is going to manifest, what we need to be thinking about for the future and what the impacts of this change are likely to be.

How has the Pathology Horizons conference been received in the world of pathology?

We have received a very positive reaction so far. The people who have attended Pathology Horizons conferences have been forthcoming with praise. We started the conference on a small base and are looking to grow this and every year attendance has grown. We make the talks available online on our website for people who for whatever reason have been unable to attend the conference. We’re delighted with the extent and breadth of people who have shown interest and want to come along. Now, we’re in the very fortunate position that instead of going hunting for people to give a talk, people are coming to us offering to give presentations. I think that’s a very positive sign for the conference and the direction it’s heading in.

How have you managed to secure such a high-calibre of speaker year after year?

We hound them until they say yes. No, seriously, we attend a lot of conferences throughout the world, some we exhibit at and some we go to for our own educational or learning purposes. Therefore, we get to hear a lot of speakers give talks and see what they’re doing. If we feel they can add value to the conference and have a novel or interesting topic to share, we add them to a potential speakers list and invite them. Thankfully we’ve had a great response so far and hope this continues.

What’s planned for Pathology Horizons 2017 in Cairns?

Pathology Horizons is back in Australia this year and digital pathology is a particular area of interest there. Therefore, the conference is probably more biased towards digital pathology than it has been in previous years. We are getting a lot of interest in the subject and it is an area previous conference delegates have wanted to hear more on. Digital pathology is something that I personally have had a view on for many years. I was always of the belief that it didn’t make practical or economic sense for pathology. I held this view right up until last year. I now think that digital pathology is worth the investment. Considerable investment is needed in infrastructure i.e. hardware and software to be able to implement digital pathology in a lot of labs and I felt that it wasn’t above the gain line in terms of the work that was required. It is definitely now above the gain line. There have been some seismic changes in that the FDA have now approved it for clinical and diagnosis purposes and one of the speakers will be talking specifically about that and the impact that this has had. As well as looking at other aspects of the industry there are clearly more talks aimed at digital pathology this year.

What can delegates expect to take away from the conference?

Hopefully some surprises, some new thoughts and ideas. The conference will make delegates consider things that they hadn’t previously been thinking about or preparing for and how these will impact upon their profession. They will then leave better placed to prepare for these changes and in a position of knowledge to find out more.

The conference will provide an opportunity to network not only with other delegates but with the speakers. We just have one conference stream, so everyone will have the opportunity to get involved, give feedback and ask questions. At Pathology Horizons, everyone is part of the discussion on the future of pathology.

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Pathology Horizons 2017 – The Countdown is on!

It is now just six weeks until the Pathology Horizons 2017 conference in Cairns. Places are filling fast, so if you haven’t registered yet, make sure you sign up today.

About the conference

Pathology Horizons focuses on new technologies, developments and lines of research that will drive the future of pathology. Organised annually by Cirdan, it is a unique event that draws a global audience of speakers and delegates.

Unlike other conferences, Pathology Horizons provides an opportunity to not only learn from speakers via their talks but allows delegates to network and interact with industry experts in a more informal setting. As an added bonus, the tropical surroundings of idyllic venue, Paradise Palms make it a perfect location for learning, relaxing and mixing with peers.

Now for the icing on the cakethere is no registration fee to attend due to  sponsorship and it is also CPD approved.

Speakers & Topics

Our 2017 speaker line-up includes some of the best in the world of pathology and will be sure not to disappoint. First up will be Dr. Liron Pantanowitz from the University of Pittsburgh, USA, who will discuss the pros and cons of computer aided diagnosis in pathology. This will be followed by Northern Ireland native, Dr. Maurice Loughrey who will speak about whole slide imaging analysis software in the research setting and a breakthrough in tissue-based biomarker analysis.

UK based, David Bottoms from DJB Healthcare Ltd will look at pathology digital imaging in the UK, including key elements of the business case for digital imaging. Delegates will also benefit from a talk on digital pathology regulatory considerations by Dr. Esther Abels from Philips Digital Pathology, The Netherlands.

Bringing genetics into mainstream medical practice will be discussed by Prof. Leslie Burnett of, Australia. Also from Australia, Dr. Anthony Gill will speak on ‘Morphologomics’ – challenges for surgical pathology in the genomic age.

Why advances in biology and informatics should bring pathology and radiology together into a combined diagnostics discipline will be covered by Dr. Michael Legg, Michael Legg & Associates, Australia. Dr. Perry Maxwell of Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland will talk on LIMS in modern molecular pathology.

Prof. Richard Levenson of UC Davis, California provided an entertaining and novel talk at the Pathology Horizons 2016 conference in Ireland and this year we are delighted to have him in Cairns to speak on novel microscopies, namely  the  groundbreaking topic of MUSE (Microscopy with Ultraviolet Surface Excitation).

Australian native, Dr. Glenn Edwards of SA Pathology will be sharing a value-based approach to clinical pathology and informatics.

Dr. Ashraf Mina of Pathology West, Australia will be talking ‘Big Data’ and sharing the opportunities and challenges it presents in health and research. Delegates will also hear from Dr. Keith Kaplan, editor of industry leading digital pathology blog, on the last 15 years of digital pathology, what’s worked, what hasn’t and what’s coming. Presentations will wrap after Prof. Peter Hamilton of Philips Digital Pathology, Northern Ireland speaks on computational pathology and driving the digital transformation in biomarker discovery and diagnosis.

Alongside the main talks, Dr. Felipe Templo Jr from the Phillipines will give a short presentation on the practical utility of social media platforms in pathology and laboratory medicine education.

Secure your place and be part of the discussion on the future of pathology from 10th – 12th August!

How do I register?

Register now via the online registration form or by emailing

Still deciding?

This should help make up your mind. Watch a quick overview of last year’s conference in Ireland and listen to other’s experiences of the conference.

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Dr. Pantanowitz to speak on computer aided diagnosis at Pathology Horizons

This August in Cairns Pathology Horizons delegates will have the privilege of hearing Dr. Liron Pantanowitz delivering a talk on the pros and cons of computer aided diagnosis in pathology.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming a reality in medicine. However, can these deep learning tools perform the complex tasks of pathologists, and in some instances with superior accuracy? Image analysis is one of the main reasons pathology labs are thinking about investing in digital pathology, especially since precision medicine currently demands precision diagnostics.

Enough evidence has been accrued showing that image analysis offers better accuracy, standardization, automation, and enables computational pathology. However, there are still several drawbacks and barriers preventing widespread adoption such as limited interoperability, workflow disruption, poor reimbursement, no guidelines, and regulatory obstacles.

During his presentation Dr. Pantanowitz will discuss the benefits and problems related to computer aided diagnosis in pathology and will highlight what is required to deliver those awaited killer apps.

Dr. Liron Pantanowitz is currently a Professor of Pathology and of Biomedical Informatics at the University of Pittsburgh in the USA.

He is the Director of the Pathology Informatics Division and Director of the Pathology Informatics Fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). In additon, he is the Director of the Cytopathology Division at UPMC Shadyside.

More on Dr. Liron Pantanowitz

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Dr. Kaplan to discuss Digital Pathology: The Past, Present and Future at Pathology Horizons

We are thrilled to have Dr. Keith Kaplan, publisher of, the industry’s leading digital pathology blog speak at this year’s Pathology Horizons conference in Cairns, Australia from 10th -12th August.

During his presentation Dr. Kaplan will reflect on 15 years of digital pathology, what has worked, what hasn’t and what’s coming. He will focus briefly on historical experience and initial use cases, how changes that are happening to pathology impact business operations, making a business case for digital pathology and why the time is now to adopt digital pathology. Mention of the importance/impact of cloud computing, hand-held computing and social media that coincided with maturation of this technology will also be discussed. The need for image analysis with clinically approved protocols for improved consistency and reproducibility particularly in an era when the use of companion diagnostics will be addressed. More recently, significant changes in healthcare delivery systems and reimbursements for technical and professional services for laboratories and pathologists have started to change the landscape that make digital pathology more attractive than in the past 15 years.

Dr. Kaplan is a native of Chicago and a graduate of Michigan State University and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. He completed residency training in anatomic and clinical pathology at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC.

More on Dr. Keith Kaplan

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Hear from Dr. Templo on social media in pathology and laboratory medicine education

We are delighted to announce that Dr. Felipe Templo Jr. from the Phillipine Heart  Center, Philippines will be joining Pathology Horizons 2017 in Cairns this August.

Dr. Templo will be delivering a presentation on “The Practical Utility of Social Media Platforms in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Education”.

Social media has changed the way we communicate and  how we obtain information over the past number decades. Its influence is increasingly recognised by academic institutions and its practical utility in medical education and training is gaining more impact because it is innovative, accessible and interactive.

According to Dr. Templo, the different platforms are becoming more relevant as sources of supplementary learning materials for pathology trainees and as opportunities for continuing medical education among practicing pathologists. As this trend continues, social media is viewed as paving the way for wider acceptance of digital pathology and discussions in establishing standards and good clinical practice for online images.

During his presentation Dr. Templo will explore how engagement with social media can significantly support pathology and laboratory medicine education, training and even clinical practices.

More on Dr. Templo

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Dr. Ashraf Mina to speak on “Big Data” at Pathology Horizons 2017

It gives us great pleasure to announce that Dr. Ashraf Mina will be joining the Pathology Horizons 2017 speaker panel in Cairns this August.

Dr Mina’s presentation entitled:

“Big Data Provides Opportunities, Challenges and a Better Future in Health and Research”

will look at how “Big Data” promises big opportunities but also raises huge challenges in health and research. Dr Mina will explore how health professionals can become masters of the digital revolution and avoid being enslaved by it.

According to Dr. Mina, deriving useful information from “Big Data” requires the development of increasingly sophisticated methods of mathematical and statistical analysis and the design of efficient algorithms.

The role of “Big Data” in medicine is one where we can build better health profiles and better predictive models around individual patients so that we can better diagnose and treat disease.

Dr. Mina, Principal Scientist at Pathology West has has more than thirty years’ experience in clinical laboratories, research and management in public and private sectors.

More on Dr. Ashraf Mina

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Dr. Perry Maxwell to speak on LIMS in Modern Molecular Pathology

dfsdwqWe are pleased to welcome another Northern Irish speaker to our Pathology Horizons panel. Dr Perry Maxwell is a superb addition to our list of global presenters.

Dr. Maxwell will discuss the importance of having a capable LIMS for the management, reporting and tracking functions of a hybrid lab that takes care of the molecular diagnostics for the whole of Northern Ireland and at the same time support the Centre of Cancer Research and Cell Biology at Queen’s University, Belfast.

In collaboration with Cirdan and Invest NI, Dr. Maxwell hopes to develop a LIMS that addresses these needs and provide clinical, research and bio bank facilities to the health service and universities across Northern Ireland. His presentation entitled, “LIMS in Modern Molecular Pathology will discuss the capabilities the LIMS needs to produce, the challenges they face with function complexity, along with the benefits it will deliver to not only lab management but to quality research and clinical services.

Dr Perry Maxwell is an Honorary Senior Lecturer at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) and until March of this year was the Lead Clinical Scientist for Molecular Pathology Diagnostics in the Northern Ireland Molecular Pathology Laboratory (NI MPL), Belfast, UK.  NI MPL is a hybrid laboratory that is accredited in the UK to take care of the molecular diagnostics of the whole of NI and, at the same time, support the translational research mission of the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology, Queen’s University, Belfast.

More on Dr. Perry Maxwell

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Hear about Novel Microscopies from Prof. Richard Levenson

We are pleased to announce that Prof. Richard Levenson will be joining us in Cairns this August for the annual Pathology Horizons Conference.

The title of Prof. Levenson’s talk is “Path, Present and Future: Novel Microscopies” .

According to Prof. Levenson how microscopes work in actual clinical pathology has not changed materially in well over a century. Recently, however, a number of new approaches are being developed, some of which will eventually find their way into the mainstream. One method, which Prof. Levenson will look at in detail is Microscopy with Ultraviolet Surface Excitation (MUSE). MUSE is a rapid approach for obtaining high-resolution, diagnostic quality histological images from unsectioned thick tissue specimens, replacing the need for slide preparation and the attendant extensive tissue processing and thin physical sectioning. MUSE is notable for its optical and mechanical simplicity. Excitation of tissue surfaces with 280-nm UV excitation excites a wide range of exogenous dyes with very large Stokes shifts. The resulting images can be captured using ordinary microscopic optics and standard CMOS or CCD cameras.

Preparing a sample for MUSE imaging can be performed in around a minute. With appropriate stage travel, extended fields of view can be captured from whole organs with microscopic detail. This non-destructive process leaves the sample intact for subsequent downstream molecular or genetic analysis.

In addition, images can include shading and depth cues that reveal surface profiles important in understanding the three-dimensional organization of complex specimens. This inexpensive, rapid and slide-free, sample-sparing method has potential to replace frozen sections, and may have other applications in both high and  low resource settings.

Here’s a snippet of Prof. Levenson speaking about the ground breaking topic of MUSE.

Join us for Pathology Horizons 2017 in Cairns to hear more.

View Prof. Richard Levenson’s bio

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David Bottoms to speak on Pathology Digital Imaging in the UK

We are delighted to have David Bottoms speaking at the Pathology Horizons Conference in Cairns, Australia this August.

During his presentation entitled, “Pathology Digital Imaging in the UK – Are we nearly there yet?” he will provide delegates with insight into the scope, objectives and findings of a Digital Imaging Proof of Concept study undertaken in the UK. David is able to provide both a project management and pathologist perspective and his talk will include the key elements of the business case for digital imaging.

David has been a part of service integration and a variety of pathology projects spanning the North and South of the UK since the turn of the century.

He continues to work for the NHS in a variety of roles, including work for the North of England Cancer Care Alliance, Pathology project across West Yorkshire and the Digital Imaging project in Leeds.

Since 2014 he has been involved in the promotion of Pathology Digital Imaging as part of a wider potential solution to address service risks/ resilience in the face of workload/ workforce imbalance within Cellular Pathology services and sincerely hopes that he will help catalyse the progression of Digital Imaging not just in his own patch but elsewhere across the UK.

See David Bottom’s bio and read an abstract of his talk.

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Prof. Leslie Burnett will be talking ‘Genomics’ at Pathology Horizons 2017

Wprof-leslie-burnette are delighted to announce that Professor Leslie Burnett will be speaking at the Pathology Horizons 2017 Conference in Cairns this August.

Prof. Burnett will be presenting on:

“Bringing Genomics into Mainstream Medical Practice”

Prof. Burnett believes the introduction of clinically accredited Whole Genome Sequencing and the increasing availability of genomic  technologies is heralding a new era for modern medicine.

According to Dr. Burnett, these transformative techniques are more than new tests: their implementation offers huge potential for improving patient care and preventative health but challenge existing systems of test requesting, patient consent, result reporting, and clinical consultation.

In his presentation Dr. Burnett will describe the scope and range of medicine that are already being changed through the ready availability of genomics, and will provide examples of some of the surprisingly simple solutions that are being developed to support the introduction of genomics into medical practice.”

Prof. Burnett is Chief Medical Officer of Genome.One, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research. He is a passionate teacher and communicator about the genetics and genomics revolution.

Read more on Prof. Leslie Burnett

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