This meeting in San Diego marks the 96th annual meeting of the USCAP, but last year was its 100th year
of existence! So we, the USCAP, celebrated the Academy's centennial birthday by hosting the 26th
International Congress of the International Academy of Pathology in Montreal in September last year.
This Congress was a rousing success, thanks to the spectacular organizational work of Rick Fraser from
McGill University. Rick and his colleagues created a superb educational program covering 5 days that
included 60 symposia, 20 slide seminars, 16 short courses, and 4 keynote lectures, all given by the
greatest educators, diagnosticians, and scientists in pathology today. In addition, there were 4 full
days of poster presentations numbering close to 1000, from pathology departments all over the world.
This Congress had over 2700 attendees, the largest registration ever, evidence of the continued
curiosity, creativity and intellectual intensity of the international community of pathologists.
The USCAP is an amazing organization. It has over 10,000 members, and the number of members continues
to rise every year. Thanks to the ongoing efforts of Fred Silva and the Ambassador's Program, we
continue to grow by increasing junior membership. The USCAP organizes this huge annual meeting, the
largest meeting of physician-pathologists anywhere in the world with a substantial number of attendees
from outside the continent, making it a truly international meeting. It sponsors three successful
multi-day courses during the year, the 5-day Diagnostic Pathology, the 3-day Diagnostic Cytopathology,
and the 3-day Practical Pathology Seminars in which retired annual meeting short courses are offered
during a weekend. It sponsors two successful journals, Modern Pathology and Laboratory Investigation.
It maintains a website that includes links to thousands of pages of educational text and thousands of
images of diseases of every imaginable kind including all the educational materials from the past 5
annual meetings. These can be searched by topic, disease, author, and technology. This website is a
resource available to all members as well as non-members who seek to update their knowledge of pathology.
It links with pathologists in underdeveloped countries to bring educational advances to them. And, it
does all this with a professional staff of only 6 people in a small office in a small town in Georgia.
In addition to our Executive Vice President, Fred Silva, this group includes Jim Crimmins, Jo Ann
Johnson, Kerry Crockett, Linda Haygood, Carolyn Lane and Sally Miglionico. How can so much be
accomplished by so few? The answer is that the tiny professional staff has a lot of help. The USCAP
depends on its huge cadre of volunteers who make policy through the Executive Committee and the Council,
who present the courses at all the venues, who review and grade the submitted abstracts, who edit the
journals and review their manuscripts, who set publication policy and who oversee the finances. The
marriage of professional staff and dedicated volunteers is what makes our Academy so successful.
The annual meeting has always been the main event and it continues to be so. The Education Committee,
under the capable and dynamic leadership of Dr. Jeffrey Myers,
has scheduled varied offerings that provide attendees with state-of-the-art information. The Long
Course on the Targeted Therapy of Cancer: New Roles for Pathologists, led by course Co-Directors Marc
Ladanyi and Allen Gown, is about as state of the art as any course can be. It includes an outstanding
faculty and a valuable CD with megabytes of information to take home and have at your fingertips. There
are also two special courses covering introductory and advanced molecular pathology, and 60 short courses
covering everything pathologists need to know and more. For the education fanatics, there are numerous
evening specialty conferences to entertain as well as educate. Then there are the scientific sessions of
a seemingly endless collection of companion societies on the 2 days prior to the formal meeting that are
closely monitored by the Academy to ensure that they are high-quality presentations. We take good care
of our members!
This meeting is an important forum for presentation of new scientific data. This year we have 1,660
scientific abstract presentations, including 230 by Pathologists-in-Training who are competing for the
prestigious Stowell-Orbison Awards. The participation of our membership in these activities is critical
for the progress of the discipline and we encourage everyone to present, attend and question the data.
The Nathan Kaufman Timely Topics lecture, Inflammatory Keys to Chronic Disease, will be delivered by
Dr. Stephen Kunkel, the Endowed Professor in Pathology Research at the University of Michigan and
Associate Dean for Biologic Sciences and Life Sciences Initiatives of the University's Rackham Graduate
School. Dr. Kunkel is a pioneer in the study of inflammation and the molecular and genetic phenomena
that are integral components. His exciting and stimulating lecture will detail the chronic diseases that
are mechanistically dependent upon common inflammatory components for their initiation and maintenance,
that the pathology of a variety of chronic diseases that were once felt to possess unique mechanisms of
progression, such as cancer, obesity, and vascular disease are now known to be dictated by common
inflammatory signals that serve to induce cell migration, differentiation, and activation and that the
inflammatory system, which likely evolved primarily for host defense in response to a hostile microbial
environment, is now known to provide the unexpected underpins to support chronic disease.
For the Maude Abbott lecture, we will hear Dr. Virginia LiVolsi, professor of pathology at the
University of Pennsylvania and a former president of the Academy, speak about C Cell Lesions of the
Thyroid: From Discovery to Molecular Biology, a topic which promises to be informative and entertaining.
The future of the Academy has been a subject of attention in the past few years. Under the leadership
of Drs. David Hardwick and Jeffrey Myers, a long-term strategic planning process was initiated in 2002.
The participants included a cadre of young and energetic members as well as senior and seasoned folds
with institutional memory and experience. The outcome of this exercise has been invaluable to secure a
process and a plan for future success. The results have served to guide all decisions that we make as an
organization. There is now an ad hoc committee for "Sustaining the Academy", capably chaired by our
immediate past president, Sylvia Asa, which is examining ways to ensure the future of the Academy
financially through members donors, endowments and grants from external agencies and organizations.
The strategic planning process included an intense examination of the Bylaws, under the scrutiny of
Dr. Victor Reuter as Chairperson of the Bylaws Subcommittee. The results of this review are significant
changes in the by-laws, approved by the membership at the last annual meeting, which brings the governing
structure of the Academy up to standards for the 21st century.
This year, the President's Award is given to James Crimmins, who has been the administrative genius
behind the scenes for several decades. At every annual meeting, Jim has always assumed the
responsibility for ensuring that every aspect of the meeting has been perfectly timed and perfectly
organized. Jim is retiring this year, and although his replacement, Kerry Crockett, is a superb
organizer and a dynamite person, we will still miss Jim.
The Academy could not be successful without the active participation of its members, and we celebrate
those who have made the most significant contributions with a series of awards. The Mostofi Award for
Service to the Academy will be presented to Dr. Victor Reuter who has served the Academy in numerous
ways and who continues to serve as a future president. The Distinguished Pathologist Award this year
honors an outstanding pathologist, Dr. Peter Burger, a giant in Neuropathology, who has made innumerable
contributions to that field. We also recognize the bright young people who are indeed, the real future
of Pathology with awards, including the Stowell-Orbison, Autopsy and Surgical Pathology Awards for
Pathologists-in-Training, the F. Stephen Vogel Award, the Castleman Award and the Young Investigator
Award, named after Ramzi Cotran.
The first meeting of the Academy that I attended was in 1968, my first short course presentation was
in 1971, my co-directorship of a long course was in 1988, and I have been fortunate to have served on a
few committees as well. For the past 30 years, one of my goals has been to get as many house officers to
this meeting through projects that generate posters and platform presentation, and I think that I have
succeeded well in this activity. The annual meeting of the Academy is one of the highlights of my
professional career, but it is also a remarkable venue for meeting old friends and making new ones. I
never imagined I would be the president, and I have been honored and delighted to have had the chance to
serve the USCAP in still another way. But it is you, the members of the Academy that do most of the
serving, and it is unfortunate that there can only be one president. You all deserve the honor.
Henry D. Appelman