Researcher looking through microscope in laboratory

AABB 2020 is only two days away. Starting October 3 and ending October 5, 2020, industry professionals and company representatives will gather to network and share the latest research and practice-changing resources for the fields of blood and biotherapies. They won’t be meeting in a conference room or banquet hall, though. This year, the AABB 2020 will be entirely virtual.

Nevertheless, you can still expect New York Blood Center Enterprises (NYBCe) to offer the same valuable resources and engaging conference activities you’ve come to expect from past events. This year, 55 subject matter experts from several NYBCe divisions will participate in 13 oral abstract sessions, 20 poster sessions, 7 continuing education courses, and 5 on-demand sessions. Although it’s worth viewing as many sessions as you can, here are three you really don’t want to miss.

4 Sessions You Should Attend at the AABB 2020 Virtual Meeting

1. COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma (CCP) – Optimizing Collection Strategies and State of Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs)

On Sunday, October 4, 2020, from 11:15AM to 12:15PM in Virtual Room 4, Bruce Sachais, MD, PhD, of New York Blood Center (NYBC) will be speaking in session AM20-22. He will be joined by Evan Bloch, MD from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Claudia S. Cohn, MD, PhD from the University of Minnesota; and Program Chair Eduardo Nunes of AABB.

This session will focus on the “PassItOn” study from Vanderbilt University and a prophylaxis clinical trial from Johns Hopkins, giving attendees a comprehensive understanding of the methodology, design, and status of these two trials. Dr. Sachais will specifically discuss how to best optimize the collection of COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP), drawing on his experience with NYBCe’s CCP program.

2. Implementing the FDA Guidance for Industry of Platelets: Bacterial Risk Control Strategies from a Blood Center and Transfusion Service Perspective

After session AM20-22 from 3:45PM to 4:45PM in Virtual Room 4, Christine Driscoll and Sarai Paradiso, BS MT(ASCP) of NYBC and Jed Gorlin, MD of Innovative Blood Resources (a division of NYBCe) will present session AM20-28 alongside Leana Serrano-Rahman, MPH, (MT)ASCP, (CQA)ASQ of Montefiore Medical Center.

This course will explore “Bacterial Risk Control Strategies for Blood Collection Establishments and Transfusion Services to Enhance the Safety and Availability of Platelets for Transfusion,” a document issued by the FDA in September 2019 with an 18-month implementation timeframe. Driscoll, Paradiso, Gorlin, and Serrano-Rahman will address the steps taken by their respective organizations to implement these strategies, including the questions asked, decisions made, challenges that were overcome, and the outcomes that occurred.

Likewise, the speakers in session AM20-28 will teach attendees how to adhere to these FDA guidelines at their own organization and identify whether a blood product has a 5-day expiration or requires secondary testing. The speakers will also explain how to decide whether attendees should purchase Pathogen Reduced platelets and if they will be readily available.

3. “Breaking up” in Sickle Cell Anemia: Impacting Disease Pathophysiology and Transfusion Support

Session AM20-72 is on demand and will become available when AABB 2020 starts on October 3, 2020. In this presentation, speaker Francesca Vinchi, PhD and program chair Karina Yazdanbakhsh, PhD of NYBC will join Mark Gladwin of the Vascular Medicine Institute at the University of Pittsburgh will review the role of hemolysis in sickle cell pathophysiology.

“Increasing evidence suggests that intravascular hemolysis estimated to account for one third of hemolysis in sickle cell anemia (SCA) plays a central role in SCA pathophysiology,” the team writes of the event. “…In this session, we will review cellular heme sensing and response pathways in normal and hemolytic disorders including SCA, describe recent studies on the impact of transfusions on these heme response pathways in SCA, and discuss potential therapies that may be combined with transfusions as a framework for optimization of transfusion management and support for this patient population.”

This session comes at an exciting time for Dr. Yazdanbakhsh as she recently received a five-year $15.6M grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to fund research into the impact of transfusions in patients with sickle cell disease and how to improve transfusion management for those with the disorder. The grant supports a multi-disciplinary research team consisting of members from NYBCe’s Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute, including not only Dr. Vinchi but also Drs. Xiuli AnCheryl LoboPatricia ShiAvital Mendelson, and Hui Zhong.

4. Practical Tales of Red Cell Genotyping: Through the Eyes of the Molecular Biologist, Serologist, and Physician

On Sunday, October 4, 2020, from 2:30PM to 3:30PM in Virtual Room 2, Sunitha Vege of NYBCe’s Immunohematology and Genomics Laboratory will join Meghan Delaney, DO, MPH of Children’s National Health System and Michael Gannett, MLS(ASCP)SBB of OneBlood, Inc. for session AM20-26. The goal of this interactive course is to provide a practical approach to understanding and evaluating blood group genotyping from the perspective of three diverse industry professionals.

The group will cover three main objectives:

  • Explain the basic concepts and nomenclature in blood group genetics
  • Describe methods utilized in blood group genotyping and identify differences of blood group antigens based on blood group genotyping
  • Apply blood group genotyping to clinical situations

This is only a fraction of the sessions that NYBCe will be participating in this year. Download the schedules for all of the NYBCe-specific events and connect with their subject matter experts. You are also invited to access the new materials they have made available on their website, including an AABB 2019 archive featuring presentations and posters from that conference. See you at AABB 2020!