Helen Tucker announced as BIVDA’s Chair-Elect

The British In Vitro Diagnostics Association (BIVDA) has announced that Helen Tucker (pictured), BIVDA board member and Managed Services Contracts Manager at Thermo Fisher Scientific, has been confirmed as its Chair-Elect, and will take over from current Chair Darren Stenlake from Sysmex in Spring 2022. Helen’s healthcare career began from school when she joined the Histopathology Department at King’s College Hospital. Following six years there, she moved into her first commercial role at Shandon Scientific. The company went through a number of acquisitions and transitions over the years, during which time she took on roles in sales management, business management and European channel management. The company grew to become Thermo Fisher Scientific, and in 2014 she moved into a newly created role of Managed Service Contracts Manager.

Commenting on her appointment, Helen said; “There is no doubt that BIVDA is a leading voice for the diagnostics industry and is at the forefront of driving external stakeholder engagement. I believe that, as members of BIVDA, we all have a role to play in driving the message on innovation and the adoption of new technologies, to support better healthcare outcomes. I have learnt a lot from my engagement with BIVDA about the broader diagnostics industry and am keen to continue this in my role, to help develop and drive the BIVDA message both internally with our membership, but more importantly with our external stakeholders.” BIVDA Chief Executive Doris-Ann

Williams said; “Helen has been an active member of the BIVDA Executive Board and I am delighted that she has become Chair-Elect. It is also vital for BIVDA to have continuity and establishing a Chair-Elect in advance means that all the leadership from our current Chair, Darren Stenlake, can be continued and built upon.”

EDITOR’S COMMENT Hope in testing times

Welcome to the December issue of Pathology in Practice. It will be no surprise that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and COVID-189 disease feature prominently again in these pages. The cover feature looks at a changing healthcare landscape as the service continues to respond to the ongoing pandemic, and considers the important role of point-of-care (POC) tests and combination testing. The latter approach is not new. While previously we have reported the beneficial impact of combining blood count parameters and C-reactive protein (CRP) in the assessment of patients with potential sepsis, here CRP is joined by myxovirus resistance protein A (MxA), an intracellular protein that only becomes elevated in the presence of acute viral infection. The current unprecedented challenges

faced around the world have focused global attention on the vital role played by biomedical science, in laboratory and POC testing, and in research such as that undertaken to produce the various coronavirus vaccines currently offering a glimmer of hope that a return to normality is on the horizon. An international perspective is offered by Alan Wainwright, the new President of the International Federation of Biomedical Laboratory Science (IFBLS). He points out that our responses to the current pandemic will define us as a profession, but they require local investment in infrastructures that

provide better healthcare treatment. However, these will have limited success unless there is also investment in education and training to develop qualified staff – a salutary thought when large, industrial-scale testing laboratories are proposed.

Method comparison assessment

features once again as Dr Stephen MacDonald turns his attention to consideration of acceptability criteria and the choice of specification that needs to be in place prior to the performance of any experiments. Readers will also be interested in his series on the assessment of measurement uncertainty, which has been concatenated into a digital supplement, and can be found on the Pathology in Practice website and app. Other coverage this month includes

a report on current issues in liver research, including topics such cirrhosis, the impact of hepatitis B virus and the composition of the intestinal microflora. The introduction of innovative haemostasis systems also features, as does the impact that radio frequency identification (RFID) systems have in releasing pressure on pathology services. Whether reading a hard copy or viewing this issue in digital format, via the website or new app, continue to stay safe over the festive period in uncertain but perhaps more hopeful times.

Blood test permits better understanding of Alzheimer’s disease

A breakthrough in Alzheimer’s disease has arrived with introduction of C2


Diagnostics’ PrecivityAD blood test. Researchers at C2

N Diagnostics have

found the PrecivityAD test predicts Alzheimer’s brain pathology in people with memory and thinking issues. Based on data from 686 patients aged over 60 with subjective cognitive impairment or dementia, the PrecivityAD test correctly identified brain amyloid plaque status (as determined by quantitative amyloid positron emission tomography [PET] scans) in 86% of the patients. The Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) for the analysis had an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.88. The proprietary test involves a small blood sample. C2


in its specialised laboratory facility using mass spectrometry to measure the concentrations of amyloid beta 42 and 40 (Aβ42 and Aβ40), and the presence of apolipoprotein E (ApoE) isoforms in blood. The analysis process is automated and allows C2

N to process samples in

a routine and repeatable manner.


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