The ASC 66th Annual Scientific Meeting was held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC, November 10th through 13th.  The Meeting Program began on Saturday and ran through Tuesday, with inspiring and challenging scientific sessions accompanied by a professionally presented Diagnostic Cytology Seminar, microscopic tutorials, workshops, panel luncheon seminars, roundtable discussions, and social events. The ASC Awards Presentation preceded the ASC Foundation Reception on Monday evening, the final full day of the Meeting where all Foundation contributors and distinguished awardees were honored. A fun night was enjoyed by all in a flower filled room with dancing attendees.

ASC Achievement Awards

The Papanicolaou Award was established in 1958 and is the highest award given by the American Society of Cytopathology. It is presented annually to a physician or PhD member in recognition of meritorious contributions in the field of cytology. This year the Papanicolaou Award recipient is Rita Nayar, MD, who is a Professor and Vice Chair of Pathology Education and Faculty Development and Director of Cytopathology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.

The Cytotechnologist Award for Outstanding Achievement is presented annually to an ASC Cytotechnologist member in recognition of meritorious service or accomplishments to the field of cytology. This year’s recipient is Beverly Haigler-Daly, BS, CT(ASCP), who is the Executive Director of ASCT Services.

The Excellence in Education Award is presented annually to a cytotechnologist or pathologist in recognition of meritorious service or accomplishment in the field of cytology education to include the education of cytotechnologists, pathology residents and/or cytopathology fellows. The recipient of the Award is Claire W. Michael, MD who is a Professor of Pathology, Director of Cytopathology Fellowship and Lead of Faculty Professional Development/Mentorship at the Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center.

The ASC President’s Award is presented annually to an ASC member. Selection of recipients is at the discretion of the current ASC President, Dr. Barbara Crothers, who chose two recipients this year. Gary W. Gill, BA, CT(ASCP), an active ASC member since 1965, passed away on April 12, 2018, and his wife, Marianne, accepted the award on his behalf. Gary was most noted for his endeavors in the field of cytopreparation and the formulations of Gill’s Hematoxylin. Leigh Buckner, BA, SCT(ASCP)IAC, an active ASC member throughout his career as well, believed continuing educational opportunities for cytotechnologists were always “endemic” and “unwritten” goals, and lifelong friendships are the reward.

The ASC Volunteer Appreciation Award, new in 2018, was established to acknowledge the contributions of an ASC Member who has demonstrated outstanding service to the mission, goals and work of the Society during a given service year. The Awardee is selected by the ASC National Office Staff. The first recipient is Roseann Wu, MD, MPH, from the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

ASC Foundation Patient Advocacy Grant

The Patient Advocacy Grant was established due to an increased emphasis on public education and awareness and the need to adopt early detection practices – especially for women regarding cervical cancers. The Patient Advocacy Grant is available to ASC members, patient advocacy groups and neighboring societies. Patient Advocacy Grant is awarded annually, and is for ongoing or new projects for advocacy efforts for patients with gynecologic and other cancers, or to educate patients on the need for effective screening programs. The 2018 Grant was awarded to Christine Pierre, PhD, Ashley Volaric, MD and Sara Zadeh, MD for My Sister’s Keeper Initiative, a nonprofit organization aimed at improving cervical screening and HPV vaccination in women in Trinidad.

Young Investigator Grant, ASC Cytology Shark Tank

Towards the mission of advancing research in cytopathology, the ASC Foundation offered the Young Investigator Grant again this year, the ASC Cytology Shark Tank. The top three finalists were invited to attend an interactive workshop with Second City improv artist, Heather Barnes, who presided over an interactive workshop to demonstrate the power of improvisational techniques with teaching, team building, communication skills and increased science learning.

Much excitement led up to the final day of the Cytology Shark Tank where the three worthy finalists presented 3-minute pitches to a pesky panel of tough judges. These “sharks” were tasked with determining who was worthy, a very tough decision; however, the 2018 ASC Young Investigator Grant was awarded to Caitlin Sundling, MD, PhD from the University of Wisconsin Hospital & Clinics for her proposal: Development of a Deep Learning Image Analysis System for Improved Cytology Screening.

2018 ASC Poster and Platform Award Recipients

The Innovative Cytotechnologist Practice Award, established in 2018, demonstrates programs, services or projects performed by a cytotechnologist that are creative, cost effective and improve practice in cytopathology.

Platform 6: Optimizing Whole Slide Imaging of Fine Needle Aspiration Smears: Ideal Z-axis Scanning Parameters

First Author: Ronald Encarnacion, BS, CT(ASCP), Adele O. Kraft, MD
Virginia Commonwealth University Health System, Richmond, Virginia

The Geno Saccomanno, MD New Frontiers in Cytology Award, established in 1993, is presented to an ASC member who is not nominated for another abstract award. The paper should contribute to a better understanding of cell biology or enhanced diagnosis and show significant innovation, good study design and potential diagnostic utility.

Platform 4: Automating The Paris System for Urine Reporting Cytopathology: A Hybrid Morphometric and Deep Learning Approach

First Author: Louis Vaickus, MD, PhD, Xiaoying Liu, MD
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire

The Advances in Thyroid Cytology Award, established in 2014, recognizes the abstract presentation that best contributes to the knowledge of diagnosis and treatment of thyroid diseases using FNA and/or ancillary techniques. This award is supported by an educational grant from Thyroid Cytopathology Partners in Austin, Texas.

Poster 47: Benign Call Rate of ThyroSeq v3 Molecular Test

First Author: N. Paul Ohori, MD, Michael Landau, MD, Sally Carty, MD, Linwah Yip, MD, Shane LeBeau, MD, Pooja Manroa, MD, Raja Seethala, MD, Karen Schoedel, MD, Marina Nikiforova, MD, Yuri Nikiforov, MD
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center-Presbyterian, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Cytotechnologist Scientific Presentation Award, established in 1969, is presented to the cytotechnologist or cytotechnology student enrolled in a CAAHEP-accredited Cytotechnology Program who presents the best scientific paper in cytology for either a platform or poster session.

Platform 9: Collodion Bag Versus HistoGel Cell Block Method: It’s All in the Bag

First Author: Heather Wilgenbusch, CT, MB(ASCP), Christina Molm, BS, CT(ASCP), Deniz Asian, MD, Brian Berg, MD
Minneapolis VA Medical Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Warren R. Lang, MD Resident Physician Award, established in 1978, is presented annually to recognize the resident or fellow in an approved training program who submits the best scientific paper in cytology for either a platform or a poster session.

Poster 93: The Role of a Comprehensive Urothelial Carcinoma Specific Next Generation Sequencing Panel in the Cytologic Diagnosis of Urothelium Carcinoma

First Author: Tong Sun, MD, PhD, Lloyd Hutchinson, PhD, Keith Tomaszewicz, BS, MT(ASCP), Mandi-Le Caporelli, BS, MB(ASCP), Xiuling Meng, MD, Ediz Cosar, MD, Andrew Fischer, MD, Kristine Comejo, MD
University of Massachusetts, Shrewsbury, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts

As is traditional, at the end of the Awards Ceremony, the incoming President, Syed Z. Ali, MD, FRCPath, FIAC, was escorted to the podium by Dina R. Mody, MD and Edmund S. Cibas, MD.

Additional photographs of the 66th ASC Annual Scientific Meeting are available on the ASC Annual Scientific Meeting Web site at:  cytopathologymeeting.org/2018/