New ACR Steering Committee established to guide diagnostic testing during COVID-19 pandemic

The Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP), the premier global, molecular diagnostic professional society, today announced the formation of the AMP COVID Response (ACR) Steering Committee to help coordinate and communicate the organization's continued efforts to guide diagnostic testing during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and preparations for future emerging outbreaks.

Committee members will share expertise and provide recommendations to key stakeholders, including the incoming Biden administration, to help address the many challenges facing healthcare providers and ensure more Americans have timely access to high-quality testing.

Timely diagnostic testing is foundational to an effective response to any emerging communicable disease. AMP members have been on the frontlines of this pandemic and have been responsible for managing the ever-increasing demand for testing despite numerous regulatory, reimbursement, supply-chain, logistical, and systems challenges."

Frederick S. Nolte, PhD, Chair of the ACR Steering Committee

"With the new ACR Steering Committee, AMP now has a centralized body tasked with monitoring and analyzing the accomplishments and widely varied challenges experienced by laboratory professionals during this pandemic. We will broadly communicate this information and our membership's deep expertise as part of our ongoing commitment to informing Federal policy, guiding healthcare providers, and educating the public. We aim to significantly improve diagnostic testing for the current pandemic and future emerging outbreaks."

Throughout this pandemic, AMP has continuously been focused on increasing access to high-quality diagnostic testing. The Infectious Disease Subdivision Leadership published its perspective on how the organization has responded to the challenges of SARS-CoV-2. AMP also conducted two surveys in April and August 2020 to collect, understand, and monitor real-time data describing clinical laboratories' efforts and experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic response.

Early in the pandemic, AMP made seven recommendations to federal, state, and local governments to address the numerous regulatory, reimbursement, supply-chain, logistical, and systems challenges highlighted in the preliminary survey results.

The new ACR Steering Committee consists of prominent clinical molecular laboratory professionals who have been actively involved in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The new committee will build upon the organization's current cross-functional efforts, which include assessing ongoing laboratory needs, formulating strategies, and developing guidelines to advance clinical practice. In addition to its other communications efforts, the committee plans on publishing its findings and recommendations in scientific journals. ACR members include:

  • Frederick S. Nolte, PhD
    Chair of the ACR Steering Committee and Immediate Past Chair of the AMP Infectious Diseases Subdivision
    Professor and Vice-Chair for Laboratory Medicine in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and Medical Director of
    Clinical Laboratories and the Molecular Pathology Laboratory at the Medical University of South Carolina
  • Karen L. Kaul, MD, PhD
    Past AMP President
    Former Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics
    Clinical Professor of Pathology at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine
    Chair of the Department of Pathology at NorthShore University Health System
  • Eric Q. Konnick, MD
    Co-Chair of the AMP Professional Relations Committee
    Assistant Professor and Associate Director of the Genetics and Solid Tumor Laboratory at the University of Washington Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology
  • Jordan S. Laser, MD
    Co-Chair of the AMP Professional Relations Committee
    Associate Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell
    Medical Director of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Long Island Jewish Medical Center/Northwell Health
  • Timothy J. O'Leary, MD, PhD
    Past AMP President
    Former Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics
    Former Chief Research and Development Officer at the Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Antonia R. Sepulveda, MD, PhD
    AMP President
    Professor and Chair of the George Washington School of Medicine Department of Pathology
  • Karen E. Weck, MD
    Immediate Past AMP President
    Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Professor of Genetics, and Director of Molecular Genetics and Pharmacogenomics at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
  • Donna M. Wolk, PhD
    Chair of the AMP Infectious Diseases Subdivision
    Division Director of Molecular and Microbial Diagnostics and Development, Diagnostic Medicine Institute at Geisinger

"Over the past year, AMP has taken an important leadership role in the response to COVID-19," said Antonia R. Sepulveda, MD, PhD, AMP President. "As an organization, we will continue to share our expertise and engage key stakeholders to help improve patient care and increase access to high-quality testing procedures."

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