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November 2022

National Pediatric Pathology Meeting Comes to Rochester


For the first time ever, Rochester was the host city for the fall meeting of the Society for Pediatric Pathology (SPP), held at URMC Oct. 7-9. The event, co-sponsored by our department and the SPP, featured three days of academic presentations as well as extracurricular outings including a boat cruise on the Erie Canal and banquet at the historic George Eastman Museum.

Rich MillerURMC's Pedipath faculty Phil Katzman, M.D., and Leon Metlay, M.D., were co-chairs for the event, which they joked is sort of like hosting the Olympics without the corporate sponsorships. Each year the SPP holds two large meetings—one in the fall and another in the spring that coincides with USCAP. The fall meeting is traditionally hosted by a children’s hospital, and while Golisano Children’s Hospital is one of the largest in Upstate New York, it’s much smaller than most places who have hosted the SPP meeting in the past. For that reason, the event was an opportunity to showcase our city and institution and network with experts and trainees from across the country.

In total, 110 people attended the hybrid conference in person, with another 70 who joined virtually. Poster presentations were held in Flaum Atrium and platform sessions in the Class of ’62 Auditorium. The meeting also included talks by clinicians and investigators from URMC Pediatrics and Maternal-Fetal Medicine, who collaborated with pathology. 

Being back in person meant a return to public speaking behind a podium, which pathologists rarely have the chance do in their daily work.  

“I was uncharacteristically pushed in the forefront most of the meeting so I did a lot of the introductions which I’m not used to, but it was good,” said Katzman.

The sun shone brightly for the group outing on the Colonial Belle, giving guests time to chat and get fresh air before heading to dinner at the Eastman Museum. The museum, home of Kodak film pioneer George Eastman, appealed to guests. “Pathologists are visual people, so the Eastman House was a perfect fit,” Katzman said.

SPP-groupThe meeting itself featured a variety of engaging presentations, made all the more appealing by the ability to have in-person discussion with other attendees. 

“I had a blast and a half,” Metlay said. “After a few years without in-person meetings, to be able to stand and talk to somebody was just cool.”

Metlay even used the opportunity to bring a colleague to his office to look at slides from an interesting autopsy case. From a recruitment standpoint, our faculty also had the chance to promote the now-open pedipath fellowship—as did colleagues from other institutions with openings. “I spent a lot of time talking to residents and fellows; whether that bears fruit we’ll see,” Metlay said.

Pictured above: From left, Michael Arnold, M.D., Ph.D., far left, of Colorado Children’s Hospital, Cristina Pacheco, MD, of University of Washington, Jonathan Hecht of Beth Israel Deaconess, Lisa Teot of Boston Children’s, and URMC’s event co-chair Philip Katzman, M.D., at poster presentations on day 1.  

Top photo: Richard Miller, Ph.D., of OBGYN, Pathology, Pediatrics and Environmental Medicine, presenting at the day 3 symposium on birth defects due to teratogenic vs. genetic effects in perinatal pathology.  

Read about our pediatric pathology team in the latest issue of Golisano Children's Hospital publication Strong Kids: "Meet the Detectives Behind the Diagnosis"

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