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From Magic to Molecules: The Intelligent Microscope


Almost 200 years ago a new technology, the microscope, revolutionized the way in which medicine was practiced, resulting in the invention of Surgical Pathology as a discipline. Today the advent of molecular testing of tissue sections, coupled with digital whole slide imaging and analysis using an ‘intelligent microscope,’ is bringing about changes in Pathology of even greater magnitude, that will again ‘re-invent’ how we practice Pathology.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe in outline Companion Diagnostics, how they are developed, approved and used in pathology.
  2. Understand the advantages and limitations of on-slide evaluation and scoring.
  3. Evaluate the potential role and utilization of artificial intelligence in assisting the pathologist with histopathologic diagnosis.

Dr. Clive Taylor is Professor of Pathology at the Keck School of Medicine, University of California. Beginning in Oxford, England, in 1972, his laboratory was the first to adapt immunohistochemical (IHC) techniques for use in formalin fixed paraffin embedded tissues and was the first to utilize the resultant stains in routine diagnosis for surgical pathology. He then opened a similar laboratory at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, focused on lymphoma research and diagnosis. From the early 1990s his laboratory initiated use of IHC methods for assessing prognostic markers (such as ER,PR and AR), and then predictive markers, exemplified by HER2. From 1990, he became a Trustee of the Biological Stain Commission (BSC), which serves as an FDA surrogate and certifies biological stain for use in the USA. As President of the BSC, Dr. Taylor worked closely with the FDA in developing guidelines to manufacturers for IHC reagents, improving reproducibility. Dr. Taylor works with many international and national bodies for improved standardization of IHC and also works on developing computer-based algorithms for ‘Companion Diagnostics’, including HER2, ER, PR and EGFR.

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