INTRODUCING A NEW CLINICAL IMMUNOLOGY SOCIETY COMMITTEE:
THE DIAGNOSTIC LABORATORY COMMITTEE
In the early years of the Clinical Immunology Society (CIS), it was recognized that Clinical/Medical Immunology Laboratory (subsequently referred to as Diagnostic Laboratory Immunology [DLI]) was an essential part of the philosophy and formation of CIS. Considerable importance was bestowed on DLI from the standpoint of “developing training programs, certification procedures, and the provision of workshops, courses, conferences, publications, and other means of both broadening the availability of quality immunological laboratory testing and introducing and validating new procedures”, amongst other considerations (source: https://www.clinimmsoc.org/about-cis/history-of-cis/1986-1989).
Fast-forward to 2015; DLI has become considerably more complex. Keeping in mind that we are now fully immersed in the “Genomics Era”, it can be appreciated that we are faced with an ever-increasing intricacy of the diagnostic process, as also reflected in the recently updated classification for primary immunodeficiencies by the PID Expert Committee of the International Union of Immunological Societies (IUIS, published in the Journal of Clinical Immunology – online, October 2015).
With the above in mind, this might be an appropriate time to revisit the early years of CIS, and re-emphasize the importance of DLI, in all its aspects, for Clinical Immunology. To this effect, a new CIS committee has been established: THE DIAGNOSTIC LABORATORY IMMUNOLOGY COMMITTEE (DLI-COM).
The mission of the DLI-COM will be to create, promote and curate all matters relevant to DLI in its contribution to the overall mission of the CIS (to facilitate education, translational research and novel approaches to therapy in clinical immunology to promote excellence in the care of patients with immunologic/inflammatory disorders).
As such, the goals/activities proposed under the auspices of the DLI-COM – in essence – will be a continuation of the “early years” (in italics above), and will be applicable to Diagnostic and Therapeutic Care, Research, Education & Training, and Advocacy.
- Promote Education, Training & Awareness
Examples of activities toward this goal:
- Provide educational opportunities and content (e.g. printed, web-based, on-site [workshops/electives, national meetings, etc.])
- Provide up-to-date inventory of Laboratories (“who is doing what and where”)
- Promote uniform diagnostics (How is “who” doing “what”)
- Provide tools to facilitate DLI aspects in day-to-day Clinical Practice
- Develop a CIS-based Network connecting all the Stakeholders in DLI (e.g. Physicians/Members, Institute-based DLI Labs, commercial DLI Labs, DLI-centric organizations (e.g. ABMLI, ACMG), Patient/Parent Organizations)
- Provide organizational support and context for Diagnostic Laboratories, currently engaged in DLI to form a more cohesive (collaborative, networked) structure (e.g. with respect to new assay development, integration of different diagnostic modalities, salvage & retention of existing assays, joint QC/validation programs, joint approaches towards test utilization initiatives, etc.)
- Promote clinical/translational research, inspired by and/or building upon diagnostic testing (e.g. providing a CIS-sponsored “Brokerage” system to facilitate collaborative research, for example stemming from finding new rare genetic variants in isolated patients, provide support/context for DLI Laboratories to participate in clinical research)