Events at MLL – Looking Back
Our goal is to continuously advance and develop leukemia diagnostics in order to make the best possible therapy available to patients worldwide. The exchange of information with (inter)national experts and partners, joint research projects, and the provision of all relevant data and latest findings play a significant role. To this end, we regularly host events at MLL – both virtual and on-site. In this article, we want to report on our latest events, including all highlights: the MLL Academy and the mid-term meeting of “INTERCEPT-MDS.”
MLL Academy 2022
During the week of April 25-29, 2022, we were fully focused on the topic of “State of the art diagnostics in hematological malignancies.” The MLL Academy was held as a virtual event with international participants. For the first time, it was also possible for 39 continuing education points from the Bavarian Medical Association (BLÄK) to be certified for participation.
With 18 lecturers from MLL and 15 participating physicians, scientists, and specialists from Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany, and Austria, there was an in-depth exchange on the state of the art and current developments in hematological diagnostics.
The program included the following topics:
- A detailed overview of leukemias and lymphomas
- Explanations of the methods of modern hematological diagnostics, from cytomorphology and immunophenotyping to genetics and bioinformatics
- Workshops and practical exercises
- Profound insight into all the work processes of MLL
- A virtual lab tour
Special content highlights of the MLL Academy were the use of artificial intelligence and whole genome sequencing in hematologic diagnostics along with an outlook on future developments in the classification of hematologic neoplasia. Interactive program points such as case reviews, discussions, and quiz questions were particularly appreciated by the participants and enabled an intensive exchange with the MLL Academy lecturers. We are pleased with having been able to provide a comprehensive impression of what makes MLL a unique laboratory and workplace.
MLL would like to thank the participants for their interest in future-oriented hematological diagnostics, the close interaction, and the extremely positive feedback, and it is looking forward to hosting another five-day MLL Academy once again next year. As soon a date has been confirmed, it will naturally be published on our website and announced in our newsletter.
INTERCEPT MDS Mid-Term Meeting
In the first week of May, MLL hosted the mid-term meeting of the innovative training network “INTERCEPT-MDS.” The network includes 11 PhD students and 14 project leaders from ten different countries. The meeting was held in a hybrid format to allow all project leaders to participate. INTERCEPT-MDS is financed by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program and relies on a multidisciplinary approach to identify biomarkers and molecular processes using “omics” technologies on the individual cell level to enable early detection and possible treatment of clonal myeloid diseases.
The huge amount of data generated requires thorough bioinformatics and statistical analysis. In order to optimally prepare the students for their upcoming work, they were taught bioinformatics and statistical basics by Dr. Ana Conesa of the Institute for Integrative Systems Biology (I2SysBio) in Valencia in a three-day workshop, which specifically apply to transcriptome and gene expression analysis.
In various scientific lectures, the students also gained insights into the clinical application of “multi-omics” methods, big data analyses, and artificial intelligence. Prof. Torsten Haferlach spoke about the application of artificial intelligence in hematological diagnostics and the integration of such models into MLL workflows. Dr. Carsten Marr, group leader at the Institute for Computational Biology and director at the Institute for AI in Healthcare, provided exciting and detailed insights into the application of machine learning methods for classifying myeloid diseases. Prof. Claudia Haferlach brought the series of lectures to a satisfying conclusion with her presentation on clinical diagnostics for MDS. In addition, there was an emphasis on the topic of project communication. A workshop organized by MLL Corporate Communications dealt with the target group-specific communication of content and results using appropriate channels.
The program was complemented by various activities outside of the scientific discussions, such as a joint dinner at Brenner Operngrill and participation in a scavenger hunt (Escape Game) in the Munich city center.