Winter 2003

From the Editor's Desk
Art Weinberg

As is often the case, the winter edition of the SPP newsletter is somewhat thin. We are all very busy in our own little worlds, while various and sundry activities of the Society hum along quietly in the background under able officers and committee chairs. My three-year tenure as editor will end with this edition of the newsletter. Margaret Collins will assume the role of editor commencing with the spring edition. I believe that our transition to an electronic format in 2001 was successful and that our new format provides you with a more colorful and functional publication; a mouse click now links you to current information elsewhere on our web site. Redundancy is reduced and timeliness is improved. I am sure that Margaret Collins, with the help of Hal Pinar, will find ways to further improve the publication over the next three years. Let us wish her good luck.

President's Message
Henry Krous

Reflections Upon Passing The Presidential Torch

As my presidency nears its end, it is timely that I, the Oracle of Indianola, render up reflections about the state of our Society. In case you do not remember, Indianola is the small settlement on the plains of southwestern Nebraska from whence I came. Given the flatness and the lack of pollution of this part of the world, one grows up seeing distant horizons with some clarity. So listen up!

First, all of us are indebted to the leaders and committee members who maintain and grow the Society by responding to its challenges, some old, others new. They certainly ease demands imposed on every president, including me. It’s no secret that they VOLUNTEER their time and talent to perform the vast majority of the Society’s work and are the source of so many of the ideas that carry it forward. Although their names appear on our webpage, it is appropriate to publicize them so you can express your personal appreciation:

Stephanie Young (Archives); Maureen Sander (Bylaws); Antonio Perez-Atayde (Distinction & Awards); Jeff Goldstein (Education); David Witte (Workshops); Ona Faye-Peterson (Abstracts); Lisa Teot (CME); Daphne DeMello (Extramural Education); Alba Greco (Fellowship); Carol Vogler (Finance); Cheryl Coffin (Long Term Planning); Carlos Galliani (Membership); Derek de Sa (Nominating); Ted Pysher (Practice); Gloria Kohut (Slide Survey); Steve Qualman (Publications) and Raj Kapur (Research). Liliane Boccon-Gibod, David Parham, Linda Margraf, Cynthia Kaplan and Elizabeth Perlman have been superb Council Members and have provided much wisdom and perspective. Our Past President, Ron Jaffe, has been a much-appreciated source of wisdom and perspective. And I would be remiss to not acknowledge the able support of the USCAP office under the leadership of Dr. Fred Silva. I particularly want to thank Dr. Deb Perry, a fellow Nebraskan and avid Husker football fan, for her diligent service as Society Secretary-Treasurer. As each of my predecessors quickly discovered, fulfilling the duties of the President is made immeasurably simpler and simply more fun as a result of her tireless efforts.

Secondly, our Society has enjoyed spectacular success. The Pediatric Pathology Club’s original charter members provided the beacon that has led our Society for Pediatric Pathology to what it is today. Currently, the members of the Society come from many continents and contribute to an incredible array of advances in early human development and disease. We enjoy a widely respected journal in which our best work and state of the art reviews are published. Our annual and interim meetings are well attended and provide invaluable opportunities to share ideas, programs, departmental tours, and friendships. A lecture named for revered icons of pediatric pathology, Drs. Sidney Farber and Benjamin Landing, is a highlight of our spring meeting and is given by those honored for the importance of their life’s work. Awards and funding are provided annually by the Society to members whose work shows great promise.

Thirdly, major initiatives have been embedded into the fabric of our Society and work to the benefit of pediatric pathology and its contribution to the care of children. For example, the merger of the Pediatric Oncology Group (POG) and Children’s Cancer Study Group (CCSG) into the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) allows greater flexibility and more rapid understanding of the molecular biology and treatment of childhood cancer. A new program of the Society for the extension of expertise and assistance to our colleagues in less advantaged countries has already begun to enhance pediatric pathology in these areas. Conception and birthing of the Perinatal Group within the Society have resulted in dedicated time slots at SPP meetings to focus upon problems peculiar to this period of life. And a rudimentary pediatric forensic pathology study group is just beginning to sprout in our midst. This short list acknowledges only a few of the many accomplishments that have given our Society the stature it enjoys today.

Fourthly, despite our successes, major challenges lie ahead. Our Society can and should join with others in new initiatives to improve the care children, our most precious resource. Given the ever increasing demands placed upon us, we must relentlessly pursue the recruitment of medical students and pathology residents (and yes, even pediatric residents) into our specialty. We must share what we already know, what inspires us; namely that pediatric pathology offers the most rewarding of all medical careers. Our chosen discipline offers insight into maladies beginning at the earliest periods of life, the prevention or correction of which can offer literally a lifetime of productive human endeavor. Pediatric pathology provides an unparalleled diversity of professional opportunities with a range of focus from the embryo and placenta to the teenager, from basic research to diagnostic pathology, and from public policy to public service. Disorders afflicting children are often beyond the expertise and interest of our adult pathology colleagues. Indeed, much of a child’s and our country’s future welfare is directly dependent upon the assistance that pediatric pathologists provide to the general and subspecialty pediatricians. It is the duty of our Society’s members, whatever their state of ossification, to nourish the ideals, ideas, vigor, and enthusiasm of the well-perfused, but undecided future generation.

Fifthly, we must continue down the path of establishing and maintaining ever-higher standards in our practices, educational efforts, administrative responsibilities, and expert testimony. Children are not miniature adults, a fact all too often forgotten by those making major decisions for childcare. Given our unique perspective and expertise, we have the opportunity and responsibility to serve as a spokesperson for children to course curricula directors, hospital administrators, the media, politicians, payers, and professional societies.

And there will always more to do. There will be new challenges yet to be recognized. But we have succeeded in the past, and there is every reason to believe that we will be successful in the future. With all the above in mind, Godspeed (whoops, is that politically incorrect?) to Derek de Sa when he assumes the Presidential mantel following our spring 2003 meeting in Washington, D.C. Rest assured that the Society leadership is passing into wise and able hands. Derek’s many contributions and long commitment to the Society will serve us well.

In conclusion, thank you for the privilege and honor of serving as President of this wonderful Society. It has been the experience of a lifetime. My journey from a rural southwestern Nebraska high school in a class of eight students (all of us were smart enough to graduate in the top 10!) to President of the Society for Pediatric Pathology has been as fascinating as improbable. It seems like only yesterday that I was a pediatric pathology fellow mentored by Bruce Beckwith at the University of Washington and the Children’s Orthopedic Hospital and Medical Center in Seattle trying to grasp the wonders and complexities of pediatric pathology. Now nearly three decades later, I can only hope that I was able to pass his enthusiasm on to others who, in their turn, will pass it on as well. In the final analysis, perhaps this is the most important contribution any of us with gray hair and prostatic hyperplasia (or its female equivalent) could really hope to make!

Note from the Secretary
Deb Perry

Please be reminded that the announcement of the annual meeting is posted on the SPP website under Meetings/Events. Downloadable registration forms for the meeting and the hotel are also available online.

Communications from the Committee Chairs

Publications Committee:
Steve Qualman, Chair

Multiple endeavors are pending within the publications committee. Some of these include finally perfecting on-line abstract submission, as well as increasing member access to the website with regard to updates on membership contacts. Pediatric and Developmental Pathology will also have its annual update on activities presented at the Spring meeting. I hope to present the readership with details on all these activities in the newsletter following the Spring meeting.

Practice Committee:
Ted Pysher, Chair

The committee again invites members to complete the 2003 membership survey included with their dues statement. If you threw away the form with your other holiday mail, the survey form is still available online near the bottom of the listings on the home page of the SPP website. You can complete the form online in Word format and return the Word document as an attachment to an email per the posted instructions. Or you can print out a copy of the form and mail it back to the designated address. With such a plethora of options, there should be no reason for further delay.

Research Committee:
Raj P. Kapur, M.D., Ph.D., Chair

Applications for the 2003 McAdams travel grant and the 2003 Young Investigator Research Grant are still being accepted through February 1. Please see the formal announcements on this SPP website. 

Distinction and Awards Committee:
Antonio Perez-Atayde, Chair

Eligibility criteria and application guidelines for the 2003 Lotte Strauss Prize are available online on this SPP website. The deadline for the application has been extended to Feb. 1, 2003.

Notice Re: Ben Landing

Dear colleagues and friends:

One of the many legacies of Dr. Benjamin Landing are the numerous publications and books left by him. Mrs. Landing assembled with great care all of these, as well as his unfinished projects, photographs and other items that should be of great value and be available to generations of pediatric pathologists, pediatricians and other specialists. Yet, to date, Mrs. Landing was unable to find a “home” for the above (neither in toto, nor in part).

Should you wish to obtain any of Dr. Landing’s publications, books or the other items so carefully assembled by his wife, please contact her directly:

Mrs. Dorothy Landing
4513 Deanwood Drive
Woodland Hills, CA 91364-5622

Thank you very much for your consideration for the efforts to preserve the work of one of the most outstanding members of our specialty.

M. Daria Haust, MD, FRCPC

SPP Members Participate in Latin American Pediatric Pathology Meeting
Alba Greco, SLAPPE Council Member for USA

The X Conferencia Latinoamericana de Patologia Pediatrica was held on October 22-25, 2002, in Santiago, Chile. The President of the Conferencia, Dr Samuel Benveniste together with the other members of the organizing committee, Drs. Juan Jose Latorre, Alejandra Henriquez, Luis Velozo and Maria Teresa Vial, did a superb job.

Their team effort and the unconditional support of their families, friends and colleagues were the leading forces behind the success of the meeting, scientifically and socially.

There were 120 participants representing Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Chile, Mexico, United Kingdom, Uruguay and USA.The scientific sessions consisted of conferences, round tables, seminars and posters with presentation and discussion. In addition, there was a Pre-Conference Seminar on Perinatal Pathology coordinated by Dr Jorge Las Heras and with the participation of two of our members, Drs. Derek de Sa and Daria Haust.

A wide variety of topics were presented including topics on GIT, pulmonary and oncologic pathology. SPP members actively participating in these conferences were Drs. Derek de Sa, Gareth Jevon, Cheryl Coffin and Claire Langston. Drs. Elena Kakarieka and Ricardo Avila coordinated seminars on tumor and non- tumor pathology. Drs. Alba Greco, Cheryl Coffin and Miguel Reyes-Mugica represented the SPP-USA in these seminars. Other interesting topics were Ethics and Medico-Legal Problems in Pediatric Autopsy Practice, coordinated by Dr. Maria Teresa Vial and had Dr. Miguel Reyes- Mugica as one of the participants. Dr. Daria Haust gave a conference on the History of Pediatric Pathology. In all events, enthusiastic participants actively participated in question and answer sessions and in exchanging ideas.

The meeting also celebrated the 20 years of the Sociedad Latinoamericana de Patologia Pediatrica (SLAPPE). It was in Santiago, Chile where in 1982, a group of pediatric pathologists from Latin American met and organized the first meeting of the SLAPPE. This important scientific gathering has become a regular event, which takes place every 2 years in different countries of North, Central and South America.

The spirit of comradeship was present everywhere, in scientific sessions and during the social events. The beautiful city of Santiago and the hospitality of Dr. Benveniste and the organizing committee made this a most enjoyable meeting.

Upcoming Meetings

The most current list and details concerning future peditric pathology meetings is available on this SPP website.

Pediatric Pathology Positions Available

Please see our Positions Page for the most current list of available positions.

Photographs from Fall IPPA Meeting

Photographs from the International Pediatric Pathology Association - Amsterdam - October 2002

Pierre and Sylvie Russo, wondering when it would be polite to start eating.

Jem Berry, Helen Porter, Roc Kaschula, Tony Bourne, CW Chow, 
and Ronald de Krijger, one of our hosts for the evening.

Gabrielle Amann, Peter Nikkels (our host) and Glenn Taylor.

Jean Keeling and Virginia Anderson enjoy dinner.