The 47th Annual Meeting of the American Pancreatic Association: 2016 Vay Liang and Frisca Go Award for Lifetime Achievement, APA Distinguished Service Award, Highlights, and Other Awardees

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The 47th annual meeting of the American Pancreatic Association (APA) was held at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel on October 26 to 29, 2016. It was the largest gathering of the society with 442 registrants and 268 abstracts presented from 22 countries. Nearly 40% of the registrants were from overseas. The program is available at the APA Web site ( The abstracts from the meeting were published in Pancreas.1
The premeeting organized by the APA President, Carlos Fernández-del Castillo and Dr Anirban Maitra focused on intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm. The biology, pathology, molecular biology involving genes, and expression and imaging were discussed by a panel of expert speakers followed by future changes in intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm. This premeeting was followed by the Hirshberg Symposium on recent advances in pancreatic cancer surgery. One key highlight of the later symposium is that modern neoadjuvant therapy down stages pancreatic cancer and increases the candidates for surgery.
One unique added symposium at this year’s conference was the role of industry in the development of biomarkers in the early detection of pancreatic cancer. The symposium was organized by the Kenner Family Research Fund. The meeting focused on the current state of biomarkers presented by Dr Sudhir Srivastava, 2016 APA Distinguished Service Award, and the promising biomarkers currently being developed by industries from GRAIL, Immunova, and Berg.
The 2016 Vay Liang and Frisca Go Lifetime Achievement Award went to Dr Christopher E. Forsmark from the University of Florida (UF). Dr Forsmark is the 21st awardee since the award was initiated in 2001. All previous awardee biographies have been published in Pancreas.2–5 The Frank Brooks State of the Art Lecture was given by Dr Craig Logsdon from MD Andersen Medical Center titled, The stressed acinar cell: Adapt, die, or disaster. The Paul Webster Clinical State of the Art Lecture was given by Dr David Patrick Ryan from Harvard Medical School titled, Pancreatic Cancer in 2017: Where are we and where are we heading? These 3 awards and lectureships recognized the founding of the APA in 1969. During the business meeting, Dr Ashok Saluja, the APA secretary-treasurer, announced the signing of the Japan Pancreas Society and APA Sisterhood Memorandum of Understanding at the 47th annual meeting of the Japan Pancreas Society on August 5, 2016, held in Sendai, Japan.6 Both societies were founded in 1969 and have had multiple collaborations and interactions through the years. The societies have held joint meetings in 2009 and 2014 in Hawaii and plan to have a joint 50th anniversary celebration in Hawaii in 2019.
The 47th annual meeting of the APA also featured the largest number of young investigator awardees. Forty-two total future pancreatologists received this award. The APA is very proud of the continued expansion of this award since its inception a decade and a half ago, which has led to an increase in the manpower of dedicated scientists and clinicians in our discipline. Outstanding abstract presentation awardees in pancreatitis were supported by the National Pancreas Foundation. The outstanding abstract presentation awardee in pancreatic cancer was supported by the Hirshberg Foundation. This is the second year that the PANCAN young investigators award was presented at the annual APA meeting.
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