Gábor L. Kovács

President of the Hungarian Society of Clinical Pathology,
Member-at-large, FESCC Executive Board,
Szombathely, Hungary


Although the Hungarian Society of Clinical Pathology (HSCP) was founded 54 years ago in 1946, the 50th Anniversary Congress of the society was held in Debrecen (Hungary), between 23-26th of August 2000. Debrecen is a historic university city in Eastern Hungary, the second largest town in the country. The town has always been a cultural center, the birthplace of Hungarian calvinism, and the place where the independence of Hungary from the Habsburg Monarchy was declared in 1849, during a revolution that was a short, but glorious period of Hungarian history.

The conference was organized by Prof. László Muszbek, past-president of HSCP and former member-at-large of the Executive Board of IFCC, and his coworkers from the Institute of Clinical Biochemistry and Molecular Pathology of the University in Debrecen.

900 participants attended the conference, mainly from the Hungary, but together with the invited speakers and guests from other parts of Europe and from the United States, altogether 14 countries were represented (Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Slovak Republic, The Netherlands, USA). The conference was organized under the patronage of FESCC. The president of IFCC (Prof. M.M. Müller), as well as the president (Prof. V. Blaton) and the complete Executive Board of FESCC were present at the meeting.

The undersecretary of state, responsible for healthcare (Dr. F. Oberfrank), the vice-president of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Prof. E.S. Vizi), the rector magnificus of Debrecen University (Prof. L. Fésüs) and the vice-mayor of the city (Dr. B. Somogyi) delivered the opening addresses. The extraordinary event of the 50th anniversary was highlighted by the plaque of IFCC (presented by Prof. M.M. Müller) and by a statue that was specially prepared for the occasion on behalf of FESCC (presented by Prof. V. Blaton).

The most prestigious award of HSCP, the 'Jendrassik Medal' was presented to Prof. P. Bonini (Italy) and to Prof. R. Ádány, the former vice-president of HSCP (Hungary), because of their internationally renowned scientific activities and also because of their long-lasting support of the society. Prof. K. Pulkki (Finland), Prof. B.L. Duerden (United Kingdom) and Prof. B. Solymoss (Canada) became the honorary members of HSCP.

The only 'Silver Pándy Medal', given so far, was dedicated to Prof. K. Jobst, honorary president of HSCP, because of his life-long activities in the service of HSCP and because of collecting data on, and writing the history of Hungarian laboratory medicine. The book was released by HSCP on the occasion of the 50th anniversary.

The conference was accompanied by a well-organized and attended industrial exhibition, where 42 major vendors of laboratory equipments and reagents were represented.

The main scientific topics of the conference were:

Renowned laboratory scientists gave lectures from abroad (M. Müller, V. Blaton, P. Bonini, V. Palicka, B.L. Duerden, P. Laitinen, J. Scharfen, M.G. Menozzi, A. Roscher, G. Bodor, J.D. Otvos) and from Hungary (R. Ádány, A. Ferencz, G. Füst, A. Horváth, J. Kappelmayer, G.L. Kovács, L. Muszbek, E. Nagy, L. Selmeci,). Eighty oral presentations were given on the five main topics. The majority of publications (110) were delivered as posters. The six best posters were awarded at the closing ceremony. Satellite symposia (microbiology, laboratory informatics, and interactive discussion of case reports) were organized before the main meeting.

Apart from the scientific program, the conference was a successful social event as well. A highlight of the social program was the traditional soccer game between laboratory scientists and company representatives. Although the excellent referee (Prof. M.M. Müller) has fully controlled the game, industry has defeated the team of lab-directors by 4:3. For the first time, a laboratory tennis championship with about 20 participants was also organized before the conference.

The Executive Board of FESCC has held a meeting in Debrecen on 25-26th of August. Prof. M.M. Müller, on behalf of the IFCC EB, participated in the meeting. The FESCC EB has overviewed ongoing regional and local FESCC activities in Europe, discussed the relation of FESCC to EDMA and ECLM, future FESCC publications in CCLM, its representation in CEN, and the forthcoming regional meetings in Prague and Brugge. FESCC has decided to participate in an active manner in the scientific program of Medica in Düsseldorf in 2001, where a symposium will be organized, entitled: "Cellular diagnostics for organ an tissue damage".

The proposition of Prof. V. Blaton, to change the official name of FESCC to 'Forum of the European Societies of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine', was accepted by the EB. In order to strengthen scientific relations and to increase visibility, the FESCC EB has also decided to set up a Scientific Advisory Board, to which regional federations and national societies of Europe could nominate their candidates.

Prof. V. Palicka gave detailed information about the organization of Euromedlab 2001, the main European scientific event of the next year. The FESCC EB finalized many details concerning scientific symposia, invited speakers, social programs and financial issues related to the conference.

On August 26th, the FESCC EB has organized a joint discussion with the presidents and other leading representatives of scientific societies of the region. Prof. Elisabeta Topic (Croatia), Dr. Paivi Laitinen (Finland), Prof. George Falkay (Hungary), Dr. Manole Cojocaru, Dr. Valentina Uscatescu, Dr. Viorica Taru (Romania), and Dr. Maksimiljan Gorenjak (Slovenia) attended the meeting with the FESCC EB. The Strategic Plan of FESCC, the participation of European societies in the scientific program of Euromedlab 2001, and the proposals and expectations of various national societies towards FESCC, were the main topics of discussion.


Szombathely, November 8th, 2000.

Gábor L. Kovács, MD., Ph.D., DCS.
professor of laboratory medicine