Australasian Division of the
International Academy of Pathology Limited


Newsletters - 2000

Number Two

Home About Us Meetings Newsletter

Report on the International Congress, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Oct 10-15, 2004.

In the first week of November, 1999, the President of the I.A.P. Professor Anna Kadar, the Secretary, Professor Florabel Mullick and adviser to the I.A.P. on international congresses, Mrs Leah Shander, visited Brisbane to inspect the facilities for the proposed I.A.P. International Congress to be held in Brisbane, October 10 - 15, 2004. They spent a busy three days meeting the members of the proposed Organising Committee and the proposed Congress Organisers - Intermedia.

They inspected the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, some of the nearby hotels and some of the tourist attractions for accompanying persons. The report on the site visit was tabled at the meeting of the Executive of the I.A.P. during the USCAP meeting in New Orleans, USA in March 2000. The Board of the Australasian Division of the I.A.P. is pleased to report that the visitors approved Brisbane as the site for the 2004 Congress.

The Board thanked Robin Cooke (Congress Convenor), Brisbane Tourism's Michelle Rutten and Alison Gardner, Jan McLean (IAP Secretary) and Roma Cooke for their efforts in arranging the programme and looking after the visitors during the site inspection. Melbourne Cup Day coincided with one of the days of the visit. The visitors were introduced to this strange Australian ritual. During the obligatory "time out" during which the whole of Australia stops to watch a horse race in Melbourne, they were invited to attend the luncheon arranged by the Manager of Lennon's Hotel in the Queen Street Mall for his senior staff and special business contacts. The top quality buffet luncheon was accompanied by live entertainment and the drawing of a Melbourne Cup sweep. It climaxed with the live telecast of "the race" at the Flemington Race Course in Melbourne.

Mrs Leah Shander, Robin Cooke, Professor Florabel Mullick and Professor Anna Kadar at the Melbourne Cup Luncheon, Lennon's Hotel, Queen Street Mall, Brisbane






Sponsors of Congress 2004

The Organising Committe would like to acknowledge and thank the following for making monetary donations towards the congress:

  • Queensland Medical Laboratory, Brisbane
  • Sullivan and Nicolaides Pathology, Brisbane
  • Cytyc Thin Prep.

This congress will showcase pathology in Australia and New Zealand to the whole world. Please support the Board of the Australasian Division of the IAP by being involved in "doing something" at the meeting, and by coaxing pathology companies, individuals and businesses to donate money to assist in covering the considerable cost of running it.

Dominic Spagnolo, President of the Australasian Division, with his winning poster at the 1999 Annual Scientific Meeting with Barbara Young, Convenor of the Poster Session.






Report on an Oversean Conference Visit to Moscow, Dec 3-16, 1999.

Standing left to right.
Bela Szenda (Budapest), Francis Jaubert (Paris), Alexei Ivanov (Moscow), Manuel Sobrinho-Simoes (Porto), Robin Cooke (Brisbane) Seated L-R. Eugenia Kogan (Moscow), Gabriele Jacques (Marburg).

The five foreign guests with their two main Russian hosts after dinner in the restaurant of the Moscow Hotel which has the Duma at its front entrance and Red Square at its rear entrance. The restaurant was called "The Wild Horse Restaurant". Its walls were adorned with cowboy and Indian memorabilia.

The main purpose of this visit was to attend the Second Congress of the International Union of Pathologist Associations. This organisation was established with a view to having a pathologist association which includes pathologists in Russia and in the former Soviet Republics. There are approximately 2,500 pathologists in Russia and perhaps a further 1,000 in the former Soviet Republics.

There were 500 delegates at the meeting, 400 from Russia and 100 from the former Republics. I was one of five invited International Speakers. There was one from Hungary, one from France, one from Portugal and one from Germany. Professor Manuel Sobrinho-Simoes from Portugal and myself were keynote speakers. The other three overseas speakers conducted symposia and slide seminars. Manuel and I gave our talks after the opening ceremony. I spoke on the topic of 'Medical History as demonstrated by the Medical Museums in Europe'. We both had virtual simultaneous translation by one of the recent medical graduates, Alex Dombrovski. He has just completed his final year in Medicine and is doing his first year of residence.

I had prepared my lecture with a typed script of what I would say for each slide. In the past I have found such simultaneous translations to be extremely hard work because one says a sentence or two and then waits for this to be translated. One is speaking to an audience which gives no response and after about 15 minutes of this intense concentration, one tends to lose the thread of what one is saying. I gave my paper to Alex, a young Russian student who read it for about 15 minutes and then said, "I think this is quite interesting. I will do the translation by ear". It was with some trepidation that I started the lecture in my usual style without notes, but I kept my script on the lectern just in case. The translation was brilliant. We worked extremely well together. When I would normally expect a response from an English-speaking audience, I got it and this was followed almost immediately by a similar response from the Russian-speaking segment of the audience. At the end of the lecture, we got a most enthusiastic applause from the 500 delegates. Throughout our stay in Moscow, the overseas speakers were supplied with a personal guide and translator. These were young men and women from the medical course at the Moscow Medical Academy.

This academy is without doubt the premier institution in Russia and the 200 places on the first year of the course are strongly contested. At the end of the second year, the 30 best students are chosen to join a special Science stream in which they have extra tuition and they are groomed to be the future consultants and professors. During these remaining four years of their medical course, they can attend optional lectures in English, French or German. There are also optional interpreter courses in these languages. All of the students who were allocated to us had done English language and interpreter courses. They were rotated in shifts so that the interpretation would not become too strenuous, so that they could continue their lectures, and so that a maximum number of them could be exposed to the foreign visitors. It was very stimulating to have the opportunity to speak to these students in an extremely informal atmosphere throughout the whole of our stay in Moscow. We discussed all sorts of topics - political, historical, medical, sociological and cultural. The overseas visitors were housed in the Hotel Moskva which is a large building constructed by Stalin in his later days. It is situated directly across the road from the Duma (or Parliament building).

The back entrance faces a road which separates it from the Kremlin. The Bolshoi Theatre is one block away from the Duma and two blocks further away again is the KGB headquarters. The hotel was originally built to accommodate the Deputies from the provinces who came to the Russian parliament. On the ground floor there is a very large entrance hall in which there are small shops and cafes to provide food for the guests. One enters the various floors of the building from a series of lifts. At the entrance to the lifts on each floor, there is an office suite manned by a woman who is the Floor Supervisor. Guests report to her and give her a green card which she places in a slot with the room number on it. The guest then proceeds along the corridors which emanate from her office desk to the allocated room. She obviously had a large amount of electronic surveillance equipment at her desk which, in former times, would have monitored the rooms. The rooms themselves were supplied with a bed, a desk, a small table and a self-contained bathroom/toilet. They would perhaps rate in international terms as 2 star accommodation.

In the days when they were built, however, I am sure they would have represented high quality accommodation in Russia. All of the services worked but there was no porter service or room service. The foreign visitors went to breakfast in a small dining room on the ground floor called the Wild Horse Restaurant. It was entered through an almost invisible door in the wall. The restaurant was adorned with memorabilia of American cowboys and Indians, hence the name. The Moscow Medical Academy and its Clinical departments are built along a street called Pirogovskaya Street. At the beginning of the street there is the clinic for Obstetrics and Paediatrics - the beginning of life. One progresses along the street to the Surgical clinic and the Surgical hospital; the Internal Medicine clinic and hospital; the Dermatological clinic and hospital and finally, the Department of Pathology and the mortuary which has a small church adjacent to it. The bodies are laid out in the church for three days before burial. This church, together with most of the other churches in Russia, were converted into museums or storerooms during the Soviet era. Most of them, since Glasnost in 1990, have been reconverted to functioning churches. Perhaps it is of some interest that when we were being shown through a Surgical clinic we saw three operations in progress in operating theatres but, apart from that, the clinics had no patients. We wondered whether this was a hospital like the ideal hospital in the "Yes Minister" series where there were administrators but no patients or health-related staff.

We were assured that there are indeed patients in the multistoried clinical buildings adjacent to the clinic which we were being shown. The theme of the Pathology Congress was "Modern Methods in Pathology".This underlined the fairly obvious problem of a poor infrastructure and supporting facilities. This was clearly visible in all of the medical facilities which we were shown. However, there is a very obvious will to improve things and the people I met, both young and old, were quite optimistic for the future (it must be realised of course that I was speaking with a very small and privileged sample of the population)An example of the relatively poor infrastructure was the way the aircraft in which I travelled from London to Moscow was managed. Apparently British Airways had a problem with the usual aircraft they fly to Moscow and had to use a larger 747. This meant that the aircraft was too large to dock at one of the standard airport terminals and it had to be parked on the runway and the passengers bused to the terminal. The temperature was below zero and there was a large amount of snow everywhere. The surface of the runway was covered by a thin layer of ice which was extremely slippery. The Passport Control was extremely slow (but cheerful). The Money Exchange was closed with a notice in the window which said "Closed. We have no roubles".

As well as being shown the medical facilities, we were taken one evening to the Bolshoi to see the opera Don Giovanni. We were entertained at formal lunches every day and dinners every evening. On the final evening, we had the privilege of having dinner in the apartment of one of the Professors of Pathology. She prepared the meal herself. Her apartment was a small one in a multistoried block in a housing estate in the suburbs of Moscow approximately ten miles from the Kremlin. The apartment block was approximately eight or nine stories high with four apartments on each floor.

The floors were serviced by a small lift which accommodated three people at a time. The apartment was very small and cramped but the atmosphere was extremely welcoming and it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening. As well as the Bolshoi, we were taken to the Tretyakov National Art Gallery which is an excellent display of Russian painting.

The collection was originally established by Mr Tretyakov, who had it as his personal collection. He donated it to the State when he died. During the Soviet era, the gallery was extensively refurbished, both with buildings and with paintings. We walked through the streets, particularly the Arbut walking and shopping street and then through the Kolomenskoe which was a park originally established as a country residence for the Tsar. The park was slippery with ice and snow. This now houses architecture and museum material from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century. Three of the other overseas visitors had visited Moscow on a number of occasions previously. To their eyes, the changes were quite dramatic. Even one year ago the shops had virtually nothing in their windows for sale. There were very few shop lights or street lights and no neon signs. There were also queues outside shops to buy the goods which were in fact available. One year later, the shops are full of items for sale; the shops are brightly lit; there are street lights and there are neon signs along the streets. We did not see any queues for goods. The GUM, the large department store near the Kremlin, was well supplied with goods for sale. On Saturday, we had lunch in a new restaurant in Arbut Street. It could have been in any of the main cities of the world. In passing, we noticed a restaurant next to the Moskva Hotel and opposite the Duma called the "007 Cafe". A popular comedy show on TV gets its laughs by lampooning Yeltsin.

At each of the formal dinners, each overseas guest was accompanied by one of the translators who translated the speeches in Russian to the overseas guests and then translated any English speeches into Russian. During and after all of the lunches and dinners, there were numerous toasts - usually proposed with vodka. As a result of this custom, the overseas visitors also needed to make numerous speeches. At each of the formal evening dinners, I either joined in Russian dancing or performed a solo dance myself. This activity allowed me to have much greater conversation with the Russian guests than I would otherwise have got. On the Saturday on which I arrived in London, I travelled by train to Cambridge to meet with Professor Sir Michael Stoker, who is now retired from his position of Professor of Virology at Cambridge University. He had been involved in the early research on Q Fever. I went to see him to gather further information about Q Fever because I had prepared a poster display for the three day symposium which the Queensland Institute of Medical Research in Brisbane arranged during October.

I was particularly interested in the part played by Ted Derrick, the first Forensic Pathologist in Brisbane. Derrick was the first to identify the clinical features of Q Fever and to show that it was caused by a Rickettsia-type organism. I had most interesting lunch and afternoon discussions with Michael. One of his many publications had been one to the Lancet in 1958 entitled "Q Fever in the Drain". When his laboratory was involved in the Q Fever research, he was culturing the organisms in the alantois of chick embryos. When they finished with the embryos, they put them in lysol for a few days and then flushed them down the sink. There was a blockage in the drainpipes from the third floor laboratory. The three plumbers who relieved the blockage on the ground floor by breaking the pipes to clear the obstructing debris all got Q Fever (this is not something one would publicise if it happened in 1999).


Robin Cooke





Diagnostic Pathology 2000
August 5 - 9, 2000
Philadelphia Marriott Hotel, Philadelphia, Pennysylvania
Ph. 706 733 7550
Fax 706 733 8033 

23rd Annual Update in Clinical Immunology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
March 5 - 10, 2000
Park City, Utah, U.S.A.
The University of Utah, Department of Pathology, Division of Clinical Pathology, Section of Clinical Microbiology and Immunology, is pleased to offer this 22.5 hour review and update in the areas of clinical immunology, microbiology and infectious diseases.
Contact: Jeannette Rejali,
Department of Pathology, Division of Clinical Pathology,
University of Utah School of Medicine,
50 North Medical Drive,
Salt Lake City, Utah 84132, USA.
Ph 801 581 5873
Fax 801 585 1265

British Division

Symposium on Infectious Diseases
Antwerp, Belgium, 19 - 20 May, 2000

Symposium on Upper GI Tract
London, 24 - 25 November, 2000

Joint meeting with the Pathological Society of Great Britain
Liverpool, July 2001
Contact: Carol Harris,
Administrative Secretary of the British Division,
P.O. Box 73, Westbury on Trym,
Bristol BS9 1RY, UK.
Ph 0117 907 7940
Fax 0117 907 7941

Course on Pulmonary Pathology
London, June 20-23, 2000
This course is designed to provide histopathologists and cytopathologists with an opportunity to study diagnostic lung pathology in a comprehensive manner. It comprises lectures and practical microscopy sessions, the latter making up roughly half the time and consisting of individual study of a unique collection of cases.
Contact: Professor B. Corrin,
Brompton Hospital,
London SW3 6NP.
Fax: 44 20 7351 8293

6th International Symposium on Metal Ions in Biology and Medicine
7 - 10 May, 2000
Caribe Hilton, San Juan, Puerto Rico, USA
Contact: Dr Jose A Centeno, Chairperson,
Department of Medical Education,
American Registry of Pathology,
Armed Forces Institute of Pathology,
Washington DC, 20306-6000.
Ph: 202 782 2839
Fax: 202 782 9215

7th International Surgical Symposium
May 2 - 5, 2000. Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Mayo School of Continuing Medical Eduction,
200 First St,
S.W. Rochester. MN 55905.
Ph: 800 323 2688 / 507 284 2509
Fax: 507 284 0532

12th Congress of the International Academy of Pathology Arab Division
November 19 - 22, 2000, Dubai
Contact: Chairman Organizing Committee,
12th Congress of the I.A.P. Arab Division.
Ph/Fax: 00971 4 2223783

APECSA 5th Congress - Advances in Pathology
16 - 19 July, 2000.
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
Contact: The Secretariat, APECSA 2000 Conference,
University of Zimbabwe Medical School,
Department of Immunology,
Box A178 Avondale, Harare,
Ph: 263 4 791631 ext 102
Fax: 263 4 791995 

40th Annual Congress of the South African Society of Pathology
2 - 5 July, 2000,
Warmbaths, North Province under the Auspices of the Medical University of South Africa.
Contact: Mrs C Jackson,
PO Box 54,
Medunsa 0204.
South Africa.
Ph: 27 11 521 4627 / 5261
Fax: 27 11 521 5810