Fall 2023 - Speakers, Titles, and Objectives

Speakers are listed alphabetically. Topics and objectives will be added as they become available.



Titles, Topics, and Objectives

At the completion of this session, the participant will

Grace Athas, PhD, MLS(ASCP),

Associate Professor
LSUHSC Department of Pathology

Seminar Title: An Overview of Alpha Gal Syndrome

Description: Alpha-Gal Syndrome is a novel form of a  food allergy that came to light  in the U.S. approximately 25 years ago  The allergy is to a carbohydrate moiety (Alpha-Gal) expressed in non-primate mammals.  Most humans become exposed to Alpha-Gal through tick bites and may later become allergic to red meat with symptoms ranging from itching to anaphylaxis. 


  1. Define/Describe Alpha-Gal Syndrome (a-Gal or AGS)/Mammalian Meat Allergy (MMA) 
  2. Describe pathophysiology of Alpha-Gal syndrome/MMA 
  3. Describe laboratory testing, diagnostic approach, and treatment for Alpha-Gal syndrome/MMA

Level of presentation: Basic/Intermediate

Stephanie Blackburn, EdD, MHS, MLS(ASCP)CM

Assistant Professor
LSU Health-Shreveport

Seminar Title: Unusual Infections in Humans

Description:  It is not uncommon to hear or read about unusual infections contracted by humans. Sometimes we have heard of the causative agent, other times it is so bizarre, we never knew it could affect people. This session will focus on some rare infections that have been identified in humans and discuss any cause for concern. 


  1. Describe signs and symptoms observed in each infection. 
  2. Discuss the pathogen causing each condition. 
  3. Evaluate the methods used for an accurate diagnosis.

Level of presentation: Intermediate

Lee Ellen Brunson, MHS,MLS(ASCP)CM

Assistant Professor
LSU Health-Shreveport

Seminar Title: Malaria in the U.S.: Not Just for Travelers Anyore?

Description: Cases of malaria in the United States have historically been low, but the disease continues to be a burden on global public health. Large numbers of U.S. citizens regularly travel abroad, and successful prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of malaria remain very important in this country. As changes in the epidemiology of malaria arise on a global scale, we should anticipate changes in the United States as well. 


  1. Discuss the epidemiology and pathophysiology of malaria.
  2. Describe diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of infection with malarial parasites.
  3. Discuss possible future trends in malarial infections.

Level of presentation: Intermediate

Kristin Butler, MPH, MLS(ASCP)CM

Assistant Professor
LSU Health-Shreveport

Seminar Title: The Secret Lives of Red Blood Cell Antigens

Description: Do you ever think RBC antigens are just there to keep us busy in Blood Bank with compatibility issues? This program will discuss a variety of RBC antigens and their true biological and physiological purpose.


  1. Describe a variety of RBC antigens in terms of position and purpose on the cell.
  2. Explain laboratory methods used to identify RBC antigens.
  3. Discuss how each RBC antigen presented is important to transfusion medicine and laboratory testing.

Level of presentation: Intermediate

Elise Occhipinti, M.D., FASCP

Chair of Clinical Pathology

Ochsner Medical Center



Seminar Title: Laboratory stewardship

Description: Explain the concept of "resource stewardship" and how its principles can be applied to laboratory testing. The presentation will highlight the changing landscape of laboratory testing to include molecular diagnostics and direct to consumer testing. We will discuss the impact to global healthcare financials and patient/physician/laboratorian experience. We will discuss the shift from fee for service testing to value based testing.


  1. Describe several examples of laboratory stewardship
  2. Illustrate how direct and indirect effects of laboratory tesing impact the cost of healthcare nationwide
  3. Perpare laboratorians to help patients and care teams obtain testing that provides true value

Level of presentation: Basic

Krystal Pearce, MHS, MLS(ASCP)CM

Assistant Professor
Medical Laboratory Science Program
School of Allied Health Professions
LSU Health Shreveport

Seminar Title: Porphyrins and Lead

Description: Ever wonder where the concepts of vampires started? Believe it not the whole concept of vampires originated because of people who had various porphorias. In this lecture we will discuss disturbances in heme synthesis. 


  1. Define porphyria
  2. Discuss various porphyrias
  3. Identify lab findings observed in individuals with lead poisoning

Level of presentation: Basic