Panel: Innovations in Diagnostics: Taking the Guesswork Out of Sepsis

Session Description: 

This panel discussion reviews assay biological pathways, sepsis progression, and immune system collapse. It will explore the role of molecular diagnostics in sepsis workflow and how to implement effective sepsis protocols in the lab and hospital practice. Learn about the impact of COVID-19 and viral sepsis on new technology development. Clinical, policy, legislative, and regulatory perspectives and new developments in that space will be shared.

This course was originally recorded in June 2021 as part of Sepsis Tech & Innovation. 

Target Audience

Industry leaders, Public Policy Experts, Health and hospital Leadership (C-Suite, physicians, nurses, pharmacists, CIOs), Health quality and decision support leaders, Health Investors and VCs, Health and Technology Media, Health Advocates, Health Advisors, Health Educators, Health Marketers. 

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Stefan Willemsen

Chief Executive Officer, Covid Apollo

Stefan Willemsen is a member of Sepsis Alliance Advisory Board and an Executive leader with over 20 years of experience in the IVD and Life Science Industries. Stefan currently is CEO of Covid Apollo, a consortium of healthcare-oriented investment funds led by RA Capital that funded the X-Prize Foundation Covid19 fast diagnostics challenge and seeks to invest in technologies and companies that accelerate. Simplify and democratize Covid19 and other infectious disease testing. Before, Stefan was President and CEO of bioMérieux Inc., from 2014 until 2020 leading all of Biomérieux operations in the US and the Americas region and also serving as a board member of AdvamedDx. Stefan has also worked at Roche Diagnostics as VP Head of Business Development and Program Management for custom PCR Assays. He is a lawyer by training with degrees from the University of Bonn in Germany and the George Washington University in US and an Alumni of the 2013 INSEAD Advanced Management Program.

Christine Ginocchio, PhD, MT(ASCP)

VP Global Medical Affairs bioMérieux, VP Scientific/Medical Affairs BioFire, Retired Professor of Medicine, Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra Northwell, NY

Dr. Christine Ginocchio is VP, Global Medical Affairs, bioMérieux/BioFire, retired Professor of Medicine, Zucker School of Medicine, at Northwell, NY. Previously, she was Senior Medical Director, Division of Infectious Disease Diagnostics, Northwell Health, Research Professor, Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, NY. She has 40 yr experience in diagnostics and Medical Education. She was principal investigator for 60 industry and pharmaceutical trials. Honors include: Irving Abrahams Award for outstanding research, Sarber Fellowship, PASCV Diagnostic Virology Award, ASM Research in Clinical Microbiology Award. She has 115 peer reviewed publications and has been a speaker at more than 250 National/International Conferences. She was an advisor for CDC, FDA, WHO, NIH, Biothreat/Influenze Preparedness Committees. She was President PASCV, Co-Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Clinical Virology, member of CAP Microbiology Committee, ASM Lab Practices Committee, and IDSA Research Committee. She is currently a voting member of the Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antimicrobial Resistant Bacteria (PACCARB) and IDSA Diagnostics Committee.

Susan VanMeter

Executive Director, AdvaMedDx

Susan Van Meter is executive director of AdvaMedDx. AdvaMedDx represents manufacturers of in vitro diagnostic (IVD) tests and technologies. AdvaMedDx member company innovations allow early detection of disease, facilitate evidence-based medicine, improve patient health and health care, and enable personalized medicine, while often lowering overall health care costs. AdvaMedDx is the only advocacy organization exclusively addressing policy issues facing diagnostics manufacturers in the U.S. and around the world. Prior to joining AdvaMedDx in 2018, Ms. Van Meter was senior vice president at the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS), focused on hospital and health system policy, payment, quality and health information technology priorities. Prior to joining HANYS she in the Center for Medicare and Medicare Services (CMS) Office of Legislation. Ms. Van Meter holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Villanova University and Boston University, respectively. Ms. Van Meter is a member of the AMR Industry Alliance Board of Directors.

Ambalika Tanak, MS

Research Assistant / Doctoral Candidate, The University of Texas at Dallas

Ambalika Tanak is a doctoral candidate in the Bioengineering department at the University of Texas at Dallas. Her research focuses on developing rapid point-of-care biosensors enabling minimal sample volume to provide accurate diagnostic outcomes in detecting infections at an early stage. Her current interdisciplinary research focuses on understanding biomolecular interactions of host immune biomarkers for the detection of sepsis. In this regard, she has 9 peer reviewed journal publications, and has received several distinguished awards for her research. Ambalika recently won the Baxter Young Investigator Award for her work on a first-of-its-kind point-of-care sepsis biosensor, which facilitates efforts to improve medical devices and treatment that could save and support patients' lives. She plans to continue working on developing innovative medical technologies to improve healthcare outcomes.


Infection Control Officer, Jefferson Health

Cindy Hou, DO, is the Infection Control Officer and infectious diseases specialist at Jefferson Health New Jersey. Her hospital system was nationally recognized by Sepsis Alliance as a Sepsis Hero in 2016. She is the physician lead for the hospital’s Antimicrobial Stewardship Committee, Sepsis on the Floors Task Force, Infection Control Committee, and more. Dr. Hou has been a passionate advocate for early detection, prevention, education, and management of sepsis in the community hospital setting. She has helped to champion the development of nurse-initiated policies, old school education, and the impact of multi-disciplinary teams on survival of patients with sepsis. She has also studied the impact of mandatory infectious disease consults on C. Diff infections and severe sepsis. She also serves as the physician champion for the NJHA’s Antimicrobial Stewardship Collaborative. In 2018, she was a recipient of Heroes of Infection Prevention Award in Patient Safety from APIC. She is also on the Sepsis Alliance Advisory Board of Directors.

No continuing education credits are offered for this session.

Medical Disclaimer

The information on or available through this site is intended for educational purposes only. Sepsis Alliance does not represent or guarantee that information on or available through this site is applicable to any specific patient’s care or treatment. The educational content on or available through this site does not constitute medical advice from a physician and is not to be used as a substitute for treatment or advice from a practicing physician or other healthcare provider. Sepsis Alliance recommends users consult their physician or healthcare provider regarding any questions about whether the information on or available through this site might apply to their individual treatment or care.

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This activity includes:

  • Slides
  • Pre-recorded webinar