News & Events

Nationwide Educational Tour Kicks Off on the Future of Molecular Diagnostics

BD Diagnostics Convenes Experts to Address Pressing Topics for Clinical Laboratory Professionals

Contact: Jamie Yacco
Public Relations
(201) 847-4796

Baltimore, MD (March 1, 2012) – BD Diagnostics, a segment of BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), announced today the BD “NAATwork Café,” a nationwide tour to engage clinical laboratory professionals in a discussion on the future of molecular diagnostics. The events will focus on the growing role of molecular diagnostics in women’s health, as well as advances in its implementation in the clinical laboratory for improved quality and increased efficiency.

The tour will feature prominent clinicians addressing timely clinical topics, enabling attendees to earn continuing education unit (CEU) credits.* Experts will also provide guidance on integrating new instrument systems effectively into a clinical laboratory’s operations. The tour will also showcase BD Diagnostics’ extensive portfolio of molecular diagnostics systems, nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs), and solutions for enabling enhanced laboratory operational efficiency.

“The molecular diagnostics field is quickly evolving and becoming the standard method for testing and diagnosis of a wide range of diseases, including sexually transmitted infections and cancer,” said Chris Demiris, Worldwide Group Marketing Manager, BD Diagnostics - Women’s Health and Cancer. “The BD NAATwork Café events are designed to provide laboratorians the latest developments in molecular diagnostics, while showcasing BD’s molecular diagnostics platforms, assays and consulting services to address their clinical needs.”

Safedin Sajo Beqaj, PhD, Scientific Laboratory Director at Pathology, Inc., a leading West Coast women’s health reference laboratory, spoke at a recent Anaheim event about the role of automated, molecular diagnostic methods for improved detection of Group B Streptococcus (GBS). “GBS remains one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality among newborns,” said Dr. Beqaj. “Screening women at 35 to 37 weeks of pregnancy can identify those who could benefit from antibiotics to prevent transmission of this serious infection to the baby during delivery. However, traditional culture methods are limited by sensitivity, turnaround time and the need for highly trained technologists to interpret the results. Now, newer, automated molecular methods are available to provide rapid, objective results that do not require visual interpretation. This can improve care for all pregnant women and their newborns, particularly in cases of preterm delivery.”

Gerri S. Hall, PhD, Medical Director in Clinical Microbiology at Cleveland Clinic, discussed the epidemiology and diagnosis of vaginitis pathogens, including Candida species, Gardnerella vaginalis (as a marker of bacterial vaginosis) and Trichomonas vaginalis in Dallas recently. “Distinguishing between the pathogens that cause vaginitis is critical for enabling clinicians to properly treat patients,” said Dr. Hall. “Diagnosis can be particularly challenging because we now know that in up to 22 percent of cases more than one pathogen is involved. DNA testing can increase the diagnostic accuracy of vaginitis testing and may provide results faster, compared to traditional techniques.”

The nationwide tour will be coming to the following cities: Atlanta, GA (March 7); Washington, DC (May 8); Chicago, IL (May 29); and Seattle, WA (Aug. 15). An additional session will be held in conjunction with the Clinical Virology Symposium in Daytona, FL (Apr. 20-25).

For more information or to register, visit

About BD

BD is a leading global medical technology company that develops, manufactures and sells medical devices, instrument systems and reagents. The Company is dedicated to improving people's health throughout the world. BD is focused on improving drug delivery, enhancing the quality and speed of diagnosing infectious diseases and cancers, and advancing research, discovery and production of new drugs and vaccines. BD's capabilities are instrumental in combating many of the world's most pressing diseases. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, BD employs approximately 29,000 associates in more than 50 countries throughout the world. The Company serves healthcare institutions, life science researchers, clinical laboratories, the pharmaceutical industry and the general public. For more information, please visit


* CEUs awarded for verified attendance as outlined in ASCLS P.A.C.E. Manual.