Brief History of Association of Pathology Informatics (API)

The Association for Pathology Informatics (API) was founded in 2000 by a group of pathologists interested in defining pathology informatics as a clinical subspecialty within pathology by way of education.  API continues to support this educational mission by:

  1. Sponsoring a national educational meeting,
  1. Providing educational content to other Pathology meetings (e.g. United States & Canadian Academy of Pathology annual meeting),
  1. Developing and educating members about standards for reporting, transferring, storing and merging pathology related information,
  1. Developing an independent, not-for-profit, open access peer-reviewed electronic academic journal, Journal of Pathology Informatics (JPI), which published the first quarterly edition in March, 2010.  JPI  is available for viewing at http://jpathinformatics.org.  JPI is indexed in PubMed.
  1. Promoting education of residents and practicing pathologists in informatics and technology that enhances the field of laboratory medicine.  

API previously co-sponsored two major national meetings each year: Advancing Practice, Instruction and Innovation through Informatics (APIII) and Lab InfoTech Summit.  APIII was hosted and organized by the Department of Biomedical Informatics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine under the direction of Dr. Michael Becich.  Lab InfoTech Summit was hosted and organized by the Pathology Education Consortium under the direction of Dr. Bruce Friedman. API has also sponsored or conducted numerous educational workshops in conjunction with the College of American Pathologists, ASIP, and AMP.  API has sponsored pathology resident travel awards to the APIII and Lab InfoTech Summit meetings in order to foster interest in pathology informatics as a discipline among pathology trainees.  API has published a comprehensive set of learning objectives and skill sets for training in Pathology Informatics for pathology residents to encourage the integration of a high quality informatics experience within pathology residency programs (Henricks et al, Arch Pathol Lab Med 2003; 127: 1009-1018).

API has also worked to create data standards and educate members about such standards, relating to both pathology research and service pathology to encourage effective reporting and integration of pathology data.  API co-sponsored four workshops along with the National Cancer Institutes, to develop an open access, tissue microarray data exchange specification (Berman et al, BMC Med Inform Decis Mak 2003, 3:5.  Available at: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6947/3/5).  The API Laboratory Digital Imaging Project (LDIP) was initiated in 2004 as a forum for collaboration between the academic, research, and biotech communities for the development of industry standards for pathology image and data interchange to improve the quality of research in pathology and patient care.  

Since September, 2010, API is a co-sponsor of the merged APIII and Lab InfoTech Summit, creating a single national pathology informatics meeting, Pathology Informatics 20XX (see www.pathinformatics.pitt.edu.) 


 Organization Background:

(API) was organized in 2000 as a part of Universities Associated for Research and Education in Pathology (UAREP), a 501(c)(3) organization that subsequently dissolved in 2002.  At that time, the American Society for Investigative Pathology (ASIP), another 501(c)(3) organization, agreed to take over the management of API and a formal agreement between these organizations was signed in February, 2003.  This relationship was dissolved in December, 2008 after the API membership voted to establish a separate, self-governing 501(c)(3) organization.  The Department of Biomedical Informatics and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine agreed to provide office space and support staff until API could become financially independent.  The University of Michigan and University of Colorado have assisted in providing and hosting API’s Web site (http://www.pathologyinformatics.org) and listserv.  API was incorporated in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in September, 2009 and received approval of status as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.