A wise mentor led her through the beauty products industry. Her graduate studies guided her to a forensic crime lab. A savvy recruiter pointed her to an unlikely role in safety assessment/nonclinical operations. Former SLAS Treasurer Robyn Rourick, M.Sc., shares how viewing her career from others' vantage points helped her find success in analytical chemistry.
The integration of engineering techniques with biological research has led to exciting advances in the development of microengineered living systems with the potential to impact "a wide range of communities in pharmaceutical and toxicology research," according to the guest editors of Microengineered Cell- and Tissue-Based Assays for Drug Screening and Toxicology Applications, a two-part special issue of the Journal of Laboratory Automation (JALA).
Self examination and good detective skills brought SLAS member Bill Neil success. In his tireless trek for career and self-improvement, Neil found resources for everything from improved interoffice communications and laboratory technology conundrums, to health maintenance and balanced living.
SLAS Americas Council Chair Hansjoerg Haas, Ph.D., was thrilled by the opportunity to move abroad. It was 1996 and the new father was offered an incredible position from a company that would eventually become part of Thermo Fisher Scientific. The job would lead him and his wife from their native Germany to Canada. He knew this move was a life changer.
The newest members of the SLAS Board of Directors bring varied backgrounds, strong character and unwavering commitment to sharing what they have learned in their careers to help others succeed. They also believe in a common goal – ensure SLAS continues to lead the way in laboratory science and technology for years to come.
Necessity is the mother of invention, and when paired with a powerful vision for advancing scientific innovation, voilà – stars are born.
The new editor-in-chief for the Journal of Laboratory Automation (JALA) talks about jet fighters, space-age shopping centers, what makes a great scientific paper, and his vision for advancing translational laboratory science and technology as JALA begins its 20th year of publication. Learn more about Ed Chow, including when you can meet him at SLAS2015 in Washington, D.C.
The need for safe and effective treatments for neglected infectious diseases is only now beginning to be met, according to Julio Martin-Plaza, Ph.D., GlaxoSmithKline, Tres Cantos, Spain and Eric Chatelain, Ph.D., Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), Geneva, Switzerland. Martin-Plaza and Chatelain are guest editors of the January 2015 special issue of the Journal of Biomolecular Screening on Novel Therapeutic Approaches for Neglected Infectious Diseases.
SLAS began 2014 by mobilizing ambitious plans for a regionalized leadership structure to foster thoughtful global growth. By the close of 2014, three regional Councils were actively engaged in successfully customizing SLAS's reach and impact in the Americas, Europe and Asia, making it more convenient for life sciences R&D professionals everywhere to Come Transform Research!
Marc Bickle, Ph.D., is fascinated with cell culture and its link to life sciences. He is also obsessed with data quantification. His interests led him from researching worms to yeast to high-content screening and beyond.
Early in his career, Matthew Fronheiser, Ph.D., now a senior biomedical engineer at Bristol-Myers Squibb, worked for a medical device company, developing tools for scientists. "We used pretty images of cells to draw people's attention, but I learned that the image wasn't really what they were looking for," he says. "They wanted quantitative information."
"We all understand how inspiring it is for younger generations to look at cool science images, but there is definitely more to it than that. It also gives us a boost to create and invent. All people get influenced by beauty, even the scientists. That is why I would recommend to once in a while veer off the protocol, try something new, something crazy. It may not work, but if it does, it is your eureka moment. You may be the only man on the planet seeing it and then comes the tingling feeling in your tummy. This is science. The inspiration, discovery and excitement. Just remember to hit "capture" before that moment goes away!"
– Tomasz Koprowski, 2014 JALA & JBS Art of Science Contest winner
Patrick Beattie, 2014 SLAS Innovation Award winner and former director of operations for Diagnostics for All (DFA), recently took the next step on his journey to improve global health when he was named a Skoll Scholar by the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship. He credits "the incredible work that has been done by the entire DFA team over the past six years" as instrumental to his selection for this honor.
SLAS2015 Conference Co-Chair Elliot Hui, Ph.D., is rarely at rest. He spends his weeks teaching, directing a laboratory of 16 undergraduate and graduate students and even competing in a variety of team sports with his students and fellow faculty members.
Awareness of leachates received a boost in 2008, when Science published a paper showing that bioactive contaminants leaching from plasticware "demonstrate potent effects on enzyme and receptor proteins." Shortly thereafter, an article in the Journal of Biomolecular Screening identified a bioactive substance leaching from automated compound-handling plastic tips. "We need to do more to address this problem," says Lynn Rasmussen, HTS supervisor at Southern Research Institute in Birmingham, AL, and chair of the SLAS Labware Leachables Special Interest Group (SIG).
While still a student, Joshua Kangas, Ph.D., made a life-changing decision. Instead of moving along his planned career path in education, he decided to partner with science and business experts to launch a company that would help enhance the efficiency of drug discovery efforts.
"We are all tasked with finding new drugs that can differentiate our companies and provide real benefit to patients," says John Joslin, research investigator at the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF), San Diego, CA. "To do so, we need to establish biologically relevant screening assays for our high-throughput screening campaigns. However, increasing the biological relevance leads to more complex biology that requires new methodologies for lead identification and our screening systems must evolve to meet this challenge."
Early on in his scientific training, SLAS member Lorenz Mayr, Ph.D., learned to let the data speak for itself. Be precise about interpretation, but don't over-analyze. Most importantly he learned that it is never OK to be "about right" – you have to be absolutely right before you submit work for publication.
Special issues published by the Journal of Biomolecular Screening (JBS) and the Journal of Laboratory Automation (JALA) represent hallmarks of important achievement by SLAS and its members, especially those whose sweat equity make them such meaningful and memorable successes. Two JALA guest editors share their recent experiences and demonstrate how personal passion fuels the SLAS Spirit of Community.
Recent high school graduate Cynthia Yin is a well-rounded student who has a great mind for science, a gift for music and a mean game of golf. This class valedictorian excels in many areas of life and has a wall of awards to prove it, including an SLAS Tony B. Academic Travel Award. Her greatest accomplishment, however, is seeking opportunity and using it to advance her knowledge.