"Advances in precision medicine, outcomes management and genetic classification require high quality biospecimens, yet standard procedures for collecting, storing and handling such samples are lacking," says Katheryn Shea, vice president of Bioservices at Precision Bioservices in Frederick, MD, and immediate past president of the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER), an SLAS strategic alliance partner. "Inconsistency in these processes can lead to inconsistent, irreproducible results," she warns.
A sense of awe, a gasp or even five minutes of concentrated silence; these are the reactions SLAS member Jody Keck seeks as he works with elementary students to spark an early interest in science and technology. Even for the kids who don't grow up to be scientists, Keck hopes to plant a sense of curiosity and determination to find answers in the face of a challenge.
"There are very few targets that actually come all ready – born by nature – with small molecules bound to them for which you can analyze or form druggable sites. So, you need to develop other approaches to go after these challenging targets."
− James A. Wells, University of California, San Francisco
"The future of therapy is a molecule/cell therapy combination," says Sitta Sittampalam, Ph.D., senior scientific officer and project manager at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH)'s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, and co-chair of the SLAS Stem Cells and 3D Microtissues Special Interest Group. "In 20 years, if you have a failing kidney, you won't just get a pill and hope it works; you will receive an injection of stem cells and a drug that makes those stem cells go to your kidney to rebuild it."
SLAS member Christine Brideau overcomes challenges in her career path by seizing the opportunities that travel along with them.
Speed career coaching can be quite an experience. I enjoyed my two days in the SLAS2014 Member Center having 30-minute one-on-one meetings with scientists to talk about career planning. I was able to meet with around 15 different scientists at all stages of their careers. Now that I have had some time to think about the common themes that arose in our discussions, it is clear that a universal, key issue for those I met was that they just don't know many people with non-academic jobs.
Emilio Diez-Monedero, Ph.D., has experienced more than 30 years of progress in the scientific community and heralds its continuing evolution. He eagerly anticipates serving as a member of the new SLAS Europe Council to expand the Society's value and impact across the continent.
Building, nurturing and accessing a robust network of scientific colleagues is vital to success according to the three new members of the SLAS Board of Directors. Each has benefitted from powerful professional communities and now they're driven to give back by stepping into SLAS executive leadership roles.
Technological improvements in automation for chemistry are fueling the integration of chemical synthesis into the discovery process, making it possible to purify, analyze and screen lead compounds faster and more efficiently. Dave Parry, CEO of Cyclofluidic in Hertfordshire, UK, offers insights into some recent innovations in this arena.
2013 was another year of momentum and milestones for SLAS. Our successes were many. Our disappointments were few. As our global horizons expanded, we flexed to fit the priorities of our members. So it is with high energy and great expectations that we beckon laboratory science and technology professionals everywhere to: Come Transform Research!
Innovators from Rice University, Promega Corporation, 908 Devices and the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation are transforming researchers' efforts to identify new and effective treatments. Their disruptive technologies are streamlining drug discovery by making the process faster and more cost effective without sacrificing quality.
His dream is to translate his bench results into bedside treatments, creating portable, reliable diagnostic devices and personal health monitoring (PHM) systems that assist in patient care.
Purple squirrel is a term used by employment recruiters to describe a job candidate with precisely the right education, experience and qualifications that perfectly fits a job's multifaceted requirements. In theory, this prized purple squirrel could immediately handle the expansive variety of responsibilities of a job description with no training and would allow businesses to function with fewer workers.
The University of Texas at Austin is fundamentally changing the paradigm of undergraduate education in the sciences and serving as a model for other universities interested in modernizing their curricula and priorities for the 21st century.
New technologies are making deriving, maintaining, characterizing and differentiating human iPS lines easier, faster and more cost-effective—and will be explored in a new short course at SLAS2014. Starting with the basics and continuing through characterization assays to lineage-specific differentiation protocols for producing physiologically relevant cell lines, the course will provide a deep-dive into the field that's rapidly changing drug discovery.
Her first brush with a scientific conference came during an undergraduate summer internship at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD. The energy and sense of community generated by the experience impressed and inspired SLAS member Michele Cleary, Ph.D. She plans to infuse SLAS2014 with the same qualities.
SLAS2014 will bring David Eddington, Ph.D., back to where he started. He first came to the event through the SLAS Tony B. Travel Awards Program as a young assistant professor. From podium presentations through organizing panels and tracks, he now sits at the top of the organizational chart for the event, a vantage point he greatly enjoys for its opportunity to influence programming.
While there may be different strategies, varied techniques and multiple diseases studied, universally accepted across the board by the talented men and women working in drug discovery is each person wants to put safe and effective medicines into the hands of physicians treating sick patients as quickly as scientifically feasible.
Fostering collaborations between academia and industry for life sciences R&D is a key goal of SLAS. One area in which such collaboration is sorely needed is microfluidics, according to SLAS member George Whitesides, Ph.D., Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor of Chemistry at Harvard University. In a recently published editorial, Whitesides underscores the "disconnect" between academic research on lab-on-a-chip technology and what users need in terms of products. In a subsequent interview, he expands on this theme, and other SLAS members share their views.
Staying true to scientific discipline while leveraging every ounce of the technology surrounding it is Andrea Weston's modus operandi. She is not afraid of the next innovation – particularly when she has a hand in it.