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Editorial Archive

November 3, 2014
Microfluidic Diagnostics at the Point of Care: The Power of Paper

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.

October 20, 2014
Elliot Hui: From Engineering Pop-Up Books to Building Life Science Tools

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.

October 6, 2014
Labware Leachables: Unrecognized Contaminants Skew Research Results

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).

September 15, 2014
Joshua Kangas: Building an Engine for a Start-up Business

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.

August 27, 2014
Flow Cytometry Powers High-Throughput Screening Advances

"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."

August 18, 2014
Lorenz Mayr: Listen to the Data

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.

August 11, 2014
Eric Pei-Yu Chiou and Hideaki Tsutsui: Personal Notes from the JALA Guest Editor's Chair

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.

July 28, 2014
Cynthia Yin: Greeting a Bright Future in Science

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.

July 21, 2014
Drug Repurposing: Helping Companies Expand Treatment Options for Patients and Recoup Investments

Compared with trying to discover and develop a novel compound from scratch, repurposing an approved drug saves time and money. It might be for a different indication or to rescue a candidate drug that may have failed in early trials and developing it to treat a different condition. Repurposing also carries less risk to companies and to patients, according to SLAS Drug Repurposing SIG Co-chairs Roger Bosse, Ph.D., senior global product leader for PerkinElmer, Life Sciences & Technology and Mathieu Arcand, Ph.D., co-founder of Biopra.

June 30, 2014
Small Molecule Profiling: Dealing with the Data

"Although high-throughput screening has been going on for almost two decades, only now are substantial public datasets emerging and being made available for cross analysis—and they're large enough and well annotated enough to make a difference in our work," says Paul Clemons, Ph.D., director, Computational Chemical Biology Research at the Broad Institute.

June 23, 2014
Sumita Pennathur: Channels of Progress

Working in a channel that is 60,000 times smaller than a human hair, SLAS member Sumita Pennathur, Ph.D., is doing big work on a nano scale. Can she save the world moving one molecule at a time?

June 9, 2014
Rich Ellson: Adventures in a Brave New World

How does one seed a conservative science environment with new technology, particularly one that replaces a tool as basic as the lab coat? By being an active part of the community, listening to the challenges faced by its members and contributing to collaborative efforts.

June 2, 2014
Global Health: Putting Passion to Work with Novel Point-of-Care Diagnostics

"I'm passionate about global health, about my own research to develop technologies for use in resource-limited settings, as well as the work that others are doing to improve the lives of people in developing countries," says Peter Lillehoj, Ph.D., of Michigan State University in East Lansing. That passion motivated Lillehoj to serve as guest editor of a 2014 special issue of the Journal of Laboratory Automation (JALA) on New Developments in Global Health Technologies.

May 19, 2014
Develop Wise Skills to Achieve Career Goals

A recent Ph.D. has had three interviews in the last month. She shared that she heard back from her second most promising interview at a start-up company: "the people from HR just contacted me. They let me know that they have chosen another person."

May 5, 2014
3D Printing in the Lab: Facilitating Innovation, Fueling Visions

Two researchers who are working on projects with implications for different aspects of drug discovery reveal their motivations for using 3D printing in the laboratory. They are inspired not only by the challenge of doing innovative science, but also by the opportunity to make their work accessible to scientists around the world.

April 28, 2014
Settling a New Biotech Frontier

SLAS members Anne Marie Quinn and Thomas Hughes carved a place for their company, Montana Molecular, far from the biotech hubs that launched their careers. The company put down roots on Quinn's vision that the tools of science drive progress and the scientists who adopt those tools early have a professional advantage.

April 18, 2014
SLAS2014 Student Poster Winners Launch into Science

One small step: entering a poster contest. One giant leap: exposure to thousands of new contacts to advance research and accelerate careers.

March 31, 2014
Sample Management: Are You Paying Attention to All the Variables?

"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.

March 24, 2014
SLAS Member Influences FIRST Experiences in Science

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.

March 17, 2014
Researchers Advance Protein-Protein Interactions as Small Molecule Drug Targets

"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