At the center of today’s many changes, challenges and choices are SLAS members, the principal stakeholders in the unique and united community of professionals who thrive at the intersection of applied and basic life sciences discovery and technology. Relevant, collaborative and future-focused describe SLAS in 2017. To the benefit of more than 18,000 members worldwide, significant strides forward were made to enhance SLAS operations and the Society’s resource-rich menu of programs, products, services and events.
With 25-plus years of drug discovery experience spanning both industry and academia, Cathy Tralau-Stewart could write a book about the meticulous work required for a drug compound to progress through the pipeline. In her role at UCSF’s Catalyst Program, she unites various collaborators to keep breakthrough science in motion.
As I prepare to complete my tenure as SLAS president, a person might ask why anyone would want a part-time job that pays nothing, requires hard work, collaboration with diverse teammates, and the oversight of multiple priorities and deadlines with no direct accountability? Sounds ridiculous, right? Believe me – it’s been just the opposite.
The December 2017 SLAS Discovery Special Issue on Advances in MALDI Mass Spectrometry within Drug Discovery captures examples of diverse and exciting advances that inform us about the expanding range of applications of matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight (MALDI TOF) technology. The issue marks the 30th anniversary of MALDI TOF at a time when “the technology has gained momentum and researchers are recognizing MALDI and applying the technology in innovative ways,” says Co-Guest Editor Michael Scholle of SAMDI Tech (Chicago, IL, USA).
The fundamental determinant of the potential success of a PDD effort is the ability of the screening assay to predict the clinical therapeutic response to a drug with a specific mechanism of action. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, 16, 531-543 (2017)
SLAS has started its search for the third recipient of the prestigious SLAS Graduate Education Fellowship Grant. This $100,000 award is disbursed over two years to provide stipend support for promising research being conducted by students in graduate degree programs related to quantitative biosciences and/or life sciences R&D. Dec. 11, 2017, is the due date for 2018 applications and the award will be announced in spring 2018.
For the past 27 years, Marc Abrahams has been presenting the First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Awards ceremony to an audience of more than 1,000 science enthusiasts on the campus of Harvard University. In between these annual “First Annual” events, Abrahams is the editor of the Annals of Improbable Research (AIR) magazine, shining a spotlight on what may seem improbable, irreverent or absurdly surprising science.
“Chemical Biology, like good taste, is somewhat hard to pin down, but you know it when you see it,” Elizabeth Ostler, Chem Cent J. 2007; 1:5.
It’s been called the second industrial revolution. Whether it’s shaping smarter cities, tracking our 10,000 steps a day or just making sure we never run out of laundry detergent, microcontrollers and the Internet of Things (IoT) are making everyday life….well, if not simpler, at least a bit more effortless. But how is this technology changing life in the lab?
If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you already recognize how you and your organization benefit from SLAS, its conferences, scientific journals and other programs. As the SLAS2018 early bird registration deadline grows nearer (Oct. 31) and you prepare to submit your request for participation, here are some thoughts to help you express the potential value of your participation.
Mark Russo, Ph.D., associate director in computational genomics, and Matthew Fronheiser, Ph.D., medical imaging analyst lead, both from Bristol-Myers Squibb, have teamed up to teach a new course entitled 3D Printing for Scientific Applications at SLAS2018. They bring practical knowledge from their experiences with 3D printing and share some of the pitfalls and solutions they have discovered.
With support from an SLAS grant, an enterprising graduate student from the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) is building an assay to explore actin complexes that helps researchers explore answers to never-before-asked questions.
Our complement of five ANSI/SLAS Microplate Standards have been reaffirmed by the SLAS Microplate Standards Advisory Committee in compliance with the process and requirements of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the U.S. standards and conformity assessment system that oversees the creation, promulgation and use of thousands of norms and guidelines that directly impact businesses in nearly every sector. These standards are an outstanding example of how our Society serves as an important and officially recognized voice of authority in life sciences discovery and technology.
The annual SLAS International Conference and Exhibition is regarded as the world’s premier exhibition for emerging and differentiated life sciences technologies, products and services. Participants travel from around the world to explore what more than 300 technology providers have to offer and to learn how to apply the latest scientific advancements in their research efforts. It’s this high level of interest and demand that motivates so many of the world’s leading life science companies to coordinate their new product launches with the SLAS Exhibition.
Innovators and entrepreneurs behind the top technologies featured at SLAS2017 were armed with diverse discoveries that ranged from an advance in nucleic acid extraction, to an automated benchtop micropipettor, to a fully automated single cell transfection technology for adherent cells. The companies behind these new ideas in life sciences discovery and technology share what’s next.
Since SLAS was founded in 2010, SLAS Tony B. Academic Travel Awards have provided funding to enable 337 students, post-docs and early career professionals from around the world to participate in SLAS International Conferences and Exhibitions.
An SLAS Technology Special Issue captures a dramatic suite of advances in personalized and precision medicine. These new technologies address the treatment plans of individual patients with the hope of turning terminal illnesses into chronic issues. SLAS Technology Co-Guest Editor Dean Ho, Ph.D., found himself boiling down all of personalized and precision medicine (PPM) to one word during an SLAS-sponsored panel presentation held at InnovFest Unbound Singapore 2016. “When the moderator asked us to come up with one word to describe PPM, I said actionability,” he says.
What happens when several scientific disciplines join forces to tackle one of the biggest challenges in drug discovery and development? You get “a fast-moving field with a lot of innovation and a lot of exciting research,” says Richard Eglen, Ph.D., of Corning Life Sciences, former SLAS president and a guest editor of the June 2017 SLAS Discovery Special Issue on 3D Cell Culture, Drug Screening and Optimization.
The educational priorities of SLAS members are a bit like shifting sands. There was a time when the Zymate 1 transformed the analytical laboratory which led to incredible advances in laboratory automation. Decades later scientists using cutting edge technology mapped the human genome. Since then, topics like 3D cell culture, gene-editing, personalized medicine and super resolution microscopy have risen to the top of many great minds.
Each year at the SLAS International Conference and Exhibition, students, graduate students, post-doctoral associates and junior faculty have the opportunity to share their achievements, gain valuable exposure and win a cash prize in the SLAS Student Poster Competition. The entries are many, the work strong and the job of selecting the top three difficult. Poster judges evaluate a presenter's ability to explain key concepts, respond to questions and demonstrate enthusiasm for their work. The top three student poster authors receive cash awards of $500 each.