SLAS is a collaborative community that brings together creative visionaries and fearless pioneers whose ingenuity and innovation are reshaping the world and changing the way we think. SLAS members are some of today's most accomplished scholars, scientists, innovators and entrepreneurs. They're creative problem solvers, collaborators and over-achievers. They celebrate their diversity and find a provocative home base in SLAS. I invite you to meet some of them.
"The focus should always be on identification of medicines for the patients. Phenotypic approaches and target-based approaches provide different strategies and tools in the drug discovery tool box. It is important to know what tools are available and know how to effectively use the tools, so that the appropriate tool is selected and used in an efficient manner." This is the overarching drug discovery guidance given by David Swinney, co-instructor for the new SLAS Short Course, "Screening Strategies for Drug Discovery: Matching Tools with Solutions."
"The amount of time assay development can take is often not appreciated," says Nathan Coussens, U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) research scientist. "The results from multiple assays are needed to interpret the results of any one assay, which multiplies the amount of work. Rigor in developing the best possible assays with well-separated high and low controls is very important."
Congratulations! You've landed a great new job in a facility that has a tool that's new to you – an automated liquid handler. This tool has the potential to increase both your output and accuracy – if you know how to use it.
As a practicing gastroenterologist at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, Louis Cohen, M.D., was driven to understand how commensal bacteria interacted with host cells in inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. As a researcher in the laboratory of Sean Brady, Ph.D. at The Rockefeller University, NYC, he found answers.
Lured into science by fiction stories filled with ingenious feats of genetic engineering, SLAS2016 Co-Chair and JALA Reviews Editor Dino Di Carlo, Ph.D., later pursued bioengineering because of its opportunity to touch the future with today's research.
Whether it's bonding with family during an elephant ride in India or joining forces with fellow scientists in research collaborations, Steve Rees wants to forge lasting relationships and motivate others both inside and outside of the laboratory.
Students from the Keck Graduate Institute School of Applied Life Sciences put their best work forward in the October 2015 special issue of the Journal of Laboratory Automation (JALA) on In Vitro Diagnostic Technology Reviews. The rigor of the peer review and revision process boosted their professional experience and career confidence and resulted in a meaningful special issue for the life sciences R&D and technology community.
The new SLAS Graduate Education Fellowship Grant Program is one more way SLAS lives its mission to advance the field of life sciences R&D by fostering the next generation of professional scientists.
"I remember the first time I heard of CRISPR—reading the summary of a paper published in Science by Jennifer Doudna of the University of California, Berkeley and colleagues. It was one of those 'Oh my' moments. I saw the power and potential of the technology for functional genomics, and knew immediately that it was something I needed to be doing," says John Doench, Ph.D., a research scientist in the Broad Institute's RNAi Platform.
RNAi is undergoing a "renaissance," according to the guest editors of the September 2015 JBS Special Issue on Screening by RNAi and Precise Genome Editing Technologies. The proof is in the issue's carefully selected papers, which reveal novel approaches and bioinformatics tools that are reducing the off-target effects and other problems that have caused researchers to question the value of the technology in the past.
"Biosensing is a hot research trend, especially in China where the technology is important to every major aspect of our daily lives," says Xianting Ding, Ph.D., School of Biomedical Engineering, Institute for Personalized Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. "Now we see it starting to make a difference in all parts of the world, and in disciplines as diverse as disease diagnosis, environmental monitoring, food engineering and drug discovery."
While not rebounding to 2011 levels, the survey responses obtained from the 2015 North American Survey of Laboratory Purchasing Trends generally point to a bit more optimism, fueled by increased project work across several industry sectors.
Before The Cloud was a regular part of our lexicon, entrepreneurs such as Barry Bunin pioneered secure, collaborative data hosting for scientists.
Yongtao was seeking a full time position after earning his Ph.D. First, he sought coaching on how to compose targeted resumes for applications. Then, he wondered how he should prepare for interviews, so he enrolled in a professional development course and learned about the interviewing continuum where he practiced several in-person and remote interview styles.
His approach might not be for the faint-of-heart, but Armin Nourani doesn't simply wonder what went wrong when he faces a rejection letter. He seeks out answers.
Young careers take flight as students gain valuable experience and exposure to laboratory science and technology professionals at all levels via the annual SLAS Student Poster Competition.
Science has intrigued Jonathan Wingfield, principal scientist, AstraZeneca, UK, since he was a boy, which is why he obtained a Ph.D. in microbiology. But something happened during his post-doc at Children's Hospital in Cincinnati, OH, that convinced Wingfield to reconsider his decision to pursue basic academic research, and ultimately led to his being honored as the 2015 SLAS Innovation Award winner.
Is the U.S. biomedical research system broken? If so, what can be done to fix it? Participants in the first-ever SLAS Leadership Forum grappled with these questions in a two-hour discussion held during SLAS2015 in Washington, DC.
Making advancements in a scientific field requires continual learning, extreme curiosity and just plain old hard work. To fuel their interest in the expanding field of biologics in drug discovery, Rob Howes, Ph.D., and Joseph G. McGivern, Ph.D., took on volunteer roles as Journal of Biomolecular Screening (JBS) guest editors for the April 2015 Special Issue on Therapeutic Antibody Discovery and Development.