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Thanks for a Great Year!

As my year as SLAS president draws to a close, it is with pride and appreciation that I reflect on the achievements of the past year. SLAS made remarkable progress in 2016 thanks to many energized and forward-thinking members of our life sciences discovery and technology community. From the members of the SLAS Board of Directors, to the many committees and the whole professional team, SLAS is driven by individuals who selflessly invest time and talent to the benefit of our community today and well into tomorrow. This strong level of involvement was evident in the very successful SLAS2016 in San Diego and the many new initiatives that were put in motion throughout the year.

By Richard M. Eglen, Ph.D.

So, in retrospect, 2016 began with a record-setting SLAS International Conference and Exhibition in San Diego, CA, (SLAS2016) and we end the year looking forward to presenting a successful SLAS2017 in Washington, DC, Feb. 4-8, 2017. During the year, we put into practice many new and wide ranging, initiatives. These included awarding our first SLAS Graduate Education Fellowship Grant; adopting a purposeful strategy to change the names of our journals; announcing plans for a first-ever SLAS Europe Conference in 2018; re-engineering our membership options and introducing the prestigious SLAS Fellow membership category; and celebrating the fifth anniversary of our popular SLAS Electronic Laboratory Neighborhood e-zine, which we migrated to a more functional online platform.

We also kept an eye on the long-term future of SLAS by thoughtfully refreshing our strategic plan to guide us from 2017 through 2021. More on this to come, but special thanks from me to the volunteers who invested their vision and leadership into achieving this important SLAS milestone.

Along the way, we bid farewell to SLAS CEO Gregory Dummer and transitioned our professional team leadership into the capable hands of Interim CEO Brenda Dreier. So, special thanks from me as well as the whole Board to Brenda, who kept the Society moving forward on all these initiatives without skipping a beat.

Clearly, SLAS and its members (including me!) have much to look forward to in coming years. Our Society is by far the most valuable educational and networking resource available to researchers who enjoy the unique embrace of life sciences discovery and technology. With the continued hands-on leadership of experienced professionals like 2017 SLAS President Scott Atkin, IOI Partners, I am more than confident that the momentum will continue to build on an impressively sound and well-focused foundation.

“Giving back” is something you often hear people say when they talk about being a volunteer. In fact, this was my personal goal when I joined the SLAS Board of Directors. I hope I’ve succeeded in this goal, because through the last 20 years SLAS truly has given a lot to me. With the diverse interests and expertise of its members, SLAS is a springboard for creative collaboration and success. I am so proud of the countless resources it makes available to members. Furthermore, I’m grateful for the positive impact our members are having as we work together to shape the future of life sciences discovery and technology. 

Thanks for a great year – looking forward to a very successful 2017!

 

Editor’s Footnote:  Learn more about SLAS President Richard Eglen by visiting the SLAS Electronic Laboratory Neighborhood e-zine.

November 28, 2016