Serving as guest editor for JALA or JBS expands a scientist's areas of expertise, builds upon innate curiosity and develops a professional network that is built on knowledge exchange and mutual respect. Joe Olechno and Jonathan Wingfield found their recent guest editor experiences personally rewarding and well worth their time and effort.
SLAS2016 Drug Target Strategies Track Chair Michelle Arkin, Ph.D., likes a good puzzle. Not only does she enjoy deciphering complicated connections and matching up contrasting ideas, she refers to it as her "personality super power."
Somewhere in a nearby lab or on an exhibition floor is a technology that some research scientists know about, but might not embrace in their daily work in drug discovery. Adapting its use by pairing it with other technologies opens a world of potential that is currently examined in a special issue of the Journal of Biomolecular Screening (JBS).
Who is behind the science and technology that is winning awards at SLAS2016? Six podcasts offer keen insight into innovative minds.
"I like to work on projects and products that are revolutionary as opposed to evolutionary—things that drastically change what scientists can do," says Joe Olechno, Ph.D. of Labcyte Inc. (Sunnyvale, CA, USA), a guest editor of the JALA special issue, Advancing Scientific Innovation with Acoustic Droplet Ejection. "So when I was asked 12 years ago to market an instrument that moves things with sound, and could really make a difference in the lab, I was intrigued and excited."
The newest members of the SLAS Board of Directors have experienced personally what the Society can do to enrich one's career and support individual innovators who seek to reshape the world through scientific ingenuity. They are fully committed to ensuring that SLAS continues to lead the way for many years to come.
Adventurer, scientist, bridge builder: Several titles define SLAS member Melissa Crisp, Ph.D., and her passion for nature, scientific research and helping newcomers find their footing in industry.
Increasing drug resistance and recent cancer stem cell research have revealed a critical set of potent cancer cells that continue to wreak havoc on patients even when the majority of proliferating cells have been eliminated by effective therapies. But finding ways to better understand these cellular subsets and how they respond to treatment in individual patients remains a challenge, according to Tiffany (TJ) Chen, Ph.D., director of Informatics at Cytobank and a researcher at Stanford University.
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.