Building, nurturing and accessing a robust network of scientific colleagues is vital to success according to the three new members of the SLAS Board of Directors. Each has benefitted from powerful professional communities and now they're driven to give back by stepping into SLAS executive leadership roles.
Technological improvements in automation for chemistry are fueling the integration of chemical synthesis into the discovery process, making it possible to purify, analyze and screen lead compounds faster and more efficiently. Dave Parry, CEO of Cyclofluidic in Hertfordshire, UK, offers insights into some recent innovations in this arena.
2013 was another year of momentum and milestones for SLAS. Our successes were many. Our disappointments were few. As our global horizons expanded, we flexed to fit the priorities of our members. So it is with high energy and great expectations that we beckon laboratory science and technology professionals everywhere to: Come Transform Research!
Innovators from Rice University, Promega Corporation, 908 Devices and the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation are transforming researchers' efforts to identify new and effective treatments. Their disruptive technologies are streamlining drug discovery by making the process faster and more cost effective without sacrificing quality.
His dream is to translate his bench results into bedside treatments, creating portable, reliable diagnostic devices and personal health monitoring (PHM) systems that assist in patient care.
Purple squirrel is a term used by employment recruiters to describe a job candidate with precisely the right education, experience and qualifications that perfectly fits a job's multifaceted requirements. In theory, this prized purple squirrel could immediately handle the expansive variety of responsibilities of a job description with no training and would allow businesses to function with fewer workers.
The University of Texas at Austin is fundamentally changing the paradigm of undergraduate education in the sciences and serving as a model for other universities interested in modernizing their curricula and priorities for the 21st century.
New technologies are making deriving, maintaining, characterizing and differentiating human iPS lines easier, faster and more cost-effective—and will be explored in a new short course at SLAS2014. Starting with the basics and continuing through characterization assays to lineage-specific differentiation protocols for producing physiologically relevant cell lines, the course will provide a deep-dive into the field that's rapidly changing drug discovery.
Her first brush with a scientific conference came during an undergraduate summer internship at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD. The energy and sense of community generated by the experience impressed and inspired SLAS member Michele Cleary, Ph.D. She plans to infuse SLAS2014 with the same qualities.
SLAS2014 will bring David Eddington, Ph.D., back to where he started. He first came to the event through the SLAS Tony B. Travel Awards Program as a young assistant professor. From podium presentations through organizing panels and tracks, he now sits at the top of the organizational chart for the event, a vantage point he greatly enjoys for its opportunity to influence programming.
While there may be different strategies, varied techniques and multiple diseases studied, universally accepted across the board by the talented men and women working in drug discovery is each person wants to put safe and effective medicines into the hands of physicians treating sick patients as quickly as scientifically feasible.
Fostering collaborations between academia and industry for life sciences R&D is a key goal of SLAS. One area in which such collaboration is sorely needed is microfluidics, according to SLAS member George Whitesides, Ph.D., Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor of Chemistry at Harvard University. In a recently published editorial, Whitesides underscores the "disconnect" between academic research on lab-on-a-chip technology and what users need in terms of products. In a subsequent interview, he expands on this theme, and other SLAS members share their views.
Staying true to scientific discipline while leveraging every ounce of the technology surrounding it is Andrea Weston's modus operandi. She is not afraid of the next innovation – particularly when she has a hand in it.
Although they come from different backgrounds – one is a former high school teacher, another is a chemical engineer – the SLAS2013 Student Poster Competition winners share a common curiosity and love of science. The SLAS2013 Student Poster Competition offered them a chance to advance their work and actively engage as the next generation of laboratory science and technology leaders.
"Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -- Mark Twain
Supercomputers get lots of press. With colorful names like Yellowstone, Stampede and Blue Waters, their high speed, huge storage capacity and ability to produce high-resolution simulations make them ideal tools for scientific problem solving in a wide range of fields, including drug discovery. But all that computing power is useless without software to make sense of all the data that's generated, usually in the form of numbers.
No matter where the borders lie, the scientific method remains the same. When SLAS members discuss working and living in foreign countries, they talk about similarities before differences – the universal language of science – as they share their unique perspectives on working abroad.
"I will prepare and some day my chance will come."
– Storyteller Abraham Lincoln
In his SLAS2014 keynote address, Eric Topol, M.D., will provide a compelling perspective on the implications of "homo digitus" — a reference to the role of wireless physiological monitoring, genomics, imaging and health information technology to create "digitized" humans — for laboratory science and technology professionals working in life science R&D. "The whole way that we go about discovering and developing new drugs is going to be completely revamped," he asserts.
A college internship introduced Xavier Perrodon to robotics. A spirit of adventure moved him across two continents. Discover how a busy laboratory automation specialist keeps one foot in the lab and the other traveling on international turf.