"In many ways, the SLAS community is like an extended family. You care about one another and wish each other well. While passionate about some similar interests, there are others meaningful only to portions of the family. You stay in touch throughout the year and get together in person once in awhile to catch up. And, all members of the family have a vested interest in helping the next generation succeed." – Jeff Paslay, Ph.D., SLAS Vice President, Kirkland, WA
Whether ascending slopes in a pair of hiking boots or descending them on skis, Mahendra Rao is creating a path and renewing his perspective. His approach to stem cell research has taken a similar course. From stints in academia, industry, regulatory affairs and government, he has gathered more than 20 years' experience for his next endeavor with the National Institutes of Health.
The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London are almost here. Fully involved from the business end of the spectrum by providing facilities and equipment to enable operation of a World Anti-Doping Agency accredited laboratory as official laboratory service provider, GlaxoSmithKline chose to leverage this monumental international sporting event to open the minds of young people with its Scientists in Sport program.
Working in laboratory automation and playing in a local rock band complement one another nicely, says SLAS member Jan Wagner.
How many people can say they spent 15 hours climbing while experiencing more than 13,000 feet of elevation change on just one day of their vacation? Following his journey to Kilimanjaro earlier this year, Peter Banks can!
The Laboratory Products Association and SLAS jointly sponsor the annual North American Survey of Laboratory Purchasing Trends Report. The January 2012 report reflects the overall economy by revealing somewhat discouraging news for those providing products and services to the laboratory science and technology community. SLAS members: use the detailed information in this 304-page report to better understand the road ahead.
Work/life balance. Is it truly possible to bring all aspects of our lives under control? Balance is a myth – we are all (women and men) constantly negotiating our energy and attention. The goal is to maximize the time you are enjoying both work and personal life.
Congratulations! Your original scientific research has been published (hopefully in JALA or JBS). Now…don't just let it sit there. Spread the word!
In the raging war against disease, now more than ever before, the leading minds in drug discovery and development recognize that joining together in battle means more effective outcomes. In fact the wonder, and complexity, of the human body demands it.
Coming to a lab near you…open source technology. Resources, software and instruments in the SLAS community model the end results of successful open source platforms. The time is right for user collaboration, but is the profession ready to embrace it?
Every day, SLAS members work hard on important scientific projects in their labs, and sometimes, they take a step back simply to enjoy the beauty that can surface through the process. This year, SLAS was fortunate to have many of its members share some of their most mesmerizing scientific images.
The National Institutes of Health's Molecular Libraries Program is ending. Was it a success? Did it fail to live up to its expectations? It depends on who you ask.
Frank Fan, Ph.D.; Robyn Rourick, M.S.; and Daniel Sipes, M.S., elected by SLAS members, began three-year terms on the SLAS Board of Directors in January 2012. Despite varied backgrounds and interests, they share a similar commitment to serve the SLAS membership dutifully, creatively and with the energy required to drive the young organization's success. They join six other leaders on the 2012 Board of Directors. Take a few moments to learn a bit more about each of them as you read their answers to the questions below.
If the pharmaceutical workplace model were a shapely wedge of clay ready to be retooled, contract organizations might be the hands that create its next form. How will science professionals cope with the transition of their roles and the transfer of technology to these core components of a decentralized model?
It's about the tools. Underwater discovery has been fascinating explorers for years but the risks to personal safety, costs to dive and time commitments so high it hindered progress. Enter SLAS2012 Keynote Speaker Bob Ballard and his amazing team of scientists, technologists and plain old big thinkers. Add a remotely operated vehicle or two and incredibly powerful Internet capabilities and the game is completely different. It is played on man's terms and much of it happens above water.
Epigenetics. You can hardly glance at the scientific literature – and even mainstream media – without seeing something about epigenetics pop up. A simple Google search turns up more than 3 million entries. It has been heralded by most as "so much larger than the genome space." But, what does epigenetics mean to SLAS members involved in laboratory science and technology?
"Drug toxicity is one of the most common reasons why promising compounds fail. We need to know which ones are safe and effective much earlier on in the process. This is an unprecedented opportunity to speed development of effective therapies, while saving time and money." – Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., director, National Institutes of Health (NIH News, September 16, 2011)
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) calls the process of translating basic research into a viable product the "Valley of Death." They define it as the period of transition when a developing technology is seen as promising, but is too new to validate its commercial potential and unable to attract the necessary funding for its continued development.
She compares her job to a stage performance: Capturing the audience, inspiring their imaginations, putting in a bit of sparkle so they will share her vision. Like a performer, she will travel thousands of miles and entertain many audiences before the year is over. Like a great actor, she will smile through life's challenges, including removing her shoes through one more airport security check.
It's fair to say that currently, the majority of SLAS's 15,000+ members are working in drug discovery and/or drug development in pharmaceutical companies, biotechs, academia and government. However, a growing percentage of the membership is made up of scientists and laboratory automation specialists who are forging careers in other industries—notably, clinical diagnostics, food and agricultural sciences, forensics and security sciences, petrochemical and energy and even consumer products.