The annual SLAS International Conference and Exhibition is regarded as the world’s premier exhibition for emerging and differentiated life sciences technologies, products and services. Participants travel from around the world to explore what more than 300 technology providers have to offer and to learn how to apply the latest scientific advancements in their research efforts. It’s this high level of interest and demand that motivates so many of the world’s leading life science companies to coordinate their new product launches with the SLAS Exhibition.
Innovators and entrepreneurs behind the top technologies featured at SLAS2017 were armed with diverse discoveries that ranged from an advance in nucleic acid extraction, to an automated benchtop micropipettor, to a fully automated single cell transfection technology for adherent cells. The companies behind these new ideas in life sciences discovery and technology share what’s next.
Since SLAS was founded in 2010, SLAS Tony B. Academic Travel Awards have provided funding to enable 337 students, post-docs and early career professionals from around the world to participate in SLAS International Conferences and Exhibitions.
An SLAS Technology Special Issue captures a dramatic suite of advances in personalized and precision medicine. These new technologies address the treatment plans of individual patients with the hope of turning terminal illnesses into chronic issues. SLAS Technology Co-Guest Editor Dean Ho, Ph.D., found himself boiling down all of personalized and precision medicine (PPM) to one word during an SLAS-sponsored panel presentation held at InnovFest Unbound Singapore 2016. “When the moderator asked us to come up with one word to describe PPM, I said actionability,” he says.
What happens when several scientific disciplines join forces to tackle one of the biggest challenges in drug discovery and development? You get “a fast-moving field with a lot of innovation and a lot of exciting research,” says Richard Eglen, Ph.D., of Corning Life Sciences, former SLAS president and a guest editor of the June 2017 SLAS Discovery Special Issue on 3D Cell Culture, Drug Screening and Optimization.
The educational priorities of SLAS members are a bit like shifting sands. There was a time when the Zymate 1 transformed the analytical laboratory which led to incredible advances in laboratory automation. Decades later scientists using cutting edge technology mapped the human genome. Since then, topics like 3D cell culture, gene-editing, personalized medicine and super resolution microscopy have risen to the top of many great minds.
Each year at the SLAS International Conference and Exhibition, students, graduate students, post-doctoral associates and junior faculty have the opportunity to share their achievements, gain valuable exposure and win a cash prize in the SLAS Student Poster Competition. The entries are many, the work strong and the job of selecting the top three difficult. Poster judges evaluate a presenter's ability to explain key concepts, respond to questions and demonstrate enthusiasm for their work. The top three student poster authors receive cash awards of $500 each.
Undaunted by international travel or speaking before world-class professionals, these forward-thinking student scientists share how the SLAS Student Poster Award boosts self-confidence, builds connections to potential collaborators and advances life sciences research.
SLAS Discovery Editor-in-Chief Robert M. Campbell, SLAS Technology Editor-in-Chief Edward Kai-Hua Chow and SAGE Publishing Marketing Manager Beth Berry talk about exciting opportunities for the recently renamed journals. The editors address how SLAS journals are meeting evolving scientific educational needs for life sciences researchers across disciplines and geographic areas. Berry provides an overview of tools available to SLAS journal authors to increase their discoverability, readership and citations.
Every year, the outstanding scientific achievements of over 500 life sciences professionals from around the globe are published in the official journals of SLAS – SLAS Discovery (Advancing Life Sciences R&D) and SLAS Technology (Translating Life Sciences Innovation). The success and satisfaction of these authors and co-authors are important priorities for the SLAS community and our publishing partner, SAGE Publishing.
If you want to commercialize new scientific technologies, SLAS is a fertile starting point. Positioned at the intersection of life sciences discovery and technology, the Society and its diverse membership offer unparalleled opportunities to spark creative cross-disciplinary collaborations.
Early in her career, Elodie Sollier-Christen, Ph.D. was trying to decide whether to study medicine or engineering when she learned about lab-on-a-chip concepts and recalls, “I found these concepts really exciting and I thought they would be the future of medicine.” Fast forward to 2017. The now chief scientific officer for Vortex Biosciences earned the 2017 SLAS Innovation Award winner for her presentation, “Classification of Large Circulating Tumor Cells Isolated with Ultra-High-Throughput Microfluidic Vortex Technology,” built from those early interests.
Mention cellular metabolism to most people and visions of Krebs cycle diagrams and glycolysis come to mind. While some may think of metabolism as a linear pathway, Raymond Gilmour, Ph.D., Discovery Research, Eli Lilly and Company, believes nothing could be further from the truth. He says there are many dynamic interactions within metabolic pathways and “it’s only following the advent of genomic and metabolomic technologies that we’re beginning to understand the detailed regulation of cancer cell metabolism.”
The life sciences field is incredibly dynamic and for most in the SLAS community it is often difficult to stay current with topics of interest. When you want help or information or just somebody who’ll toss around ideas with you, one of your most valuable resources can be SLAS. It’s a point of pride and a practical fact – SLAS is a portal to thousands of knowledgeable, uniquely experienced and friendly professionals who value their connections to other SLAS members.
Fernanda Ricci, screening scientist at IIT@SEMM (Italy), submitted the grand prize-winning image in the 2016 JALA & JBS Art of Science Contest. The image surfaced during her work on the Journal of Biomolecular Screening manuscript, “Open Access to High-Content Clonogenic Analysis.” Enjoy this article on past winners and submit your image by April 21 for the 2017 SLAS Discovery and SLAS Technology Art of Science Contest.
As the first SLAS Endowed Fellowship draws to a close, SLAS Innovation Award Finalist Dean Ho and his team of researchers at UCLA introduce a landmark advance in personalized and precision medicine in the challenging area of combination drug therapy.
It was my great pleasure to succeed Richard Eglen and begin service as the 2017 SLAS President during SLAS2017 in Washington, DC. Our Society owes great thanks to Richard, Alastair Binnie and Michael Snowden who completed their terms of service as members of the SLAS Board of Directors. Also in DC, we welcomed new Board members Alan Fletcher, Cathy Tralau-Stewart and Steve Young and look forward to their fresh perspectives and leadership contributions.
By The Lab Man
(AKA SLAS Director of Education Steve Hamilton)
Congratulations to Analytik Jena US, Avidien Technologies and infinitesimal for taking home honors in the SLAS2017 New Product Award Competition.
With a tremendous wealth of life sciences experience spanning the globe, three new leaders join the SLAS Board of Directors with dreams for the Society and a willingness to do the hard work to achieve them. Alan Fletcher, Cathy Tralau-Stewart and Steve Young join the 2017 SLAS Board of Directors for three-year terms of service beginning at SLAS2017. They join six current members to guide the strategic direction for the six-year-old Society.
The field of microfluidics has been evolving rapidly in the past few years. From the perspective of someone looking for technologies to improve high-throughput screening and compound profiling, the state of microfluidic applications is more interesting and attractive than ever. So says SLAS2017 Session Chair Daniel Sipes, M.S., director of automation technologies at the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF), San Diego, CA.