SLAS Announces $100,000 Graduate Education Fellowship Grant Awarded to Lan Mi of the University of Massachusetts Amherst

For Immediate Release

Oak Brook, IL (March 12, 2024) – The Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS) is pleased to announce Lan Mi, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Chemistry from the University of Massachusetts Amherst (Amherst, Massachusetts, USA), as the 2024 SLAS Graduate Education Fellowship Grant recipient.

Lan Mi
Lan Mi, Ph.D. candidate

The SLAS grant will support Mi's research regarding the synthesis and applications of fluorogenic RNA aptamers for extensive in vitro and in vivo investigations. It will also support her work in developing and assessing fluorogenic RNA-based sensors, employing high-throughput methodologies. Mi anticipates potential challenges with automation and high-throughput screening. However, her outlook is optimistic: "With the support of the SLAS grant, I look forward to conquering these challenges and advancing my research to propel progress within this field," she says.

Currently, Mi is engaged in her Ph.D. studies under the guidance of professor Mingxu You, Ph.D., principal investigator of the YOU Research Group, which is focused on creating synthetic DNA- and RNA-based tools for analytical and biomedical applications. “I am fascinated by the prospect of innovating versatile sensing platforms utilizing fluorogenic RNAs,” explains Mi, “these genetically encodable RNA sensors offer the advantage of on-site synthesis and function as fluorescent markers for real-time intracellular visualization. And this capability enables a deeper understanding of cellular substance quantities, distribution, and dynamics, thereby playing a crucial role in advancing our understanding of the biological realm.”

Mi aims to leverage the vast knowledge base of SLAS to advance her research and career development. "Attending SLAS conferences and workshops presents an invaluable opportunity to delve into diverse research areas, as well as deepen my understanding of automation and screening techniques," she adds. "The insights gleaned from SLAS resources are likely to inspire new directions in my research and shape my aspirations for my future career."

Judging criteria for the SLAS Graduate Education Fellowship Grant is based on the applicability of the student researcher’s work to laboratory automation and screening, originality and creativity of the scientific approach, quality of the science, presentation of the research objectives, and the quality and capability of the institution and its educational program to support the grant.

The SLAS Grant Program was introduced in 2015 to facilitate educational opportunities for outstanding students pursuing graduate degrees related to quantitative biosciences and/or life sciences R&D. This program helps to realize a fundamental tenet of SLAS’s mission: to advance the fields of laboratory science and technology by nurturing the next generation of professional scientists.


SLAS (Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening) is an international professional society of academic, industry and government life sciences researchers and the developers and providers of laboratory automation technology. The SLAS mission is to bring together researchers in academia, industry and government to advance life sciences discovery and technology via education, knowledge exchange and global community building.

SLAS publishes two peer-reviewed and MEDLINE-indexed scientific journals, SLAS Discovery and SLAS Technology. For more information about SLAS and its journals, visit


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