By Alan E. Fletcher, Ph.D.
February 20, 2019
Greetings to the remarkable SLAS community; it is my honor to serve as your 2019 president! Having just participated in SLAS2019, I was amazed at the knowledgeable, well-connected and multi-disciplinary assembly of professionals committed to the shared success of one another. Fundamental to our combined success is our ability to engage others with diverse perspectives and varied professional disciplines so that we can listen to and learn from each other. This has been key to SLAS since its founding and is at the forefront of SLAS plans for the year ahead.
While keeping our eye on the bottom line and true to our scientific and educational mission, SLAS is working on a few initiatives to help the community keep those connections strong throughout the year. With new ways to access SLAS education beyond attending events and the launch of online communities to connect by expertise, SLAS is looking to exceed your expectations. Watch this space for announcements in the coming months.
I want to assure you that the SLAS Board of Directors and professional team members are dedicated to listening and responding to your evolving needs as life sciences professionals. As CEO Vicki Loise reported at SLAS2019, we are pleased with our current programming and services, but we also recognize that is critical to think ahead, evolve and find ways to be even more valuable to you in the years to come. We are steadfast in our desire to provide you the information, education and collaborative opportunities you need to thrive in an ever-changing field.
Three exceptional leaders joined the SLAS Board of Directors in 2019. Michelle Arkin, Ph.D., Sammy Datwani, Ph.D., and Hansjoerg Haas, Ph.D. jumped into their roles and are excited to help further the SLAS mission to bring together researchers in academia, industry and government to advance life sciences discovery and technology via education, knowledge exchange and global community building. At SLAS2019, we also said goodbye to three leaders who have served the Board admirably, including my presidential predecessor Sabeth Verpoorte, Ph.D., as well as Ian Shuttler, Ph.D., and Peter Grandsard, Ph.D. You will be missed!
SLAS2019, held Feb. 2-6, drew 5,126 participants (our highest ever in Washington, DC) from 40 countries. Congratulations to Program Co-Chairs John Doench, Ph.D., and Anton Simeonov, Ph.D., and their planning committee for an incredible job!
Attendees enjoyed 144 podium presentations, 334 poster presentations, 22 short courses, 14 exhibitor tutorials, 14 Special Interest Group meetings, 22 Solutions Spotlight and six Ignite presentations. Strong networking occurred in the hallways, at coffee breaks and over dinner. Thanks to the 320+ exhibitors who once again brought their A game and showcased their ideas for the future of life sciences discovery and technology.
As always, the bar is set high at the SLAS International Conference and Exhibition and the following award winners were the best of the best.
Cristian Soitu, M.Eng. and Ph.D. candidate from the University of Oxford (Oxford, U.K.) took home SLAS’s highest honor for his scientific presentation, “Microfluidic Chambers Using Fluid Walls for Cell Biology.”
Andrew Alliance – Andrew+ and Pipette+ systems
NanoView Biosciences – ExoView
Stilla Technologies – Opal Chip
SEED Biosciences, a young startup from Switzerland, was recognized as the inaugural SLAS Ignite Award winner for their revolutionary pipette that allows scientists to view single cells at a single cell resolution.
Antra Ganguly, University of Texas at Dallas
“A Passively Addressable Electrochemical Sensor for the Detection of Chloride Ion Levels in Ultralow Volumes of Perspired Human Sweat”
Sudip Mondal, Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin
“High-speed C. elegans Cytometry at 0.8 Million Frames per Second”
Christopher Poon, Ph.D., University of Southern California
“Multifunctional Peptide Micelle for Monocyte Targeting and Gene Therapy to Reduce Atherosclerosis”
SLAS Discovery and SLAS Technology authors and reviewers were celebrated for the popularity of their published reports and exceptional volunteer service in 2018.
Finally, let’s not forget the 50 up-and-coming scientists from 13 different countries who participated in SLAS2019 as SLAS Tony B. Academic Travel Award winners! See the full list of winners.
I can’t wait to see what our community accomplishes this year. Keep your eye on your inbox for news from us and bookmark www.slas.org. Thank you for your contributions to the success of the Society and the field.