Two years of pivoting, postponing, collaborating and connecting virtually is now giving way to in-person events and activities. The hopes built on 2021’s vaccines and COVID testing capacity and capability has brought us to a more familiar way of life. We’re looking forward to what the new normal looks like and the opportunity it brings to put aside old assumptions and try new things.
By Vicki Loise, CMP, CAE
Our industry’s response over the past two years, showed just how scientists, researchers and technology providers can excel when the emphasis is on collaboration. SLAS has taken steps to ensure that global collaboration remains a top priority through our conferences and symposia, open access journals, online communication platforms, in-person meet-ups, technology discussions and more. SLAS itself doubled-down on forming alliances around the world to ensure that the power of SLAS’s community and the opportunities it provided were productive and accessible even during periods of uncertainty.
The value and collaborative effort of our membership during the pandemic was not lost on us. SLAS has told the stories of how our membership moved the needle on pandemic response initiatives, and held a press conference before the SLAS2022 International Conference & Exhibition. View their stories.
Joining our Professional Team, Ally Jump became our Publishing Manager, and oversaw the transition of our two peer-reviewed journals from a member subscription model to a Gold Open Access publishing model with Elsevier.
Our high level of peer-review was retained and the credibility of published research in SLAS Discovery and SLAS Technology remains high. The journals impact factors both rose in 2020, accompanied by increases to CiteScores and category rankings. Both journals produced issues focusing on COVID-specific content early in 2021 and continue to cover ongoing findings related to pandemic research. The journals produced joint special collections focused on the Assay Guidance Manual for Drug Discovery, with guest editors from NCATS/NIH. SLAS Discovery published its second annual special collection based on the SBI2 High Content Imaging and Informatics Meeting content. In addition to the collaborative collections, SLAS Discovery published seven topical special issues in 2021, including deep dives on Hit Discovery, Protein Degradation, and Applied Biophysics.
Two new Associate Editors joined the SLAS Discovery Editorial Board: Beverley Isherwood, Ph.D., Medicines Discovery Catapult, Alderley Park, UK, and Sinead Knight, Ph.D., Sygnature Discovery, Alderley Edge, Cheshire, UK.
David McIntyre, Ph.D. candidate from Boston University (Boston, MA, USA), was awarded the $100,000 2021 SLAS Graduate Education Fellowship Grant in February 2021. McIntyre’s research is focused on accelerating the design-build-test-learn (DBTL) cycle and reducing the testing bottleneck in synthetic biology by combining active learning and droplet microfluidics.
At our two annual conferences, New Product Awards were awarded to:
Finally, 15 individuals received SLAS Tony B Travel Awards to attend the SLAS Digital International and Europe conferences free of charge:
These super volunteers continued their extraordinary volunteerism during an unusual two years to help SLAS succeed. These individuals have shown consistent and proactive engagement, involvement and support across multiple areas of SLAS.
SLAS wrapped up its planned work on the SLAS Strategic Plan (2017-2021) – which focused heavily on building educational opportunities, expanding our presence across Europe, enhancing year-round collaboration and connectivity of the SLAS community, and increasing the geographic, scientific and demographic diversity of SLAS’s membership. SLAS embarked on planning for the next five-year period and has created its 2022-2026 Strategic Plan to guide our efforts.
Members of the SLAS Board of Directors serve three-year terms of service, and SLAS is grateful to those who completed their tenure in 2021, although their experience was certainly a unique and highly virtual one during the pandemic:
Michelle Arkin, Ph.D.
University of California-San Francisco
San Francisco, CA, USA
Sammy Datwani, Ph.D.
San Francisco, CA, USA
Hansjörg Haas, Ph.D.
Thermo Fisher Scientific
Burlington, ON, Canada
Joining the SLAS Board of Directors for 2021-2023 were:
Analytik Jena AG
Jan Lichtenberg, Ph.D.
Jonathan O’Connell, Ph.D.
Boston, MA, USA
The SLAS podcast New Matter: Inside the Minds of SLAS Scientists produced 38 episodes, containing entertaining and illuminating conversations with SLAS award winners, leaders and a variety of innovators in the life sciences research and automation industries. The podcast was downloaded more than 2,600 times in 2021. Listen and celebrate the diversity of our community.
Lab Members continued to thrive in 2021 and found value in their shared experience with SLAS online networking events and activities. Membership grew to its highest number in 2021 and we are thrilled to grow our community and build opportunities for collaboration.
Our Special Interest Groups (SIGs) became an important place to network and connect on critical issues. All SIGs are open to all and have discussion communities in SLAS CONNECTED, our online networking platform. In 2021, they added Science Circles, online conversations to keep the shared education and collaboration going.
Fact: The SIGs that met via Zoom during the SLAS2021 Digital International Conference & Exhibition had a record number of attendees, more than any in-person conference gatherings to date.
As a 501(c)3 nonprofit scientific organization, SLAS provides world-class education and collaboration opportunities to its stakeholders – its members who pay dues, participate, and contribute their expertise and enthusiasm to the Society. On their behalf, SLAS carefully manages its resources to ensure organizational stability, operational excellence and sound investments in growth and development.
The operating revenue/expense does not include investment gains/losses. Those are reflected in the fund balances and are not part of operations.
These figures are generated from final audited financial statements from Clifton Larson & Allen (CLA).
SLAS had net assets of $9,752,671 of which $7,518,717 were designated as reserves by the SLAS Board of Directors.
You, our members and SLAS community, are the heroes of the last two years. We thank you for your extraordinary effort, doing what you do in your day jobs as well as your contributions and engagement with SLAS.
Stay involved! We’ve got more for you to discover!
June 21, 2022