Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

J Colin Cox (Strateos) and David Walsh (M.I.T), Co-Chairs

This SLAS SIG is open to all experience levels, from those interested in the idea to people who print things every day. If you have ever wanted to take an idea and turn it into a real thing that you can use in the lab, then this group is for you. This community provides collaboration and resources for people thinking about getting into 3D printing and additive manufacturing, and those who already are printing on a daily basis. Share how you use 3D printing in your laboratory areas and discover how 3D printing enables highly custom and rapid prototyping.

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Andrew Alt (University of Michigan) and Robert Damoiseaux (UCLA), Chairs

The mission of the Academic Drug Discovery SIG is to enable greater interaction between academia, pharmaceutical research companies, suppliers and other technical companies. Through a range of unique programs and events, the Academic Drug Discovery SIG will build bridges between the academic and applied sciences. These ties will result in better skilled candidates for industry as well as enhanced support for academic centers with programs focused on drug discovery, screening, automation and related disciplines.

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Ritu Singh (Broad Institute) and Amy Siu (Remix Therapeutics), Chairs

The mission of the Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism and Toxicology SIG is to advance drug discovery and development by promoting the discussion and dissemination of principles, topics and ideas for the integration of higher throughput technologies with methods for determining toxicity, pharmacokinetics and metabolism. The goal is to accelerate the drug discovery pipeline and shorten the time of the development of new drugs that cure illnesses and improve quality of life. This special interest group creates a bridge and network between scientists working in the fields of preclinical research, pharmacology, pharmacokinetics and those who are the producers of combinatorial libraries.

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Catherine Heywood (Invitae) and Karlton Moore (Artel), Chairs

The Automation Quality Control SIG provides a forum for discussion of topics relating to optimizing performances of laboratory instrumentation. The objective is to encourage development of procedures that should be of interest to instrument vendors and practitioners alike. Specific topics include:

  • Developing best practices for assessing performance of liquid handlers, microplate readers and integrated systems with a view toward making it easier to compare instruments between vendors and to correlate results across platforms.
  • Promoting the sharing of experiences and ideas on data formatting during acquisition and export. Techniques and strategies that ease the task of integrating new instrumentation into automated environments are of special interest.

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Open - Please contact Mary Geismann if interested.

The mission of the SLAS Compound Combination Screening SIG is to create a knowledge-sharing forum for screening practitioners active in the field of compound combinations. As such, the goal is to mature the field of compound combination screening, aimed at better science that accelerates the pace of drug discovery.

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Ian Kerman, (LabVoice) and Paul Jensen (University of Michigan), Chairs

The purpose of this SIG is to:

  • Develop, aggregate, and communicate best practices
  • Investigate data science code of ethics, i.e., ethical machine learning, ethics education and awareness
  • Help clarify what it takes to be a data scientist – i.e., career paths, education, and support
  • Provide skill training, i.e., data visualization, new tools, Big Data, "Data Science for Scientists"
  • Facilitate vendor outreach (training, tools, etc.)

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Shannon Mummenthaler (Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine of USC), Chair

The Data Analysis and Management SIG is dedicated to sharing best practices, experiences and expertise, and to encouraging collaboration. The group will actively address issues in the area of information technology and strategies and foster discussions, information sharing and meetings among group members. This SIG is presented in partnership with the Society of Biomolecular Imaging and Informatics (SBI2).

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Marc Holbert (GlaxoSmithKline) and Rob Howes (UK Health Security Agency), Chairs

The long-term objective of the Molecular Biology and Protein Science Standards SIG is to have these standards adopted across academia and industry to provide the basis for an open database. This database will serve two major purposes: (1) improve our ability to successfully generate proteins of interest and (2) provide foundational data to explore the feasibility of building machine learning models for soluble, functional protein design.

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Marc Bickle (Roche), Chair

The phenotypic drug discovery (PDD) SIG will serve as a discussion forum for the global research community to share/discuss/debate topics related to PDD research. Participants will share their experiences, perceptions, and thoughts on the advantages/disadvantages of PDD and whether/how PDD complements targeted drug discovery (TDD) strategies. Related topics such as target identification/validation, chemical diversity, chemical genomics, chemo-informatics, poly-pharmacology, translational pharmacology, biological model systems and patient tailoring are also in scope.

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Kristen Nailor (Genentech), Chair

The Sample Management SIG provides a forum for discussing sample library management issues in the modern drug discovery HTS laboratory. Sample libraries include discrete compounds, mixtures, natural products and biological samples such as tissues slices, cells, DNA, RNAi, antibodies to name just a few. With so many new types of samples needing to be stored for distribution, archiving and inventory management this forum is critical for the sample management community to come together to discuss the current and future critical topics and issues facing the industry. Topics of critical importance include sample collection (size, content and storage), Materials management (storage container compatibility, size and strength) instrumentation/automation (liquid handling, storage devices, cherry picking, compound identification LC/MS, solubility measurement) inventory software, labware leachables and database design.

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Kenda Evans (Agilent) and Andrew Napper (Bristol Myers Squibb), Chairs

The goals of the Screen Design & Assay SIG are to:

  • Share current best practices and experiences in the design of screens for high- and ultra-high-throughput screening programs.
  • Provide a platform to encourage an open discussion among group members of any new screening technologies that can be beneficial to the screening community.
  • Encourage academic and industrial members to actively contribute to the SIG.
  • Identify any gaps in reagent(s) and instrumentation and/or in the screening environment and seek to influence the appropriate supplier(s).
  • Evaluate new technologies and instruments on a voluntary basis and share findings at technology-based user group meetings on a more frequent basis.

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Burkhard Schaefer (SiLA Consortium) and Dana Vanderwall (Schrodinger), Chairs

The Standards Initiatives SIG promotes standardization and interoperability of instruments and data systems in the laboratory. The purpose of our session is to raise awareness of community-driven standardization efforts currently underway. It also provides a forum to foster collaboration between standards initiatives to ensure greater impact and better utilization of community resources.

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Marcie Glicksman (EnClear Therapies) and Ilyas Singec (FUJIFILM Celluar Dynamics), Chairs

The mission of the Stem Cells in Drug Discovery SIG is to promote the discussion and dissemination of information on new enabling technologies related to the use of stem cells and primary cells in drug discovery. We will discuss current developments in stem cell biology, human and mouse pluripotent stem cells, and reprogrammed stem cells. This group will function to create a bridge between the network of scientists working in the fields of regenerative medicine, stem cell biology, chemical biology and drug discovery.

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Raymond Price (Neuroservices Alliance), Chair

As biopharmaceutical companies seek to increase capacity, free up resources, accelerate clinical timelines, and meet business continuity requirements, technology transfer to contract research organizations (CRO) or contract manufacturing organizations (CMO) has increased dramatically. This special interest group (SIG) will provide a platform for industry colleagues to address and discuss the challenges and key factors considered to be important for achieving successful transfer.

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Debbie Bowers (BioDot, Inc.), Chair

The WomXn of SLAS SIG was created to provide a professional space for womXn in the life science and technology fields to come together and mentor, learn, and discuss the unique challenges we face as womXn in a STEM environment. Open to womXn or those supportive of womXn who are in various roles in the technology fields of the life science industry. Any STEM/Technology modality/role is welcome. From vendors to bench scientist, from sales to data science and more. If you are passionate, curious, or otherwise interested about the unique challenges womXn face in a STEM environment you are welcome.

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How to Organize a New SIG

SLAS members interested in organizing a new SIG are invited to complete an SLAS Special Interest Group Charter Application and submit it to the SLAS Board of Directors for consideration and approval. The purpose of the application is to verify that the group has an established core of SLAS members that are interested in its formation and are willing to actively participate. The SIG Charter Application requires:

  • Statement of purpose
  • Justification for formation
  • Detailed plans
  • Proposed activities
  • Chair and co-chairs who will serve as primary representative(s) of the SIG

For questions about starting or participating in a Special Interest Group, contact Mary Geismann, SLAS Director, Membership and Engagement.