Topical Interest Groups (TIGs)

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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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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Beth Cimini (The Broad Institute), 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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Markus Queisser (GlaxoSmithKline) and Anastasia Velentza (Plexium), Chairs

Proximity-induced Pharmacology for New Modalities require specialized assays and knowledge for the development and optimization of the proximity-based molecules in addition to the traditional assay and screening cascades in drug discovery. The objective of this SIG is to facilitate and promote the exchange of knowledge and experience with proximity assays i.e in Targeted Protein Degradation and Protein-Protein Interactions, setting standards and educate the field. The SIG will meet several times annually and communicate progress through SLAS. Metric for success is the agreement to standards which are adopted by the field.

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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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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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How to Organize a New TIG

SLAS members interested in organizing a new TIG are invited to complete an SLAS Topical 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 TIG 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 TIG

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