Industry News: 2012 SLAS Asia Conference and Exhibition Establishes Solid Foundation for the Laboratory Science and Technology Community in Asia

21 Jun 2012

The Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS) welcomed 470 participants from China and 13 other countries to its Second Annual SLAS Asia Conference and Exhibition, which was held June 19-21 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Shanghai, China.

The three-day event , which was themed “Advances in Drug and Life Sciences R&D through Laboratory Technology," featured scientific presentations by 29 experts, including keynote addresses by Professor Dean Ho, Ph.D., the SLAS Endowed Fellow from the University of California Los Angeles School of Dentistry who shared insight on “Diamond-Based Platforms for Nanomedicine;” and Mahendra Rao, M.D., Ph.D., of the U.S. National Institute of Health Center for Regenerative Medicine who discussed issues regarding research using “Primary and PSC Derived Cells for Screening.”

Scientific presentations were organized within three topical areas: 1) Drug Discovery Technologies; 2) From Screening to Therapy; and 3) Stem Cells in Drug Discovery. The Closing Session on Thursday, June 21, showcased the winner and three finalists of the prestigious 2012 SLAS Innovation Award. The winner of this $10,000 annual award, Dan Dongeun Huh, Ph.D., of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, shared his winning presentation entitled “A Human Breathing Lung-on-a-Chip for Drug Screening and Nanotoxicology Applications.”

Three highly-rated short courses offered attendees comprehensive information and advice on 1) Label-Free/Biophysics Methods for Screening; 2) High Content Screening: Instrumentation, Assay Development, Screening, Imaging and Data Analysis; and 3) What Editors Want: An Author Guide to Publishing in Scientific Journals.

The exhibition allowed attendees to explore new laboratory technologies and services from 41 different multinational companies, while 22 poster presentations illustrated the diversity of research initiatives being explored throughout the region.

“We couldn’t be more pleased,” says Mike Zhang, Ph.D., BD Biosciences, Shanghai, China, chair of the 2012 SLAS Asia Conference and Exhibition Scientific Program Committee. “After so many months of planning, it is very rewarding to see and feel the excitement and inspiration that the educational sessions and other related programs generated among the attendees.”

“Asia is a dominant force in shaping the future of scientific innovation,” says SLAS Chief Executive Officer Gregory F. Dummer, C.A.E. “We are delighted and encouraged that so many of the region’s scientific leaders recognize the value of joining our scientific community. Their participation in our conference, exhibition and Society greatly enhances the power and potential of SLAS as an international intersection for scientists, engineers, students and other laboratory research professionals.”

The Third Annual SLAS Asia Conference and Exhibition will be presented June 5-7, 2013, at the Hilton Shanghai Hongqiao in Shanghai, China. The 2013 Scientific Program Committee, led by co-chairs Bin Li, Ph.D., of the Abbott R&D Center in Shanghai, China, and Shaohui Wang, Ph.D., of GlaxoSmithKline in Shanghai, China, have already confirmed Chad Mirkin, Ph.D., as a keynote speaker for the event.

Dr. Mirkin is a professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and director of the International Institute for Nanotechnology at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, USA. Dr. Mirkin serves on U.S. President Barack Obama’s Council of Science and Technology, and is an Einstein Professor of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. National Academy of Engineering. Dr. Mirkin also serves as a Scientific Advisor for the Journal of Laboratory Automation, which is published by SLAS.