SLAS Selects $10,000 Innovation Award Winner at LabAutomation 2011
04 Feb 2011

The Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS) announces the winner of the $10,000 SLAS Innovation Award presented at LabAutomation2011. Kamlesh Patel, Senior Scientist, Sandia National Laboratories, was honored for his outstanding podium presentation, 'Preparation of Nucleic Acid Libraries for Ultra High Throughput Sequencing with a Digital Microfluidic Hub'.

The winner was announced during the closing plenary session at LabAutomation2011, the world’s leading conference and exhibition on emerging laboratory technologies. The conference, held January 29-February 2, 2011 at the Palm Springs Convention Center, Palm Springs, CA, USA, hosted more than 4,400 participants from around the globe.

The SLAS Innovation Award recognizes the top 10 finalists from a roster of submitted abstracts thoroughly reviewed by the Innovation Award Committee. Qualifying abstracts are selected based on their demonstration of extraordinary vision, originality, seminal technology, applications and strategies. Once on-site in Palm Springs, the judging panel attends and evaluates each finalist’s presentation and collectively selects the winner of the SLAS Innovation Award based upon the impact on laboratory automation, originality/creativity, quality of the science and oral presentation. The winner is presented with a $10,000 check.

“We are thrilled with the diversity and quality of all submissions for the highly competitive SLAS Innovation Award,” says SLAS Innovation Award Committee Chair Jörg Kutter, Ph.D. “All top 10 presentations were extraordinary, but the solid presentation by Kamlesh clearly won the coveted award. The SLAS Innovation Award was created specifically to recognize cutting-edge research and the individual behind the work, and Kamlesh’s exploration into nucleic acid libraries for ultra high throughput sequencing with a digital microfluidic hub will impact the scientific community for years to come.”

In addition to the $10,000 SLAS Innovation Award, SLAS annually awards the SLAS New Product Award (NPA) designation to up to three of the top new products showcased on the LabAutomation exhibit floor. This year’s NPA winners are:

• Cellasic – Pearl Microfluidic Hepatocyte Culture System
• Covaris, Inc. – LE220 Ultrasonicator
• Microsaic Systems Ltd – Microsaic 3500 MiD

Each year, SLAS also recognizes the authors of a scientific manuscript published in the Journal of Laboratory Automation (JALA) with the JALA Readers’ Choice Award. This year’s winning manuscript, authored by scientists from South Korea, is “Development of an Improved Scheduling Algorithm for Lab Test Operations on a Small-Size Bio Robot Platform” (from JALA 15.1 February 2010). The authors include Seung Hoon Shin, Byung June Choi, Sung Moo Ryew, Jung Woo Kim, Dae Shick Kim, Wan Kyun Chung, Hyouk Ryeol Choi and Ja Choon Koo.

Rounding out the awards recipients at LabAutomation2011 are the student poster award winners. SLAS selected a limited number of student posters to be presented at the conference and considered for the Student Poster Awards Competition, which results in cash prizes. LabAutomation2011 student poster award winners are:

• 1st Place – Kelly Karns, University of California, Berkeley
"Human Tear Fluid-Based Point-of-Care Diagnostics Enabled by Integrated Microfluidic Systems"
• 2nd Place – Amy Hsiao, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
"High-Throughput 3D Spheroid Culture and Drug Testing Using a 384 Hanging Drop Array”
• 3rd Place – Vinay J. Nagaraj, The Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, Tempe
"Miniature Electronic Biosensor for the Detection of Glycan Biomarkers”

Industry professionals are already looking forward to SLAS2012, the inaugural SLAS Conference and Exhibition which joins former premier events, LabAutomation and the SBS Conference and Exhibition. Peter G. Schultz, Ph.D., Scripps Family Chair Professor in the Department of Chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute will headline the prestigious SLAS2012 line-up as the first in a series of keynote speakers.

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