SLAS2013 Unites Thousands of Laboratory Science and Technology Professionals in Orlando
23 Jan 2013

The Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS) welcomed nearly 3,800 participants from 44 countries to SLAS2013, the Second Annual SLAS Conference and Exhibition, at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Orlando, FL, USA, Jan. 12-16, 2013. This five-day annual event brings together scientists, academicians, business leaders and students from around the globe to gain new information, ideas and insight about laboratory science and technology.

“Thank you to all our attendees, exhibitors, presenters and volunteers for their contributions to the success of SLAS2013,” said Jeff Paslay, SLAS President. “The energy, interaction and spirit of community evident this week validates that we are meeting are mission by providing the education, access to new technologies and peer networking opportunities so important to scientific and technology professionals focused on automation and screening.”

Program Highlights
With its primary focus squarely on education, SLAS2013 delivered 132 world-class scientific podium presentations organized within seven topical tracks, three thought-provoking keynote speakers (Mehmet Toner, Sir Harold Kroto, Charles Sabine), 20 one- and two-day short courses, 393 poster presentations and 57 industry-sponsored tutorials and workshops. The SLAS2013 exhibition featured new technology, products and services from 310 different regional, national and multinational companies. The exhibition also showcased the SLAS Innovation AveNEW exhibitors, seven entrepreneurial start-up companies that applied and competed with others to earn complimentary exhibit space and accessories, travel and lodging for one company representative and an invitation to make a presentation at the popular Late Night with LRIG Rapid Fire Innovation session.

Society News
In his opening address on Monday, January 14, SLAS President Jeff Paslay announced that the Society’s Board of Directors has ratified a plan for SLAS expansion in Europe beginning later in 2013. Through this plan, SLAS intends to re-engage with its European members at a higher level, as well as increase its outreach to new laboratory science and professionals. According to Paslay, the initial target markets for SLAS expansion in Europe include Denmark, Germany, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Awards and Honors
Nine exceptional presenters were selected to compete for the 2013 SLAS Innovation Award, the winner of which was announced during the closing session on January 16. Based on criteria that includes quality of science, impact on laboratory automation and screening, originality and creativity, the Innovation Award is judged by a volunteer committee of practicing scientific and technology professionals. In addition to the prestige associated with this distinction, the winner also received a $10,000 cash prize. SLAS congratulates 2013 Innovation Award winner Andrea Weston, Bristol-Myers Squibb, for her presentation, “Making a Quantum Leap in Mass Spectrometry Throughput: Applying the NextVal MassInsight Technology to Monitor Cytochrome P450 Enzyme Inhibition in Human Liver Microsomes”.

More than 66 new products were launched at SLAS2013, and three companies were selected by a panel of judges to receive the SLAS New Product Award (NPA) Designation, recognizing the best of what’s new on the exhibit floor. NPA winners were:

• Andrew Alliance
• GenCell Biosystems
• Prior Scientific

Forty-five students travelled to SLAS2013 from 12 countries to present their work as part of the SLAS Tony B. Academic Travel Awards program and the SLAS Young Scientist Awards program, which provide each with travel, hotel accommodations and full conference registrations. Three students earned top honors in the SLAS2013 Student Poster Competition.

• Kamran Honarnejad, M.Sc., University of Munich (LMU), for “Development and Implementation of a High-throughput FRET-based Calcium Imaging Assay for Alzheimer's Disease Drug Screening”
• Michael T. Jacobs, University of Texas at Dallas, for “A Novel Nanotexturing Approach for Enhanced Biomarker Detection”
• Yang Wu, PhD, University of New Mexico, for “Discovery of Regulators of Receptor Internalization by High Throughput Flow Cytometry”

Forward Focus: SLAS2014
SLAS concluded SLAS2013 with 80% of the SLAS2014 exhibit floor already sold out. SLAS2014, the Third Annual SLAS Conference and Exhibition, will be held January 18-22, 2014, at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA, USA.

SLAS2014 keynote speakers include Eric J. Topol, M.D., a premier cardiologist, genetic researcher and scientist on the forefront of the digital medical technology revolution. Topol, who is director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute, was named “Doctor of the Decade” by the Institute for Scientific Information and is the author of the book The Creative Destruction of Medicine: How the Digital Revolution Will Create Better Health Care.

In addition to Dr. Topol, SLAS2014 will welcome Jad Abumarad and Robert Krulwich, co-hosts of Radiolab, the insightful and entertaining radio show that blurs the boundaries between science, philosophy and human experience. Radiolab is heard around the U.S. on more than 300 public radio stations and is supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

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