Product News: New SLAS Volunteer Leadership Structure Addresses Priorities of Newly Refreshed SLAS Strategic Plan

07 Nov 2013

The Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS) is decentralizing its volunteer leadership structure to achieve the international initiatives outlined in the newly updated SLAS Strategic Plan.

The SLAS Strategic Plan is thoughtfully reconsidered every three years to ensure the functional and strategic alignment of the Society and its programs, products, services and events. The newly refreshed plan was developed for 2014, 2015 and 2016 by the SLAS Strategic Planning Advisory Committee. After being officially approved and accepted by the SLAS Board of Directors, the plan was published at when the Society unveiled its attractively redesigned, user-friendly website on November 1.

“Like its predecessor, our new plan is clear and focused,” says SLAS President Jeff Paslay. “It succinctly defines our purpose, our community and the ways through which we believe we can best serve and sustain both as we expand our global footprint.”

“One way of ensuring that SLAS programs meet the needs of local professionals and markets in Europe and Asia as well as in the Americas is by refining our governance structure,” says Paslay. “The formation of leadership councils in Europe and Asia will facilitate regional planning and decision-making, and will guarantee that members everywhere have active voices in our Society.”

The new, decentralized SLAS leadership model creates three hands-on regional leadership councils in the Americas, Asia and Europe, which will be overseen by one executive board of directors.

“The primary responsibility of the SLAS Europe Council,” says Paslay, “is to use first-hand knowledge of the similarities and differences between our related but distinct scientific communities to successfully implement the SLAS Five-Year Business Plan for Europe.” The groundwork for this plan was put into place in late 2012 when SLAS commissioned a comprehensive study of current and potential SLAS members throughout Europe. The results were encouraging, revealing that regular members regard SLAS very highly and are eager to become more involved on a regional basis.

“Likewise,” Paslay said, “the SLAS Asia Council will use its close connections and understanding of the Asian scientific community to evolve an effective model for member engagement and continue the SLAS Five-Year Business Plan for this part of the world.”

Each leadership council comprises seven representatives from throughout its region. Initially, representatives have been appointed by the SLAS Board of Directors for one- to three-year terms of service, which will begin in 2014. The board appointment process and the staggered terms are for initial organizational purposes only. As inaugural members complete their appointed terms, new members will be elected by members of their respective regions for full three-year terms.

SLAS Europe Council

Three-Year Terms (2014, 2015, 2016)
Steve Rees, VP Screening Sciences and Sample Management, AstraZeneca, UK
Emilio Diez, VP Molecular Research, GlaxoSmithKline, Spain
Burkhard Schaefer, President, BSSN Software, Germany

Two-Year Terms (2014, 2015)
Joerg Trappe, Director of Hit Finding Unit, Novartis Pharma, Switzerland
Ian Shuttler, Head of Product and Strategic Marketing, Tecan, Switzerland

One-Year Terms (2014)
Jörg Kutter, Professor, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Sabrina Corazza, Business Development, Axxam, Italy

SLAS Asia Regional Council
(Term Assignments Pending)

Ying Yang, Managing Director, LBD Life Sciences, China
Bin Li, R&D Director, AbbVie R&D Center, China
Mike Zhang, National Sales Manager, BD Biosciences, China
Jonathan Connick, Executive Director, Head External in vitro Pharmacology; Site Head, EDDS and PCD China; Merck & Company, China
Bing Xie, Managing Director of Asia Pacific Operations, Cisbio Bioassays
Shuyi Si, Director, National Center for Screening New Microbial Drugs, Institute of Biotechnology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, China
Lixin Zhang, Deputy Director of CAS Key Laboratory of Pathogenic Microbiology and Immunology; Inaugural Director of Drug Discovery Center for Tuberculosis; Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

As the SLAS Europe Council and SLAS Asia Council begin their work, the SLAS Board of Directors will complete the new decentralized leadership structure by confirming member appointments to the SLAS Americas Council in spring 2014.