The Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS) welcomed 5,819 participants from 46 countries to SLAS2014, the Third Annual SLAS Conference and Exhibition, at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, Calif., Jan. 18-22, 2014. This five-day annual event convened scientists, academicians, business leaders and students from around the globe to gain new information, ideas and insight about laboratory science and technology.
With its primary focus on education, SLAS2014 included 132 scientific podium presentations organized within seven topical tracks, two thought-provoking keynote presentations (Dr. Eric Topol and Radiolab co-hosts Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich), 17 one- and two-day short courses, 376 poster presentations and 57 industry-sponsored tutorials. The SLAS2014 exhibition featured new technology, products and services from 306 different regional, national and multinational companies. The exhibition also showcased the SLAS Innovation AveNEW exhibitors, eight 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 at SLAS2014.
Awards and Honors
Nine exceptional presenters were selected to compete for the 2014 SLAS Innovation Award, the winner of which was announced during the closing session on Jan. 22. Based on criteria that include 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 2014 Innovation Award winner Patrick P. Beattie, Diagnostics For All, Cambridge, Mass. (USA), for his award-winning presentation: Paper-Based Sensors for Low-Cost Diagnostics.
More than 45 new products were launched at SLAS2014, 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.
SLAS2014 NPA winners were:
• Coastal Genomics (www.coastalgenomics.com); Product: Ranger Technology
• Dynamic Biosensors GmbH (www.dynamic-biosensors.com/); Product: switchSENSE Analyzer DRX 2400
• Planet Innovation (www.planetinnovation.com.au); Product: Gavi
Forty-six students traveled to SLAS2014 from 10 countries to present their work as part of the SLAS Tony B. Academic Travel Awards program and the SLAS Young Scientist Awards program. These programs provide recipients with travel, hotel accommodations and full conference registrations. Three individuals earned top honors in the SLAS2014 Student Poster Competition:
• Garrett Mosley, University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Department of Bioengineering, for "Layer-by-Layer Chitosan-Alginate Coating of Polymeric Nanoparticles for Colon Specific Drug Delivery"
• Tim Ruckh, PhD, Northeastern University, for "Ultra-small and Ratiometric Nanosensors for Dynamic Potassium Imaging"
• Kris Wilson, Ph.D, University of Edinburgh, for "A Novel High Throughput Drug Screening Technique Targeting Human Kynurenine 3-Monooxygenase"
Looking Ahead: SLAS2015
SLAS2015, the Fourth Annual SLAS Conference and Exhibition, will be held Feb. 7-11, 2015, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., USA.