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On the Road with SLAS CEO

About this Blog

This blog chronicles my travels as CEO of SLAS, a global professional society dedicated to advancing life sciences discovery and technology. In addition to getting to know me better on a personal level, my goal for this blog is to shine a spotlight on SLAS members and their unique stories and experiences. Opinions expressed within this blog are mine (Vicki Loise) and do not represent those of the Society. And yes, our lawyer told me to include that.

March 13, 2019

SLAS2019, Fun with Our Members, and Off to Berlin


How do YOU say SLAS? It is no secret among the professional team that it drives me a bit crazy when I hear the society’s name mis-pronounced. The team decided to have a little fun with this when brainstorming a theme for an updated membership video. A few creative sessions later and voila, this was the result. I hope you enjoy this as much as we did in making it. And no, I don’t have any acting experience. In all honesty, it wasn’t much acting on my part.

About the Trip

Miles logged on this trip: 12,489 in the air, Chicago to San Diego, Chicago to Berlin, Berlin to Paris and Paris to Chicago!

Planes, trains or automobiles: Planes (and a few Ubers)

It’s been a while since I posted a blog. If you were not able to attend SLAS2019 then you not only missed a great conference but you missed a lot of SLAS updates too. Here is a quick recap:

  • SLAS2019 has come and gone, but it’s not forgotten. We opened with the fascinating keynote by Dr. Teresa Woodruff, Ph.D. and closed with an equally fascinating keynote by Eran Segal, Ph.D. In between were 140+ scientific presentations, ~340 posters, and 311 companies on the exhibit floor. The U.S. government opened just in time for us to mix and mingle among the jewels and animals at the Hamilton-sponsored party at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. SLAS2019 was our best-attended DC conference to date!
  • SEED
    Want to revisit some recordings from SLAS2019? Discover SLAS APPLIED, our new online learning center, which launched this week. APPLIED will eventually house all webinars, online courses and a variety of content captured from SLAS events and experts. Check it out and let us know what you think! SLAS2019 attendees can access the SLAS2019 content for free, Premier members get a substantial discount, and basic members also get a fantastic deal on sessions presented in Washington, DC.
  • SEED
    We kicked off the second year of SLAS Ignite at SLAS2019 and awarded the first SLAS Ignite award to the best company in our Innovation AveNEW program. Congrats go to Georges Muller and SEED Biosciences.
  • We saw a significant increase in the number of people who took advantage of the SLAS Ignite partnering system on the Conference app. A priority of Ignite is to facilitate connections among our Community and we succeeded, with even more networking opportunities coming your way this year.
  • The three Councils are underway with planning the work of the committee(s) that report up to them. They have been reviewing trends in the scientific community and associations in general and devising plans to stay ahead of or in line with those trends.
  • The Professional Team has had several planning sessions to look at both near and mid-term initiatives to ensure our planning is on the right track and executed by the right team members and volunteers.
  • We launched the first Sample Management meeting in the U.S. last November. The meeting was a great success and we are pleased to see it kept pace with the Sample Management meeting (previously Compound Management) in Europe, which just ended with great reviews.
  • This fall we will hold our first AI in Process Automation Symposium in Boston, MA. This event came about due to the significant uptick in interest we were seeing in the Informatics track at the International Conference. If this is an area where you would like to learn more or share your expertise, please submit an abstract and plan to join us later this year.
  • Our finances continue to be on solid ground. We will release our annual report this April once our audit is complete.
  • And we have had some staff changes over the past few months:
    • Amy Wilkinson, CMP, has been promoted to Director of Global Events.
    • Liz Frank joined us a week before Conference in the new position of Program Manager.
    • Christine Diedrich joins us March 13 as Publishing Manager after the departure of Nan Hallock at the end of 2018.
    • Suanne Determan is moving to the newly added position of Membership Coordinator as of April 1, supporting Mary Geismann who was promoted to Senior Membership Manager.

As for me, I just finished up in Berlin at the Europe Sample Management Symposium and from there will meet Board Member Severine Tamas-Lhoustau and Europe Director Caroline Gutierrez at the Hello-Tomorrow Global Summit in Paris. I will be sure to share more updates when I return.

Next up, Barcelona!