Join MySLAS Social

About SLAS

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.

February 23, 2018

Sunshine and Success in San Diego

About the Trip

Miles logged on this trip: 3446

Planes, trains or automobiles: Planes

Road food: Tacos and tequila at the SLAS2018 Tuesday Evening Celebration in Old Town!

Entertainment: SLAS2018 is all the entertainment anyone needs.

You can usually count on February to bring a few things—snowstorms in the north, winter sports and the SLAS International Conference and Exhibition. Thankfully, you don’t have to wait four years for an SLAS Conference, like you do for the winter Olympics. Sometimes, you get two in one year (keep reading to find out when).

I haven’t written a blog in a while. For the most part, and intentionally, I remained at SLAS HQ since mid-November because this is our busiest time of year. Our focus is largely on preparations for the International Conference and ancillary meetings including the Board of Directors meeting. In truth, most of the components of the Conference take about two years to execute. And it is worth every minute.

If you attended SLAS2018, you were part of a record breaking event in many ways.

  • Highest attended Conference with 6628 registrants
  • Highest paid attendance at an SLAS International Conference and Exhibition
  • Largest exhibition at an SLAS International Conference and Exhibition
  • Highest podium presentation attendance at an SLAS International Conference and Exhibition


And there were some new things to check out at SLAS2018:

  • Redesigned SLAS Booth
  • SLAS Ignite Academic Presentations in the new Exhibit Theater
  • SLAS Ignite partner meeting options
  • Exhibitor Solutions Spotlight presentations in the Exhibit Theater
  • Three new scientific tracks – Biologics Discovery, Chemical Biology, High-Definition Biotechnology


There is a full review of the Conference at

It takes a committed team of staff and volunteers to pull off an event like this. And for SLAS2018, this group excelled at every point. With that, I extend my heartfelt appreciation to:

The SLAS2018 Scientific Program Committee:
Conference Co-Chairs: Michelle Arkin, University of California, San Francisco and Tim Spicer, Scripps Research Institute
Melanie Leveridge, GlaxoSmithKline
Shaun McLoughlin, AbbVie
Ed Ainscow, Carrick Therapeutics
Ralph Garippa, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Taosheng Chen, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Louis Scampavia, Scripps Research Institute
Daniel Sipes, The Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation
Rob Howes, AstraZeneca
Benjamin Haley, Genentech
Prashant Mali, University of California, San Diego
Jonathan O’Connell, Forma Therapeutics
Gwen Hansen, Nurix
Chun-wa Chung, GlaxoSmithKline
Peter Hodder, Amgen
Margaret DiFilippo, Dotmatics
Amy Kallmerten, Merck
Angela Cacace, Fulcrum Therapeutics
Paul Blainey, Broad Institute
Andrew deMello, Institute for Chemical and Bioengineering
Sammy Datwani, Labcyte

The SLAS Professional Team:
Brenda Dreier, CMP, Chief Operating Officer
Suanne Determan, Administrative Specialist
Caroline Dubreucq, Europe Senior Event Manager
Mary Geismann, Senior Manager Member Services and Products
Caroline Gutierrez, Europe Director
Nan Hallock, Director of Publishing
Steve Hamilton, Ph.D., Director of Education
Jill Hronek, Director of Marketing and Communications (current)
Tom Manning, Director of Marketing and Communications (former)
Lieven Mariën, Europe Business Development Manager
Susan Elliott-Smith, Editor, SLAS Point-to-Point e-news
Lynn Valastyan, Senior Manager, Communications (former)
Amy Wilkinson, CMP, Senior Manager Events and Education

And to our service partners at:
Conference Managers
David James Group

As you can see, we brought a few of our Europe team members to this event. This was part of the preparations for the first-ever SLAS Europe Conference to be held June 27-29, 2018, in Brussels. This Conference is modeled after the International Conference but with a focus on our European community. If you work or do business in Europe or are looking to expand your reach in Europe—this is a cannot miss event!

The SLAS2019 Scientific Program Committee, Professional Team and our Service Partners are already hard at work on preparations for SLAS2019, February 2-6 in Washington, DC. Mark your calendar now so you too can be part of yet another record-breaking event.

Next up, Berlin, Germany