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The Lab Man: Straight Talk with SLAS2016 Innovators

By The Lab Man

(AKA SLAS Director of Education Steve Hamilton)

Who is behind the science and technology that is winning awards at SLAS2016? Six podcasts offer keen insight into innovative minds.


SLAS2016 was a vast playground for the nearly 6,300 participants immersed in education, exploration and connection for five days in January. The Lab Man shares his interviews with SLAS Student Poster Competition and SLAS New Product Award winners, allowing listeners a window into the minds of key SLAS innovators. Enjoy!

SLAS Student Poster Competition Winners

Each year, students, graduate students, post-doctoral associates and junior faculty have the opportunity to share their achievements, gain valuable exposure and win a cash prize in the SLAS Student Poster Competition. Poster judges evaluate a presenter's ability to explain key concepts, respond to questions and demonstrate enthusiasm for their work. The top three student poster authors receive cash awards of $500 each, and the chance to discuss their work in a podcast of The Lab Man and a feature article in the SLAS Electronic Laboratory Neighborhood e-zine. This year's winners:

Joohun Kang, Wyss Institute/Harvard University

Rapid Enumeration and Identification of Rare Food Contaminant Using A Magnetic Microfluidic Device and FcMBL-Conjugated Magnetic Particles

"In order to achieve the goal we needed expertise ranging from biology and protein engineering and microfabrication and commercialization," Kang says. "Our team has staff with diverse backgrounds within industry and academia, and that is how we overcame the technical challenges we faced."

Listen to podcast.

Carrie Lovitt, Griffith University Australia

Automated Evaluation of Anti-Cancer Activity in Advanced Tumor Models

"When doxorubicin is applied to cells in 3D, they are significantly more resistant in comparison to standard monolayer cell culture conditions," Lovitt says in the podcast. "The prosurvival proteins may be partially mediating this resistance and the combination therapy approach may be beneficial."

Listen to podcast.

Masturah Bte Mohd Abdul Rashid, National University of Singapore

Synergistic Combinations Against Bortezomib-Resistant Multiple Myeloma Derived via Phenotypic Personalized Medicine (PPM)

"So in essence, PPM is a platform that is able to determine optimal drug combinations in a single experiment without any prior knowledge of the systems of interest," says Rashid. "From this project we have successfully identified three optimal drug combinations that are efficacious against the bortezomib-resistant multiple myeloma cell line and this has also been validated in vitro."

Listen to podcast.

SLAS New Product Award Winners

Market opportunity. Impact. Originality. Proof of concept. These are the criteria judged for new products launched at SLAS2016. 320 companies participated in the SLAS2016 Exhibition, 40 of which were considered for SLAS New Product Award designations. SLAS congratulates the following winners:


Interviewee: Luc Talini

Primo is an innovative solution for printing proteins on cell culture dishes. Directly mounted on an inverted microscope, the device consists of an optical illumination module coupled with the use of PLPP, a photo-activator molecule. The image to be printed is projected by a UV laser through the microscope in the presence of PLPP, which catalyzes the UV effect. The protein is then added and will bind to the illuminated areas.

Listen to podcast.

Axion BioSystems (Lumos and Maestro APEX)

Interviewee: Catherine Parrish

To facilitate the rapidly emerging use of optogenetic techniques with MEA (microelectrode array) assays, Axion introduces Lumos, an optical stimulation device designed to pair with the Maestro MEA robotic platform for the preparation, maintenance and execution of MEA assay plates. Lumos' capabilities allow cell-type specific activation or inhibition of MEA cultured networks on a multiwall level.

Listen to podcast.

LabMinds (REVO)

Interviewee: Jochen Klingelhoefer

Revo is a smart, adaptable and fully automated liquid solution production system. It offers complete control over measuring and mixing solid and liquid compounds, and over environmental constraints, including sterility. It allows one to order and customize solutions remotely using its web or mobile interface, and notifies you when they have been filtered, securely dispensed and are ready to be collected.

Listen to podcast.

About the Author

The Lab Man is SLAS Education Director Steve Hamilton, Ph.D. He is a creative change maker, delivering the fresh thinking and energy that has helped make SLAS the go-to resource for those in life sciences R&D and technology. After years in the drug discovery world, heading many leading-edge automation projects for companies such as Eli Lilly, Scitec and Amgen, Hamilton joined the SLAS professional team in 2010. He received his Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from Purdue University and a B.S. in chemistry from Southeast Missouri State University.

February 15, 2016