SLAS2013 preview: Inside inspiration (part 2)

Member input and needs strong driver for second annual SLAS meeting

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(To go back to part 1 of the SLAS2013 pre-show coverage, click here)
Future SLASconferences
Jan. 18-22, 2014San Diego 
Feb. 7-11, 2015Washington, D.C. 
Jan. 23-27, 2016San Diego 
Feb. 4-8, 2017, Washington, D.C. 
Feb. 3-7, 2018
San Diego
Feb. 2-6, 2019Washington, D.C.  

How the numbers arestacking up
According to SLAS CEO Greg Dummer, SLAS2013 is comparingfavorably to the first annual event held in San Diego last year, though headmits the society had its work cut out for it with last year boasting some5,600 total participants—including attendees, presenters, exhibitors andothers—and some 300 exhibits. 
As of late November, when interviewed by ddn for this pre-conference coverage,most of the numbers were tracking even to what SLAS saw with SLAS2012 at thesame point in time. However, Dummer did note that short-course registration isnoticeably and unexpectedly outpacing last year's numbers.
"Exhibit space is 96-percent sold and going fast," he alsotells ddn, "and sponsorships are at118 percent of plan. Overall, the numbers are pointing in the right direction,and we're feeling really bullish about having an excellent event."

The second timearound, and yet not …
For the few of you that might be very new to the world oflab automation and screening, note that while this is only the second annualconference of the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS), thereare more than three decades of combined conference experience in this event. 
Spring 2010 saw the merger of the Association for LaboratoryAutomation (ALA) and the Society for Biomolecular Sciences (SBS) to form theSLAS, and subsequent to that, the ALA's LabAutomation2011—the 15
th annualLabAutomation show—and SBS' 17th-annual conference and exhibitionwere conducted separately because both events were already locked in frombefore the merger.
Last year marked the first combined event for the newlycreated SLAS, with SLAS2011 being held in early February 2011 at the San DiegoConvention Center.


ANSI renews andaccredits SLAS microplate standards
ST. CHARLES, Ill.—Near the end of October, the Society forLaboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS) got word that the American NationalStandards Institute (ANSI) recently finalized its reaffirmation andredesignation of four existing microplate standards that the Society forBiomolecular Sciences (SBS) had been instrumental in creating in 2004. SBS, itshould be noted, merged with the Association for Laboratory Automation in 2010to form SLAS, hence part of the reason for the redesignation to ANSI/SLAS 1‐2004(R2012), Microplates ‐ Footprint Dimensions (formerlyANSI/SBS 1‐2004); ANSI/SLAS 2‐2004 (R2012), Microplates ‐Height Dimensions (formerly ANSI/SBS 2‐2004); ANSI/SLAS 3‐2004(R2012), Microplates ‐ Bottom Outside Flange Dimensions(formerly ANSI/SBS 3‐2004); and ANSI/SLAS 4‐2004 (R2012), Microplates ‐Well Positions (formerly ANSI/SBS 4‐2004).
 This news followed word in early October that ANSI hadaccredited the new SLAS Microplate Standard 6 for Well Bottom Elevation, knownas ANSI/SLAS 6‐2012.
"SLAS is proud to maintain a leadership role in theimportant arena of microplate standards," said SLAS President Dave Dorsett."Our commitment to advancing scientific research and innovation throughlaboratory technology is an essential part of our society's mission. As anonprofit membership organization, we are fortunate to have access to theexpertise and enthusiasm required to fulfill this role. In this case, sincerethanks are due to Amer El‐Hage, co-chair of the SLASMicroplate Standards Special Interest Group."
SLAS establishesendowed fellowship at UCLA 
ST. CHARLES, Ill.—Mid-June saw the SLAS announce that it hadestablished an endowed fellowship at the University of California Los Angeles(UCLA) to "support novel and innovative cancer research initiatives that arealigned with the scientific focus of the society." Through the SLAS EndowmentFund, the Chicago-area organization will support a new UCLA School of Dentistryresearch program based on the development of novel technologies that serve asvehicles for therapeutic molecular compounds. The research team will performalgorithm-driven feedback analysis "to identify optimal combinations ofnanodiamond-drug complexes, analogous to screening, in order to realizecompounds that are capable of simultaneously maximized efficacy and safety."
The UCLA team will be led by Prof. Dean Ho, who began histenure with the UCLA School of Dentistry on July 1, in collaboration with Prof.Cun-Yu Wang, who is the No-Hee Park Endowed Professor and Chair of Oral Biologyand Medicine at the dental school.
"This generous fellowship from SLAS will bring Dean and metogether to address some important questions in cancer therapeutics and train anew generation of scientists," said Wang, with Ho adding, "The project involvesthe screening for and development of novel therapeutic compounds for theco-suppression of inflammation and tumor growth using a multifunctionalnanodiamond-drug complex. Because it is believed that dual therapy againstinflammation and cancer can mediate significantly enhanced treatment outcomes,the combinatorial screening for optimal drug combinations that arenanodiamond-modified to overcome chemoresistance may result in transformative advancementsin the field."

The Orlando Science Center offers the change toexplore hands-on exhibits, enjoy live programming, experience skywatching inthe observatory during certain times of the year or watch a giant-screen film.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park features manyareas, among them Dinoland, U.S.A., at which you can find the ride DINOSAUR, inwhich you go back 65 million years to capture a mild-mannered dinosaur withoutgetting caught in the jaws of the angry, carnivorous and hungry Carnotaurus. (copyright Disney)

The largest bowling center in the Southeast,Boardwalk Bowl Entertainment Center in Orlando features not just a staggering 80lanes of bowling, pub and grill-style eatery, but also mini-golf and an arcadewith skee ball, air hockey, NASCAR racing, Dance Revolution, Galaga, basketballand many other games.

Baterbys Orlando offers 6,000 square feet of artgallery space, as well as services such as framing, art appraisal, space rentaland home show preview.

The Harry P. Leu Gardens—the gardens themselvesand the historical home therein—were donated to the city of Orlando in 1961 byLeu and his wife, Mary Jane. This 50-acre botanical oasis is located minutesfrom downtown Orlando and each garden in it is designed specifically to furthera mission of inspiring visitors to appreciate and understand plants.

Central Florida's largest shopping destinationfeatures Macy's, Dillard's, JCPenney, Saks Fifth Avenue, Sears, Nordstrom, TheFlorida Mall Hotel and more than 260 specialty stores.

Orlando's International Drive, also known as "I-Drive,"is where you can find many of the city's key attractions, shopping venues,dining options, entertainment, lodging and more.

The historic Church Street District in Orlandois known for its wide variety of restaurants, night clubs and bars, as well asother destinations for locals and tourists.

Cinderella Castle is, as Disney puts it, "theiconic fairy-tale fortress that serves as the gateway to Fantasyland in MagicKingdom theme park." The castle is located in the heart of the Magic Kingdomtheme park, and many guests catch their first glimpse of the castle from MainStreet, U.S.A.
(Copyright Disney)

Located in Celebration, Fla., near Orlando,Celebration Town Center offers restaurants and a variety of boutiques andspecialty shops designed by world-famous architects, adjacent to a lakesidepromenade.

The Kilimanjaro Safaris Expedition attraction atDisney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park allows visitors to "witness the exoticanimals of Africa up close…as you ride in a rugged open-sided safari vehicle."No two safaris are the same, Disney notes, given that giraffes, lions,antelope, rhinos, warthogs, zebras and other species roam freely. (Copyright Disney)

Located between Tampa, Fla., and Orlando,Dinosaur World offers a chance to learn about dinosaurs and participate insimulated fossil digs and other activities, as well as enjoy life-size dinosaurmodels, some as long as eighty feet.

(To go back to part 1 of the SLAS2013 pre-show coverage, click here)

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