WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS) welcomed 4,964 participants from 34 countries to SLAS2015, the Fourth Annual SLAS Conference and Exhibition, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., Feb. 7-11, 2015. This five-day annual event brings together scientists, academicians, business leaders and students from around the globe to gain new information, ideas and insight about laboratory science and technology.
“We’re extremely pleased with the attendance, program quality and connections facilitated at SLAS2015,” said Dean Ho, SLAS President. “We are so grateful for the contributions of our attendees, presenters, exhibitors and all who made SLAS2015 the great success it was.”
SLAS2015 marked the first-time SLAS has held this annual conference and exhibition in Washington, D.C.. The location enabled a select group of participants from the U.S. federal government to participate as presenters, panelists and attendees, highlighted by NIH Director Francis Collins, who delivered a keynote address on Wednesday, Feb. 11. “As a first-time location for this meeting, D.C. exceeded our expectations. We look forward to returning here in 2017, after SLAS2016 is held in San Diego next January,” Ho remarked.
In 2014, SLAS, headquartered near Chicago, set in motion a multiyear rotation between San Diego (even number years) and D.C. (odd number years) as host city for the society’s flagship annual event.
San Diego readily attracts the biotechnology community, noted former SLAS President Daniel Sipes in a pre-show interview with DDNews. In addition to government types, Sipes added that Big Pharma and European representatives seemed to find the East Coast location convenient.
Sipes noted that since the merger of the SBS and the ALA four years ago to form SLAS, the annual meeting has been structured with three pillars: education, exhibits and community. Many attendees, he observed, come principally for one of the three, particularly the exhibits, but post-event surveys have indicated all three aspects rate highly with attendees.
SLAS2015 featured 140 podium presentations across seven educational tracks, which were: Assay Development and Screening, Automation and High-Throughput Technologies, Bioanalytical Techniques, Biomarker Discovery and Applications, Drug Target Strategies, Micro- and Nanotechnologies and, finally, Informatics.