SLAS2017 Scientific Podium Program
Podium presentations are organized into seven educational tracks. Track and session titles and descriptions and names of track chairs follow below.
The Scientific Program Committee selects speakers based on the innovation, relevance and applicability of research. If your proposed topic does not squarely fit into the focus of one of these tracks, please submit it for the committeeï¿½s consideration anyway. The committee members use their judgment and experience to select presentations that best address the interests and priorities of todayï¿½s life sciences discovery and technology community.
Podium abstracts will be assessed in late summer and the podium program will be finalized and published by early October.
Track Chairs: Dieter Drexler, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Melanie Leveridge, GlaxoSmithKline
The qualitative and quantitative characterization of endogenous and exogenous analytes in biological systems are the basis of drug discovery and development. This track will highlight important developments in bioanalytical technologies, including advances in high-throughput technologies, applications of target and mechanism deconvolution techniques, and targeted biomarker analysis with clinical relevance. Planned sessions include:
- High-Throughput Label Free Bioanalytical Techniques for Hit Identification and Optimisation
Session Chair: Melanie Leveridge, GlaxoSmithKline
- Targeted Biomarker Analysis with Clinical Relevance
Session Chair: Dieter Drexler, Bristol-Myers Squibb
- Target Identification After Phenotypic Screens
Session Chair: Shaun McLoughlin, AbbVie
Label-free bioanalytical techniques, such as mass spectrometry, are an attractive alternative to conventional labelled technologies, offering rapid assay development times and reducing the risk of false positives. This session will focus on the development of such techniques towards higher throughput applications, enabling their deployment earlier in hit discovery.
A growing emphasis in modern medicine is based on objective molecular markers, biomarkers, to assist in disease diagnostic, to support patient stratification, to monitor therapeutic intervention, and to avoid adverse effects. This session will focus on the discovery, development and implementation of biomarkers with clinical relevance.
Phenotypic screening has emerged as a complimentary workflow enabling the identification of progression of unique targets into early discovery therapeutic pipelines. The promise of these screens is tempered by challenges involving hit selection and prioritization as well as in target identification and validation. This session will focus on technological advances addressing these issues.
Track Chairs: Cathy Tralau-Stewart, University of California, San Francisco and Edward Ainscow, Carrick Therapeutics
The continued development of novel and more physiologically relevant assay technologies combined with evolving strategies for compound and RNAi library screening seek to broaden both the scope of target classes that can be addressed and to improve High-Throughput Screening success rates. This track will focus on recent innovations across the field including the application of new instrumentation, hardware, and novel assay technologies to compound and/or RNAi library screening. The emphasis will be on case histories where the technology has been developed and implemented in an High-Throughput Screening campaign and the triage process to confirm hits will be described. Planned sessions include:
- Phenotypic, Model Organism and High-Content Screening Assays
Session Chair: Susanne Heynen-Genel, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute
- Biochemical and Biophysical Screening Assays
Session Chair: Razvan Nutiu, Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research (Cambridge)
- Cellular Manipulation and Genome Editing in Screening Assay Design
Session Chair: Ralph Garippa, Sloan Kettering
- Assay Platforms for Biologics
Session Chair: Rob Howes, MedImmune
- Screening the Undruggable
Session Chair: John Lazo, University of Virginia
- Rational Screen Design
Session Chair: Edward Ainscow, Carrick Therapeutics
The focus of this session will be on the use of single or multicellular model organisms, the application of emerging high content imaging in 2D and 3D and the use of advanced image and data analysis algorithms to enable screening of novel biological phenotypes.
This session aims to highlight novel biochemical and biophysical approaches with particular emphasis on their application in high-throughput screening campaigns. The focus will be on case studies and provide lessons learned in the utilization of new target classes, reagents, assay readouts or logistics to achieve efficient assay miniaturization and throughput.
More sophisticated tools for the accurate mirroring of pathogenic pathways within engineered cell-based screening systems can offer insights on new routes to drug discovery. This session will highlight cell-based assay development with pooled and microplate-based library screening strategies, leveraging recent advances in gene editing/modification technologies and cellular manipulation.
This session will focus on advanced discovery technologies and novel assay designs for derivation of large-molecule therapeutic agents, such as protein biologics and monoclonal antibodies. Topics will include innovative assays for detection of rare functional antibodies, protein evolution strategies, new approaches to humanizing murine-derived proteins, and associated selection techniques.
The concept of druggability is a controversial one. Whilst the majority of marketed drugs come from a few target classes, novel therapeutics are being progressed that act on protein-protein interactions, adaptor proteins, transcription factors as well as non-protein targets. We will discuss this in the context of screening approaches and tools that enable the identification and development of molecules acting via mechanisms previously thought to be undruggable.
Complex phenotypic assays can often lead to limitations in the size of screening campaigns. Similarly, screening drug combinations to identify synergistic interactions can far exceed screening capacity. In such cases, intelligent screening strategies can be employed to find the optimal hits when screening capacity is limited. This session will focus Iterative screening design, sparse sampling and design of screening libraries for chemical and biological diversity to enable efficient sampling of compounds space.
Track Chairs: Craig Schulz, Amgen and Taosheng Chen, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
This track focuses on the innovative use of biological or chemistry applications, tools, technologies, and techniques as they pertain to automated high-throughput screening, the advancement of laboratory processes or improvement of the quality and impact of experimental laboratory data. Emphasis is placed on advancements in chemically and biologically relevant technologies using engineering, analytical, informatics, and application to cutting edge automation-assisted research. Planned sessions include:
- High-Content and High-Throughput Automation
Session Chair: Louis Scampavia, Scripps
- Screening Automation: Modular Systems vs. Highly Integrated Systems
Session Chair: Paul Anderson, Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation
- Automating Phenotypic and Target-Based Discovery using Parallel Automated Approaches
Session Chair: Robin Felder, University of Virginia
- Using Physiologically-Relevant Models for Automated Screens
Session Chair: Shane Horman, Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation
- Automating Novel Analytical Tools for PKA, Drug-Drug Combination and Synergy Assays, Drug Repurposing
Session Chair: Wei Zheng, National Institutes of Health
- In-House Automation: Devices and Software Developed Internally
Session Chair: Rob Keyser, Amgen
This session will focus on approaches using fully automated platform to close the gap on fully automated high content Ultra high-throughput screening. Combining microfluidic cell based screening approaches to get one step closer to closed loop automated screening.
This session will focus on the design of automated processes that are made possible by coupling automated components together to realize an entire automated workflow. Topics to include data management, increasing throughput, high level software control and the logistics of pairing automated systems together.
More sophisticated tools for the accurate mirroring of pathogenic pathways within artificial cell-based screening systems can offer insights on new routes to drug discovery. This session will highlight cell-based assay development and microplate-based chemical library screening strategies leveraging recent advances in gene replacement/modification technologies and cellular biosensors.
This session will focus on using physiologically-relevant models (e.g., patient-derived organoids, co-cultures, etc.) for screens (genetic or chemical), which might be challenging to be automated. The emphasis will be on the content but not the throughput of the assay.
This session will focus on automating novel analytical tools for PKA, drug-drug combination and synergy assays, drug repurposing.
This session will focus on in-house designed and developed automation to support internal laboratory processes. Emphasis on home grown technology and not vendor supplied or commercially available platforms
Track Chairs: John Doench, the Broad Institute and Benjamin Haley, Genentech
The tools to easily and specifically manipulate human cells is driving the next revolution in biology in much the same way that recombinant DNA technology fueled life science research for the past forty years. Technologies such as RNAi and CRISPR have enabled basic research to determine gene function and identify new drug targets. Further, precision editing of genes coupled with continued innovation in the understanding and diversity of cell types promises the creation of more relevant models for phenotypic screening. This track will focus on these emerging cellular technologies, including the development of gene editing tools, the application of these tools to create accurate cellular models, and genetic screens to understand disease mechanisms and identify therapeutic targets. Planned sessions include:
- Advances in Genome Editing Technologies
Session Chair: Gregory Davis, MIlliporeSigma
- Development of Cellular Models for Phenotypic Screening
Session Chair: Joel Klappenbach, Merck
- Genetic Screens for Target Discovery and Validation
Session Chair: Lou Staudt, NIH
Nature has provided numerous tools that can be repurposed to edit genomic information. This session will focus on cutting-edge DNA modification tools such as those derived from CRISPR loci.
The outcomes of a phenotypic screen are only as useful as the fidelity of the cellular model. This session will focus on the development of faithful and robust pre-clinical models that can be deployed in screening assays.
The application of CRISPR and RNAi technologies to model systems has enabled the systematic dissection of gene function, a critical step in understanding how gene dysfunction leads to disease. This session will highlight advances in functional genomic technologies and provide experimental paradigms for successful genetic screens.
Track Chairs: David Swinney, iRND3 and Chun-wa Chung, GlaxoSmithKline
Drug discovery relies on a deep understanding of the biology underlying disease states and the mechanisms-of-action of active drug leads. This track focuses on emerging strategies for selecting drug-discovery approaches and evaluating drug leads. Planned sessions include:
- Innovative or Successful Collaborations for Hard Targets
Session Chair: Chun-wa Chung, GlaxoSmithKline
- Uniting Phenotypic and Target-Based Drug Discovery
Session Chair: Fabien Vincent, Pfizer
- Non-Traditional Modalities as Drug Substances
Session Chair: Stephen Hale, Ensemble Therapeutics
A celebration of innovative collaborations that have advanced approaches and/or science for our toughest targets. This session highlights diverse collaborations (across technologies, institutions, Biotech, instrument manufactuers, etc.), their benefits and challenges, but ultimately their elements that lead to success with hard targets.
This session will focus on highlighting the complementarity and synergies which can be derived from the concurrent application of these two drug discovery modalities.
Targets and pathways that have proved difficult or intractable to "drug" by traditional "rule-ofï¿½five" compounds are increasingly the focus of discovery efforts exploiting new classes of molecules that expand the conventional landscape of drug modalities.
Track Chairs: Lenny Teytelman, Protocols.io and Margaret DiFilippo, Dotmatics
Modern life sciences research laboratories now generate and analyze data from diverse sources. The Internet has changed how science is done and shared. Informatics plays a critical role in the warehousing, analysis, visualization and flow of these data throughout organizations and between collaborators. This track will focus on the role of informatics in supporting the new operational challenges, enabling knowledge and data discovery, facilitating secure collaboration, and improving scientific productivity. Planned sessions include:
- Let There Be Light: Informatics Approaches to Exploring the Dark Genome
Session Chair: Rajarshi Guha, NCATS
- The Challenges and Benefits of Collaboration
Session Chair: Farida Kopti, Merck
- Enhancing Scientific Reproducibility and Reuse Through Better Workflow and Data Technologies
Session Chair: Tim Gardner, Ryffin
- Making Scientific Data 100x Easier to Use
Session Chair: Megean Schoenberg, Merck
- Informatics of Drug Design and Compound Life Cycle Management
Session Chair: Dmitry Lupyan, Schrodinger
- The Digital Dark Hole: Publishing Large-Scale Data and Analysis
Session Chair: Laurie Goodman, GigaScience
With efforts such as the NIH-funded Illuminating the Druggable Genome (IDG) program, there is great interest and a pressing need to understand the "dark genome" — the subset of genes that have little to no information about them in the literature or databases. This session will focus on current efforts by members of the IDG program and the community in general on developing informatics resources for data aggregation and integration, target prioritization and platform development. In addition, topics such as characterization of druggability and novel approaches to connecting heterogeneous datasets that allow us to shed light on the dark genome will be considered.
This session will focus on collaboration within and outside of an organization presents clear benefits for productivity. At the same time, both internal and external collaborations present challenges. This session will focus on the pluses and minuses of working with CROs, platforms for managing cross-group communication, and connections between industry and academia.
Drawing from the experiences of speakers in academia, government, and industry, this session emphasizes the use of enhanced workflows, quality management systems, and data utilization to improve experimental rigor and data reproducibility in research and development.
Data is everywhere. However, making insightful decisions to accelerate scientific discovery, based on that data, continues to be one of our biggest technical challenges. We are working towards the day when formulating the right question requires more time than interrogating the data to answer it. This session will discuss emerging tools and platforms for storing, manipulating, and making sense of high throughput data.
This session will focus on challenges and solutions of compound management from registration, inventory, assay development, screening and testing.
Journals are 350 years old, set up for print/PDF, publishing & sharing datasets, analysis pipelines is a huge challenge.
Track Chairs: Sindy Tang, Stanford University and Andrew deMello, Institute for Chemical and Bioengineering
This track broadly encompasses new and emerging technologies including microfluidics, microarrays, microreactors, nanodevices, and nanotechnologies with emphasis on methods and materials applicable to high-throughput chemistry, high-content screening, point-of-care diagnostics, biology and clinical analysis. Planned sessions include:
- Digital and Droplet Microfluidics
Session Chair: Adam Abate, UCSF
- Commercialization Perspectives for Micro- and Nanofluidic Devices
Session Chair: Sammy Datwani, LABCYTE
- Single Cell Analyses
Session Chair: Daniel Chiu, University of Washington
- Making Micro-Volume Biology Work: Tools, Techniques & Secrets
Session Chair: Daniel Sipes, Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation
- Bioprinting: Multidimensional Microscale Cellular/Tissue Engineering
Session Chair: Markus Rimann, ZHAW School of Life Sciences and Facility Management
- Microphysiological Systems
Session Chair: Daniel Huh, Penn
This session will focus on the use of droplet-based or segmented flow microfluidics for high-throughput biological experimentation. Multiphase microfluidic systems utilize pL-nL droplets as chemical reactors, and afford precise control over the volume and chemical content of each reaction vessel. Importantly, bespoke droplets may be formed at kHz frequencies and processed downstream using a range of active or passive components. Session topics include but are not limited to: fluid and particle handling in droplets, the physics and modeling of multiphase flow, detection techniques, cell and biomolecular assays, nanomaterial fabrication, and other novel applications of droplets in chemistry and biology.
The commercialization of micro and nanofluidic devices has had promise for providing novel solutions to deliver high-throughput, more efficient, integrated biological and chemical analysis tools. This session will address important insights and lessons gleaned from research and development efforts towards delivering commercial novel micro and nanofluidic integrated systems to the life science and clinical market. Of particular interest will be papers that include, but are not limited to, integrated systems and platforms enabling multi and single cellular analysis, point-of-care use devices, bio-analytical systems, sample preparation, novel sensors and separation devices. Issues addressing systems integration, materials selection, production processes, unit cost, operational cost, reagent storage and operational lifetime will be of significant interest.
This session will focus on micro- and nano-engineered systems designed for the robust manipulation and analysis of single cells in high-throughput. Examples of relevant topics include, but are not limited to, single-cell preparation and isolation, single-cell genomics tools, single-cell protein analysis, single-cell imaging, high-throughput single-cell interrogation in flow and microfluidic single-cell signaling analysis.
This session will focus on exploring the practical tools & methods, as well as related physics and chemistry, of doing biology in a micro volume environment, including arrays, microwells, droplets, flowing streams. Examples include strategies to control evaporation, sample aggregation, handling of complex non-newtonian samples such as protein-polymer complexes.
This session will focus on multidimensional bioprinting technologies for Life Sciences Research, including scaffolds and cellular constructs in arrays or flowing environments.
This session will focus on development and application of microphysiological systems that integrate microfabrication and microfluidics technologies with cultured living cells to mimic complex structure and functionality of tissues, organs, and organ systems.