What to expect from SLAS2022 

SLAS2022 in Boston is moving ahead as an in-person event with a hybrid component from February 5-9, 2022 at Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, which unsurprisingly has many from the drug discovery industry excited, including the DDW team, who will be stationed at Booth 1945.  

DDW has teamed up with SLAS to produce an exclusive supplement containing insight from experts across the industry who are looking forward to showcasing the future of lab automation. 

The DDW and SLAS2022 supplement, available as a flipbook here, asks What Does the Lab of the Future Look Like with contributions from David Walt, Harvard Medical School on Lessons from the Pandemic; Joshua Kangas, Carnegie Mellon University, on the Lab of the Future and Daniel Rines, Strateos, on Building AI into the Lab. 

What to expect at ELRIG UK’s Drug Discovery 2021 

1. The SLAS Innovation Awards 

The SLAS Innovation Awards are a pillar of the event, and finalist presentations will take place on February 8, from 10AM- 5PM, and will be live-streamed to the online audience. Read more about the finalists here 

As well as witnessing the newest addition to the award-winning alumni, there is also opportunity at SLAS2022 to hear from SLAS2021 Innovation Award winner, Sisi Chen, Ph.D. (Caltech), SLAS2020 Innovation Award winner: Joseph de Rutte, Ph.D. (University of California, Los Angeles) and SLAS2019 Innovation Award winner: Christian Soitu, Ph.D. (Oxford University). 

2. Keynote speakers 

SLAS2022 will bring together experts from across the globe, which is evident in the selection of keynote speakers.  

Carolyn Bertozzi, PhD, will present the opening keynote presentation, “Therapeutic opportunities in glycoscience”. Bertozzi is an Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Chemistry, Professor of Chemical & Systems Biology and Radiology (by courtesy), and Baker Family Director at Stanford ChEM-H. The presentation, sponsored by Thermo Fisher Scientific, covers cell surface glycans, which constitute a rich biomolecular dataset that drives both normal and pathological processes. Their “readers” are glycan-binding receptors that can engage in cell-cell interactions and cell signaling. The research Bertozzi is presenting focuses on mechanistic studies of glycan/receptor biology and applications of this knowledge to new therapeutic strategies. She will cover the recent efforts which center on pathogenic glycans in the tumour microenvironment and new therapeutic modalities based on the concept of targeted degradation. 

Featured keynote speaker Raven Solomon will present, “The clear case for diversity, equity and inclusion in life sciences”. In this keynote, Solomon breaks down the connection between equity and generations that every organisation needs to know and lean into to thrive in a marketplace that is growing more racially and ethnically diverse by the decade. She helps attendees of all backgrounds understand how and why a generation can impact how they view, understand, and even combat racism. Attendees are expected to leave with greater clarity on the role their generation can play in fighting for racial equity, and how to effectively collaborate with other generations in that pursuit. 

David Walt, Ph.D, of Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Wyss Institute at Harvard, will present the closing keynote presentation, “Bringing biomarkers from discovery to clinical impact”. Walt, who has also contributed to the DDW/SLAS supplement, discusses how new technologies can facilitate biomarker discovery by increasing throughput, detecting biomarkers at lower concentrations, and enabling detection of molecules that haven’t been discovered previously. Biomarker discovery, however, is only the beginning of the process. Walt will explain how biomarkers must be validated and methods must be developed for measuring them reproducibly with sufficient throughput to be used in both research and the clinic. The development of new biomarker technology platforms for both discovery and wider implementation involves automation and scaleup to enable biomarker use in research, drug development, and clinical diagnosis. 

3. Innovation AveNEW 

Innovation AveNEW is a programme designed for start-up or emerging companies in the life sciences and technologies space. This specially designated area of the exhibition will connect these organisations to purchasing influencers and decision-makers from around the world — at no cost. Companies selected for Innovation AveNEW are given the opportunity to elevate the promotion of their new company, product or service. Innovation AveNEW companies pay no fees and are rewarded with access to a global audience and business consulting, and can opt-in to compete for the SLAS Ignite Award. Innovation AveNEW applications are accepted year-round for the International Conference & Exhibition and the Europe Conference & Exhibition. 

Innovation AveNEW companies who opt-in to compete for the SLAS Ignite Award will be judged by an SLAS panel on a combination of key concepts, including their marketing plan, market presence and potential; funding prospects; plan for growth and the existence of balanced company leadership, among other qualities, for a chance to win $5,000. 

4. Solutions Spotlight 

Solutions Spotlights are 20-minute exhibitor presentations taking place in the Exhibition Theater on the expo floor. More information on the schedule is available at https://www.slas.org/events-calendar/slas2022-international-conference-and-exhibition/  

Online media centre  

In the SLAS2022 Online Media Centre, the organisation will be showcasing the breaking product, award and society news that comes out of this year’s conference.  

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