SLAS2016 Track Descriptions

The SLAS2016 scientific program will feature seven educational tracks. Detailed track descriptions and preliminary session titles are included below.

If you cannot find your particular topic of interest listed in this below but wish to report on research related to one of the track themes, we encourage you to submit your abstract for consideration by the Program Committee. Individual session descriptions will be displayed in Summer 2015.

The Scientific Program Committee will finalize the podium presentation program in September 2015 at which time the presentation schedule and abstracts will be posted within the SLAS2016 Event Scheduler.

Advances in Bioanalytics, Biomarkers and Diagnostics

Characterization of biological systems and the quantitative analysis of biomolecules and metabolites relevant to disease modification are critical activities in the health and biopharmaceutical sectors. This track will highlight important developments in bioanalytical technologies, including advances in sample handling, large and small molecule identification/quantitation, molecular and functional imaging*, and data analysis. This track will also address new technologies that facilitate the discovery and use of biomarkers as well as novel platforms for diagnostics of disease and response to therapies. Preliminary session titles include:

  • Biomarkers/Translational Sciences
  • MS & Other Label-Free Bioanalytics for Screening and Biomarkers
  • Advances in Bioanalytical Sample Preparation

Assay Development and Screening

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 HTS 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 HTS campaign and the triage process to confirm hits will be described. Preliminary session titles include:

  • Biochemical and Biophysical Screening Assays
  • Cellular Biosensors and Genome Editing in Screening Assay Design
  • Compound Libraries and Medicinal Chemistry in Screening
  • Phenotypic, Model Organism and High Content Screening Assays
  • Assay Platforms for Biologics
  • Secondary Screens, Removing Artifacts and Compound Profiling Assays in HTS

Automation and High Throughput Technologies

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. Preliminary session titles include:

  • Automating Phenotypic and Target Based Discovery using Parallel Automated Approaches
  • Advances in High Throughput Analytics and Automation
  • Emerging Techniques for Clinical Laboratory Automation
  • Screening Automation: Modular systems vs. Highly Integrated Systems
  • High Content and High Throughput Automation
  • Extreme Automation

Cellular Technologies

Advances in methodologies to control gene expression and to introduce reporters and sensors into cells, combined with technological advances in instruments measuring cellular events have improved both target validation and cell-based screening efforts. This track will focus on recent methodology and applications underlying gene editing approaches in target knockdown studies, the introduction of reporters into cells, as well as applications to control gene expression. Additionally, this track will cover the detection technologies associated with measuring these cellular systems. Progress in cell growth for tissue regeneration will also be a subject of this track. Preliminary session titles include:

  • Genetic Screens for Target Discovery and Validation
  • Gene Editing for Disease Models and Therapeutic Applications
  • Effective Strategies for Discovering Molecular Mechanisms of Action

Drug Target Strategies

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. Preliminary session titles include:

  • Alternative Screening Strategies for Hard Targets
  • Physiologically Relevant Target Strategies
  • Effective Strategies for Discovering Molecular Mechanisms of Action


Modern life science 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. Preliminary session titles include:

  • Collaboration: Drug Discovery in the Internet Era
  • Data Wrangling: ELN, Registration, LIMS, etc...
  • Data Visualization
  • Machine Learning to Optimize Experiments
  • Handling Complex Data: Phenotypic, Target, High-Content
  • Crowdsourcing Science

Micro/Nano Technologies

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. Preliminary session titles include:

  • Digital and Droplet Microfluidics
  • Microphysiological Systems
  • Commericialization Strategies for Micro and Nanofluidic Devices
  • Diagnostics and Point-of-Care Microdevices
  • Micro and Nanofluidics for Bioanalytical Systems
  • Microengineering for Single Cell Manipulation and Analysis