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SLAS Mentor Program

All attendees are welcome to participate in the SLAS2018 Career Connections offerings! Don't miss out on the opportunity for FREE one-on-one mentoring and career counselling with an industry expert. Click here for a complete schedule of Career Connection offerings.

Colin White, Ph.D, Director, Product Development, Anika Therapeutics, Inc. will be available for one-on-one career counseling sessions in the SLAS Booth on Monday and Tuesday. Schedule a session to have your resume reviewed, hone your interviewing techniques, or simply discuss the options available to you in the workplace today. Sign up using the link above to schedule a session with Colin in the SLAS Booth.

Mentoring sessions will be 45 minutes in length and will be held Monday and Tuesday in the morning and afternoon. These sessions are first come-first serve. Review the SLAS2018 Mentor bios below to determine who would be the best fit for you, then sign up here.

Email Suanne Determan with any questions, or stop by the SLAS Booth for more details.

 

SLAS2018 Mentors:

Gregory C. Adam, Merck
Principal Scientist
Early Discovery In Vitro Pharmacology

After completing Bachelor degrees in chemistry and biology at Southern Methodist University, Gregory Adam earned his Ph.D. from the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA, where his thesis in the labs of Benjamin Cravatt and Erik Sorensen focused on developing a non-directed approach to activity-based protein profiling. He moved to Merck Research Labs in 2003 and joined a newly formed Target Validation department as a member of a team tasked with the development and implementation of an Affinity Selection/Mass Spectrometry platform for small molecule lead identification. In 2009, Greg transferred to the department of Screening and Protein Sciences in North Wales, PA, where he focused on the development, miniaturization, and execution of robust biochemical and cell-based assays utilizing a wide range of technologies for uHTS screening. He was also responsible for integrating label free technologies such as the Agilent RapidFire high throughput mass spectrometry system. In 2016, Greg transitioned to the Pharmacology department in West Point, PA where he leads a team focused on the development and execution of assays including enzymatic and biochemical binding assays to support the characterization and advancement of compounds for neuroscience and infectious disease programs.

 

Anne Baldwin, Counsyl
Senior Laboratory Automation Engineer

Automation Engineer with 10+ years biotech industry experience with applications and liquid handling development. I started as a RA developing assays for protein quality assessment at the bench, then transitioned to applying assays to robotics systems (in GMP environment). Now I spend my days designing robustness testing for high throughput nucleic acid purification systems.

 

Peter Goldenblatt, Merck
Senior Scientist
Pharmacology

Peter Goldenblatt earned his B.S. in Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Miami and began his career in the Biopharmaceutical industry in 1997 at Mitotix/GPC-Biotech. Later he worked at Curis as a scientist and an automation manager. Since 2006, Peter has been at Merck Research Laboratories, Boston and is currently a Senior Scientist within the Pharmacology Assay Operations Team. Peter has wide-ranging expertise in laboratory automation & integration, high throughput biochemical and cell based screens, and High Content Screening. He currently oversees the integrated automation laboratory at Merck Boston, supporting early discovery efforts in Immuno-oncology, Neuroscience, and Diabetes.

 

Rajarshi Guha, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)
Research Scientist, Division of Pre-Clinical Innovation

Rajarshi Guha is an informatics research scientist in the Division of Pre-Clinical Innovation at NCATS. With over 10 years of experience in handling, analysing and visualizing chemical information, he brings a diverse range of skills and experience to his current role at NCATS. He is involved in small molecule development projects in a variety of therapeutic areas including rare cancers and infectious diseases. He is also involved in software and algorithm development in the areas of cheminformatics methods and large scale infrastructure projects including Pharos (http://pharos.nih.gov/) BARD (http://bard.nih.gov/) and the Trans-NIH RNAi Screening Initiative. His research interests focus on methodology development to analyze and visualize chemical biology data sets, with specific focus on techniques to link chemical structure information to molecular, bibliographic, genomic and clinical covariates to explain the effects of small molecules in the context of larger biological systems. His recent work has focused on the development of novel analytic and visualization methods for combination screening results. An active member of the cheminformatics community, he has made contributions to various open-source projects and has held multiple leadership roles in the American Chemical Society’s Division of Chemical Information and is currently a co-Editor in Chief of the Journal of Cheminformatics.

 

Shaghayegh Harbi, Ph.D. — Scientist / Adjunct Assistant Professor
VasculoTox, Inc.

Shaghayegh has extensive teaching experience (~10 years) teaching undergraduate students as well as post-graduate students including graduate students and clinical fellows. As a scientist, I have broad experience in both clinical (clinical trials phase I-IV) and basic science research. My research interests include: 1) projects that evaluate the tumor immune microenvironment and the involvement of the immune system (immune tolerance and immune privilege), endocrine system, vascular system (vascular compartment - pericyte/endothelial interaction), and development; 2) single-cell level analysis for the identification of subsets and the functional application of electrically excitable and unexcitable membranes involved in normal development (including endocrine, hematopoietic/vascular, and immune systems), neoplastic cells involved in pathogenesis and toxicology, and trafficking; 3) the use of novel techniques and applications in research projects that involve genomics — cancer and neurodegenerative disorders (including neurovascular dysfunction) — with sequencing analysis of molecular profiles (including isoform sequencing platforms for novel genes/gene isoforms and single cell transcripts) and cytometry assay development (such as flow cytometry and bioimaging assay development) for a comprehensive cell surface panel of markers (diagnostic and therapeutic), and to provide new perspectives on the failure of therapeutic strategies (such as radiation or drug inhibitors) currently in use.

At VasculoTox, Inc., an emerging biotech, our research objectives include the development of assays for diagnostic and therapeutic applications - including both sophisticated high-throughput applications and point-of-care (POC) diagnostic assay development for practical applications. Assay development of comprehensive panels of potential biomarkers (clinical classification) and therapeutic targets (existing or novel drugs for target identification, validation and modulation) can afford the development of diagnostic tools and precision-medicine therapies. The development of POC diagnostic assays can allow for an affordable and rapid approach for measurements that can be assessed frequently for the purposes of early detection (preclinical and prodromal stages) and disease progression.

 

Steven Jarvis, MilliporeSigma
Director, Head of Pharma & Biotech Strategy

Steven started his career as a researcher in one of the largest global CROs, creating cell culture models for high-throughput screening and developing novel drug discovery assays for leading pharmaceutical, biotech, and academic clients. In this role he focused on identifying new molecular entities and pathways in ion channels, GPCRs, and kinases. His career evolved from laboratory-based to marketing and product management, where he managed various portfolios including engineered cell lines, proteins, enzymes, and regenerative medicine products. Over the course of his career, he has worn a variety of hats including research, marketing, business development, logistics, regulatory, and strategy.

Currently, Steven uses his broad knowledge and expertise in drug discovery to lead the pharma and biotech strategy team at MilliporeSigma, addressing their customers' growing needs for innovation and partnerships within the life science pharmaceutical and biotech communities.

 

Dr. David Jennions, Counsyl
Associate Director of Automation Design

David is an old-school systems' engineer, enjoying the challenges of meshing the diverse disciplines of science and engineering. He completed a Master in Physics at Cambridge University in the UK, then headed to University College London to gain a further Masters in Instrumentation Systems. A PhD in Medical Physics soon followed, creating novel instrumentation to detect breast cancer with non-ionizing radiation. He started into Lab Automation at Applied Biosystems, leading architecture for a new oligo-neuclieotide manufacturing plant. He moved from California to Milan, Italy, to join a drug discovery CRO, Axxam SpA, to create compound storage and management systems for high-throughput screening. Most recently, he joined Counsyl back in the Bay Area, where he’s been guiding an organization of scientists and engineers to build a fully-integrated platform aimed at scalable sample preparation for genetic screening.

 

Shastine Keeney, Theravance Biopharma Inc.
Sr. Automation Engineer, Research

Shastine Keeney is an Automation Engineer at Twist Bioscience. She originally studied Mechanical Engineering at U.C. Berkeley. She started her career with industrial robotics for applications such as fiber optic manufacturing and semi conductor manufacturing. In 2005 she took her first job in biotech working as an automation engineer in Genentech's pilot plant doing process automation. However she missed robots and moved into laboratory automation af Genentech in 2008, and she has been wrangling liquid handling robotics ever since.

 

Amanda Lembke, Amgen, Inc.
Research Operations Manager

Discovery Research Materials Management

Amanda received her BS in Biochemistry from California Lutheran University and went to work at Amgen, Inc. immediately following graduation. She has worked in the Materials Management group within Discovery Research ever since, which has given her the opportunity to collaborate with scientists across Amgen, as well as people outside of R&D and a variety of industry vendors. In her 13 years at Amgen, Amanda has worked with a variety of automated storage systems, liquid handlers, plate-handling robotics, and LIMS systems. In her current role as Research Operations Manager, Amanda oversees the compound library and recently facilitated the inclusion of Amgen's global biologics research samples into the inventory system. In addition, Amanda serves as the Chair of Amgen Thousand Oaks women's community outreach employee resource group, which coordinates charitable events for the local community.

 

Scott Mosser, Merck
Director of Pharmacology
Assay Operations Team Lead

Scott started his journey back in high school where he developed a keen interest in Biology and Chemistry. He pursued these interests during his undergraduate studies at Moravian College and the University of Delaware. He then joined Merck where he discovered his passion for studying how cells communicate and function through various signaling pathways. During his time at Merck Scott discovered, and was recognized for, having a knack for instrumentation and people management. Under excellent tutelage he helped build a LIMS to enable the integration/automation of compound and assay management to support In Vitro Pharmacology. Currently, Scott leads a team of scientists focused on the integration of innovative technologies to enable robust and efficient execution of a wide range of In Vitro assays and all the associated activities including: compound management, data capture and reporting, and automation, to support small molecule drug discovery at Merck. Scott's primary focus is to use his management skills and the scientific knowledge he has accrued over the last 27 years to enable scientists to innovate and impact Merck's pipeline from target identification through lead optimization. He has had the pleasure of working on teams that discovered Belsomra® the first-in-class Orexin Receptor Antagonist approved for insomnia and many other innovative medicines.

 

Jennifer Nothstein, Merck
Research Scientist Pharmacology
Early Drug Discovery

Jenn graduated from Penn State University in 2010 in Biotechnology. She developed her passion for automation as an undergraduate during a co-op with Merck where she worked with automated platforms including TAP’s SelecT and CompacT supporting cell culture of various human cell lines in drug discovery. For the last 7 years, Jenn has expanded her skillset working in many different areas of the pharmaceutical industry such as vaccines, clinical testing, drug discovery, high-throughput screening and robotics. Her expertise includes different types of liquid handlers and robotics systems specializing in Hamilton STAR, HighRes Biosolutions and Thermo Scientific Momentum. In her current role, Jenn has been the automation guru for her department focusing on medium to high-throughput lead characterization and optimization.

 

Hannah Lui Park, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology
Associate Director of the Genetic Epidemiology Research Institute
UC Irvine School of Medicine

Hannah Lui Park, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Associate Director of the Genetic Epidemiology Research Institute at the UC Irvine School of Medicine. She earned her B.A. in Molecular and Cell Biology at UC Berkeley and M.S. in Cell Biology at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. She then completed her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences at Stanford University and her postdoctoral fellowship in translational cancer epigenetics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Park is currently the Program Director of the UC Irvine Athena Breast Health Network. Her studies currently include basic, clinical, genetic, and epigenetic cancer epidemiology. She is also interested in how lifestyle and environmental factors influence cancer risks and outcomes.

 

Lisa Walter, Postdoctoral Scholar
School of Pharmacy
University of Southern California

For the past decade, Lisa has studied glucosamine metabolism and the implications in diabetes and cancer. Her PhD in Chemical Biology is from McMaster University in Canada, along with her BSc in Biochemistry. Her interests include drug discovery, high-throughput screening and applying chemical tools to solve biological problems.

 

Chi Yun, High Throughput Biology Laboratory
Director

As Director of the High Throughput Biology Laboratory (formerly RNAi Core) at NYU Medical Center, Chi has overseen hundreds of diverse, 2D and 3D cell based, high throughput screening projects from academic researchers in the New York City area. As an expert in functional genomics, high content screening and cell-based assay development, she has presented at high content analysis meetings, directed courses on best practices for RNAi screening, and teaches a graduate course section on automation, screening and data analysis. She co-founded the NYU Image Analysis Working Group which discusses software applications, image analysis standards, project based examples, and best practices for data retention. Chi is also active in the the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Laboratory Robotics Interest Group.


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