SLAS Europe 2022

The SLAS Europe 2022 Conference and Exhibition course package contains 47 presentations including:

33 presentations from three scientific tracks: Emerging Biology; Emerging Technology; Perspectives on the European Life Sciences Ecosystem.

Three Keynote Speakers:

  • Steve Rees
  • Jeremy Simpson
  • Dagmar Monett Daz

Based on presenter permission, 47 of the 51 total SLAS Europe 2022 Conference & Exhibition presentations are available on-demand.

The SLAS Scientific Program Committee selects conference speakers based on the innovation, relevance and applicability of research as well as those that best address the interests and priorities of today’s life sciences discovery and technology community. All presentations are published with the permission of the presenters.

Manuel Kaulich, Dr


Goethe University Frankfurt

Manuel studied Biotechnology and obtained his PhD from the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Munich and the Biozentrum in Basel. For his postdoc, he joined the group of Steven Dowdy at the University of California in San Diego, where he became interested in gene editing technologies. Since December 2015, Manuel is an independent group leader at the Medical Faculty of the Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany. His laboratory develops gene editing technologies and applies them to understand the various aspects of cellular transformation and drug resistance. A major achievement of his lab is the development of the 3Cs technology that recently accumulated in the foundation of the university spin-off Vivlion for which Manuel is the Chief Scientific Officer.

Graham Belfield, PhD, MSc

Director NGS & Transcriptomics

AstraZeneca Biopharmaceuticals R&D

Dr Graham Belfield, Director NGS & Transcriptomics, AstraZeneca.
I lead a research-orientated Nucleic Acids Omics laboratory that partners pre-clinical/clinical projects across the whole of AstraZeneca and with our academic collaborators. Focussing on NGS and associated technologies, generating transcriptomic, epigenetic and genetic smart data for both single and multi-omic projects. To this end we employ bulk, single cell, spatial, short and long read technologies together with automation. We aim to stretch these technologies to increase the value they bring to drug discovery, and enhancing our understanding of disease and the fundamental processes of biology.

I have over 35 years experience across Pharma, Biotech and academia, applying Transcriptomics, Bioinformatics, orthogonal functional genetics and biotechnology to the discovery of new medicines.

Amel Bendali

COO & Co-Founder


Amel Bendali, PhD, is the Chief Operating Officer and co-founder of Inorevia, a Paris-based startup providing new tools for life science research and diagnostics.

After graduating as an engineer in Physics and Biotechnologies, she joined the Vision Institute in Paris to participate in an ambitious research project to develop retinal prosthetic implantable devices, helping to restore functional vision to blind patients. Once graduated with a PhD in Neurosciences, she decided to move to microfluidics and microsystems, and joined Dr JL Viovy's lab at Curie Institute in Paris. After developing technologies based on microfluidics and magnetic particles, she co-founded Inorevia with Julien Autebert, CEO and CTO, and 3 researchers from CNRS who invented the technologies.
Since the creation of Inorevia in 2016, Amel has gained extensive experience in entrepreneurship, market approach for innovation, and taking patents and invention to meet market needs and solving actual users challenges.

Inorevia's vision is to unlock next-generation life science solutions, by combining highly efficient miniaturization and full automation to support reasearchers and clinicians dealing with complex workflows and challenging samples.

Tijmen H. Booij, Ph.D.

Lab Automation- and Screening Specialist ETH Zurich

NEXUS Personalized Health Technologies

Tijmen studied Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences at Leiden University, during which he worked on the establishment of 3D cell culture models for drug screening. His studies were eventually awarded with the Suzanne Hovinga Award for best internship project. After his graduation, Tijmen did his PhD studies at the Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research (LACDR) where he developed 3D cell culture-based high-throughput screening platforms for polycystic kidney disease (PKD), as well as several neoplastic disorders. His work was presented at several scientific conferences as well as several publications. Tijmen obtained his PhD degree in 2017 and is currently working as screening specialist at NEXUS personalized health technologies, a technology platform of ETH Zurich, to develop organoid-based screening methodology. Tijmen's main interests are in high-content screening with 3D tissue cultures in the context of neoplastic disorders, ultimately aiming to help discover new therapeutics.

Joseph Caponi, MSc Applied Biotechnology

Laboratory Robotics Technician

Mosa Meat

Joseph (Joe) works at Mosa Meat, a Netherlands based startup that’s leading the way in developing laboratory cultured beef for a kinder and less environmentally detrimental way of meat consumption. A former massage therapist turned scientist originally hailing from a small town in Upstate New York, he now holds a master’s in Applied Biotechnology from Uppsala University in Sweden and is eager to make scientists' lives easier and more ergonomic via laboratory automation.

Conner Craigon, PhD

Postdoctoral researcher

University of Dundee

Dr Conner George Craigon BSc MRes PhD
University of Dundee
Conner has just completed his PhD in the lab of Professor Alessio Ciulli, where he worked on the development of the BromoTag technology as a cell biologist. Conner currently holds an academic postdoctoral position in the Ciulli group where he continues his study of the BromoTag technology.

Madiha Derouazi, PhD



Madiha Derouazi, PhD, is the Scientific Founder and CEO of AMAL Therapeutics, a Swiss biotech company developing first-in-class therapeutic cancer vaccines derived from its technology platform KISIMA and part of Boehringer Ingelheim since July 2019.
Madiha has been working on vector engineering and vaccine design for over 15 years. She has a strong background in applied molecular and cellular biotechnology, in virology and in immunology, with research interests at the interface of fundamental and translational research, the so-called bench-to-bedside. She especially focuses on immune stimulation and immune modulation, both in the oncology and infectious disease fields. She designed and characterized a CPP-based multi-epitopic cancer vaccine in the Laboratory of Tumour Immunology of the University of Geneva, which is the basis of the KISIMA platform.
Madiha holds a PhD in Biotechnology from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland and a Master in Biotechnology Engineering from the University of Technology of Berlin, Germany. She now continues to lead the AMAL team in Switzerland, and excitingly drives the integration into the Boehringer Ingelheim oncology research and development family.

Fredrik Edfeldt, PhD


AstraZeneca R&D Gothenburg

Fredrik Edfeldt is a Director of Mechanistic and Structural Biology at AstraZeneca in Gothenburg, Sweden. Fredrik is currently managing a team of very talented and highly motivated enzymologists and cell biologists responsible for SAR-screening and mechanistic profiling of compounds in drug discovery projects. After obtining his PhD in Structural Biology from the University of Washington, USA, Fredrik joined AstraZeneca where he has worked for more than 20 years with a strong focus on the application of biophysical techniques to drive chemistry.

Wolfgang Fecke, Ph.D

Director General


Wolfgang is the Director of the European Research Infrastructure for chemical biology, EU-OPENSCREEN. He obtained his PhD in 1994 at the Heinrich-Heine University in Düsseldorf on the function of protein complexes in mitochondria. After a postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University, he worked for the next 20 years as scientist and group leader for Novartis and UCB as well as for two biotech companies. During that time in Germany, the UK and Italy, he was involved in drug discovery programs for cancer, CNS and inflammatory disease therapeutics, always with the focus on assay development, high throughput screening and lead profiling. He returned to academia in 2015, supporting the translational Discovery Science group at the VIB institute in Belgium. In 2018, he was appointed director of EU-OPENSCREEN in Berlin. He is also the coordinator of a large EU-funded project and as chair of the European Life Science Research Infrastructure Strategy Board.

Sakshi Garg

Associate Director

Merck Healthcare KGaA

Sakshi Garg joined Merck Healthcare KGaA in 2016. She has expertise in image based readouts both in 2D and 3D cell culture, allowing her to lead several technology based collaborations in the field of advanced cellular assays. Most recently she has been actively involved in the JUMP Cell Painting consortium.

Erik Gatenholm

President and CEO

BICO Group

Erik Gatenholm is a dynamic American/Swedish entrepreneur who is the co-founder and CEO of BICO – the world’s leading Bio Convergence company. Under Gatenholm, BICO has built one of the world’s most expansive portfolio of life science products that spans bioprinting, diagnostics, lab automation and biosciences. Today, BICO and its 13+ subsidiaries operate development, sales and distribution in 65+ countries to over 3,000 laboratories, across 1,200+ employees. Gatenholm is a member of the prestigious Forbes 30 Under 30 class of 2018 and has also been awarded numerous accolades including Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Innovator of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year 2019, MIT Technology Review’s prestigious 35 Under 35 List and Founder of the Year 2020.

Anne Carpenter

Institute Scientist

Broad Institute of Harvard and MI

Dr. Anne Carpenter is an Institute Scientist at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. Her research group develops algorithms and strategies for large-scale experiments involving images. The team’s open-source CellProfiler software is used by thousands of biologists worldwide ( Carpenter is a pioneer in image-based profiling, the extraction of rich, unbiased information from images for a number of important applications in drug discovery and functional genomics.

Carpenter focused on high-throughput image analysis during her postdoctoral fellowship at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and MIT’s CSAIL (Computer Sciences/Artificial Intelligence Laboratory). Her PhD is in cell biology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Carpenter has been named an NSF CAREER awardee, an NIH MIRA awardee, a Massachusetts Academy of Sciences fellow (its youngest at the time), a Genome Technology “Rising Young Investigator”, and is listed in Deep Knowledge Analytics’ top-100 AI Leaders in Drug Discovery and Advanced Healthcare.

Sammy Datwani, PhD

VP, Development

Synthego Corp

Dr. Sammy S. Datwani is an influential senior executive, entrepreneur, and innovative technology leader with a demonstrated history of developing emergent technologies and commercializing disruptive revolutionary life science tools and medical device products. Dr. Datwani has over 20 years of executive and leadership experience building teams and developing solutions that allow customers to meet their biotechnology research and commercial objectives in the fields of microfluidics, genomics, proteomics, analytical chemistry, molecular diagnostics, synthetic biology, and cell engineering.

His current and recent roles include Vice President, Development – Synthego Corporation, a venture-backed startup. President – SSD Advisors, LLC., a boutique consulting firm. Head of Technology Development – Inscripta Inc., a venture-backed startup. Sr. Director, R& D, Principal Scientist at Labcyte Inc., which was acquired by Beckman Coulter Life Sciences (a Danaher company). Sammy was the founding Board of Directors and Angel Investor for CombiNATi Inc. (a microfluidic digital PCR company), which was acquired by Thermo Fisher Scientific. He also serves on the Board of Directors and as a Scientific Advisor for several startups. He was formerly on the Board of Directors for SLAS (2019-2022) and at his alma mater - The Johns Hopkins University, Whiting School of Engineering.

Dr. Datwani is an author and inventor on numerous scientific publications and patents and is actively involved with scientific programming at international meetings and conferences. Dr. Datwani received his B.S. (with honors) and Ph.D. in chemical and biomolecular engineering from the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, and his M.S. in chemical engineering from Columbia University, New York, New York.

Dr. Datwani was inducted to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers (AIMBE) for his contributions to leveraging microscale phenomena to enable label-free and high-throughput experimentation, screening and precision medicine.

Markus Gershater, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer


Markus Gershater is the Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder of Synthace. Markus has been applying DOE to biological problems for over 15 years to a wide range of biological problems, and is focussed on how we can provide biologists with tools that will enable them to perform dramatically more powerful experiments. He has a PhD in biochemistry and experience in academia and industry that spans biochemistry, synthetic biology, pathway engineering and bioprocess development.

Henriette Harmse, PhD

Ontology tools project lead


Henriette Harmse, Ontology tools project lead at European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI)

Henriette has worked in the software industry for 20+ years as a software developer, architect and consulting architect across various industries like mining, publishing, finance, healthcare etc. As the ontology tools project lead at EBI she oversees the design and development of the ontology tools used extensively by EBI and other life science organisations to harmonise and enrich life science data and to enable semantic searches.

Henriette has a PhD in Description Logics, the mathematical logic basis of ontologies that enables artificial intelligence reasoning.

Kerstin Hermuth-Kleinschmidt, Ph.D.


NIUB Nachhaltigkeitsberatung

Kerstin Hermuth-Kleinschmidt holds a PhD in chemistry. After several years in the life sciences industry as account manager and in technical customer support, she turned her attention to the topic of sustainability and obtained an additional qualification in the field of "Environmental Management and Environmental Economics" at the University of Koblenz-Landau. The focus of her work is the implementation and monitoring of sustainability processes in the life sciences – in the lab as well as in life sciences companies. As a speaker and author of publications, she focuses on various aspects of sustainability, especially on the topic "Sustainability in research and laboratory". She also participated in the development of EGNATON-CERT, the first certification system for sustainable laboratory technologies, and is now part of the auditing team.

Tim Hohm, MBA

Director of Commercial Strategy and Business Development


Dr Tim Hohm, MBA, is Director of Commercial Strategy and Business Development at Optibrium, a software company providing solutions supporting small molecule drug discovery from early hit to clinical candidate nomination. Founded in 2009, Optibrium's solutions are used by more than 170 organisations worldwide including global pharma companies, biotechs and academic and not-for-profit research centers, accelerating discovery and increasing success rates. Tim obtained his PhD in computational biology from ETH Zurich and an MBA from Copenhagen Business School. Tim held positions in academia and large pharma and joined Optibrium in 2020 from Novo Nordisk.

Catherine Kettleborough, PhD

Translational Challenge Leader


Catherine (Katy) Kettleborough leads one of LifeArc’s Translational Challenges focused on Chronic Respiratory Infections. Translational Challenges are long term collaborative programmes shaped by patient need and working with multiple partners, connecting scientists, resources and investment. Until January 2022 Catherine was Head of Biology at LifeArc (formerly MRC Technology ). LifeArc is an independent life science technology transfer charity, offering professional services to organisations within the academic, charity, biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors globally. The Biology group is responsible for conducting target validation, reagent generation, assay development, screening (100-250K screens) biochemical, biophysical and cell based assays to support prosecution of hit to lead and antibody discovery projects for novel drug targets sourced from academic research groups worldwide.
Catherine has 25 year plus of working at the interface between academic research and pharma/biotech, as a bench scientist, project manager, Team leader and start-up Director.

Jan Lichtenberg, PhD


InSphero AG

Jan Lichtenberg, Ph.D., is Co-Founder and CEO of InSphero AG. InSphero is the pioneer of 3D-cell-based assay solutions and scaffold-free 3D organ-on-a-chip technology. The company’s robust, precisely engineered suite of 3D InSight™ human tissue platforms are used by major pharmaceutical companies worldwide to increase efficiency in drug discovery and safety testing. InSphero specializes in solutions for liver toxicology, metabolic diseases (e.g., T1 & T2 diabetes and NAFLD & NASH liver disease), and oncology (with a focus on immuno-oncology and PDX models). The scalable Akura™ technology, which underlies these 3D InSight™ Discovery and Safety Platforms, includes 96- and 384-well plate formats as well as the Akura™ Flow organ-on-a-chip system. Dr. Lichtenberg started InSphero in 2009 and grew the company to 60+ employees in offices in Switzerland and the US. InSphero counts most of the global top 15 pharmaceutical and cosmetics companies amongst its customers. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Neuchâtel and had a research group at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich. Jan serves also Vice President of SLAS.

Stefan N. Lukianov, BS, BS, MS, AM


Salve Therapeutics

Stefan N. Lukianov, AM MS is the first-time JHU student founder of Salve Therapeutics.  He has undergraduate degrees from the University of Maine and masters from the University of Pittsburgh and Harvard University in the biomedical sciences.  He has worked in reputable labs at Boston Children’s Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, McLean Hospital and the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. He also has extensive experience in science journalism, having published and edited for ASBMB Today, ACS C&EN Show Daily, the Harvard Medical Student Review and MIT Science Policy Review.  Stefan also loves teaching and has held a diverse array of private and public education roles at various grade levels in STEM fields.

Stefan Luzi, Msc, MBE, PhD


Gilde Healthcare

Stefan Luzi, Ph.D, Partner, Gilde Healthcare

Stefan Luzi, Ph.D. joined Gilde Healthcare in 2015. He focuses on venture and growth capital investments in the biopharmaceutical sector. He led several investments and currently represents Gilde on the boards of LAVA Therapeutics N.V. and Amphista Therapeutics Ltd. Prior to joining Gilde, Dr. Luzi worked at Merck KGaA where he completed international assignments in the global business intelligence and M ventures divisions. Dr. Luzi received a bachelor of science degree in biology and master of science degree in biotechnology from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH) and a master of philosophy degree in bioscience enterprise from the University of Cambridge. He completed his doctor of philosophy degree with Nobel Laureate Sir Gregory Winter at the MRC laboratory of molecular biology in Cambridge, where he developed a bicyclic peptide-based drug discovery platform.

Andrew Lynn, PhD FREng

Chief Executive Officer

Fluidic Analytics

Andrew Lynn PhD FREng
CEO, Fluidic Analytics

Andrew Lynn is an entrepreneur and executive who has led three VC-backed deep-tech businesses from concept to commercialisation.

He is CEO of Fluidic Analytics, a Cambridge, UK company that provides instrumentation and services that characterize protein interactions for customers in the tools and diagnostics industry. Fluidic Analytics’ microfluidic diffusional sizing technology extends the traditional capabilities of protein interaction analysis a) beyond traditional drug targets to challenging targets such bispecific antibodies, PROTACs and fibrillar targets; and b) beyond purified environments to complex backgrounds such as cell lysate, serum, plasma and saliva.

Previously, Andrew founded Orthomimetics, a developer of regenerative medical implants for sports medicine and orthopaedic applications. During his tenure as CEO, Orthomimetics developed its flagship product from lab-scale production to a CE-marked device distributed in multiple territories across Europe. Orthomimetics was acquired by TiGenix (now a Takeda company) in 2009. Andrew was then appointed CEO of CamGaN, a Company whose gallium-nitride-on-silicon technology has developed from the technology-concept stage to producing micro-LEDs that power some of today’s most cutting-edge virtual reality and augmented reality devices. CamGaN was acquired by Plessey Semiconductors in 2012.

His experience guiding companies through eight equity financings, four product launches and two trade sale exits give him a unique perspective on funding cycles, company evolution and the process of scaling businesses. His efforts have earned him recognition in Europe as an inaugural winner of a Science|Business Academic Enterprise Award and in the US as a member of Technology Review Magazine’s TR35 list of the world’s top young innovators, leaders and entrepreneurs. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2021.

Laura MacDonald, LLB

Chief Executive


Laura MacDonald, Chief Executive, ASTP, Leiden, The Netherlands
Laura has headed up the HQ of ASTP (the pan-European members association for knowledge transfer professionals) since September 2016. Her role there combines responsibility for professional training events, conferences and advocacy to enhance capacity-building of the Knowledhge /Technology Transfer sector. Originally qualified as a Scots lawyer, specialising in EU and IP law, her transition to the world of academic/industrial collaborations started in 1992 when she established the first in-house legal function in a UK university to support these collaborations. Then followed a career across different UK universities (Dundee then Edinburgh) before moving to the Netherlands, spending 10 years at Leiden University and Medical Centre, with responsibility across all aspects of knowledge transfer activities. She has been active in key professional organisations which bring together players in this ecosystem, such as Licensing Executives Society and AUTM as well as ASTP.

Jennifer MacMahon, MSc.


Seroba Life Sciences

Jennifer McMahon is a Partner at Seroba. She graduated from UCD with an honours degree in Pharmacology in 2010. Jennifer then entered a Master’s degree programme in Biotechnology and Business to further her interest in the interface of biomedical science with commercialisation.

Having placed first in her Master’s degree in 2011, Jennifer then joined Seroba’s Investment Team as an Investment Analyst, progressing to Partner in 2022.

In 2019, Jennifer joined the Advisory Board for the European healthcare Businesswomen’s Association. She is Chair of Level20 Europe and was a founder member of the Ireland Chapter of Level20. She guest lectures on venture capital at University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. She is also in high demand as a speaker at Investor/Entrepreneur life science partnering conferences across Europe.

Jennifer sits on the boards of Endotronix and Palliare, is a Board Observer to Shorla Pharma and was previously on the Board of Biosensia prior to its merger with Kypha Diagnostics.

Patricia Maguire, PhD


University College Dublin - ConwaySPHERE Research Group

Prof. Patricia Maguire is an interdisciplinary scientist passionate about the intersection of Artificial Intelligence with Biomedical Science.
She is Professor at the UCD College of Science and the current Director of the UCD Institute for Discovery, which builds and cultivates interdisciplinary connections in emerging research themes, such as ‘AI for good’, ‘Plotting the Future’ and ‘Data for Healthcare’. She recently launched the UCD AI for Healthcare hub (AIHH) utilising the latest SAS Viya platform on Microsoft Azure. The mission of the AI Healthcare Hub is to democratise AI/ML approaches, making them accessible to non-coding researchers to accelerate their projects and deliver translational, meaningful outcomes across UCD, Ireland and globally in both, academic and industry settings.
As Principal Investigator at the UCD Conway Institute, Patricia is Scientific Director of the ConwaySPHERE research group investigating various inflammatory diseases including preeclampsia, multiple sclerosis, venous thromboembolism and covid19.

Faisal Mahmood

Brian Marsden, BA, MA, DPhil

Principal Investigator

University of Oxford

After completing a D.Phil. at the University of Oxford, Brian worked within the Abagyan lab at the Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, USA, devising novel methods for proteins structure superimposition and also implementing high performance compute and storage clusters. He then worked as part of the Computational Chemistry group at BioFocus PLC before joining the SGC in Oxford, now the Centre for Medicines Discovery, where he continues to be responsible for data management and research computing. Since 2013, Brian has been a member of the Kennedy Institute in Oxford where he is responsible for the provision of research computing and translational informatics capabilities.

The development of novel technologies for data management and dissemination within the context of early stage drug discovery are a key focus of interest. In particular, managing structural and chemical biology data capture, curation and deposition along with interactive approaches to dissemination form the core part of work at the Centre for Medicines Discovery. Recent COVID-19 related work included the rapid development and deployment of LIMS capabilities to underpin serological assays for the rapid testing of patient samples. Methods for the rationale selection of novel targets for reagent and know-how generation in the context of disease-gene associations are also an interest. At the Kennedy Institute, work focuses on the provision of research computing capabilities to underpin the Institute’s computational biology, multiplexed imaging and mechanistic modelling interests. In parallel we specialise in the provision of data management solutions for basic science through to translational informatics in experimental medicine settings.

Barry McMahon, M.Sc. PhD

Associate Clinical Professor

Trinity College Dublin

Barry McMahon is an Associate Clinical Professor in Medical Physics and Bioengineering in the School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin. He holds an M.Sc. in physical sciences in medicine from Trinity College Dublin and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from Aalborg University in Denmark. Currently he holds the position of Innovation Practice Lead for Children's Health Ireland. He also runs his own consultancy business. Previously, he was Chief of Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering at Tallaght University Hospital for 18 years and has wide experience in medical device applications and invention, particularly for diagnosis and treatment in the gastrointestinal tract. He has collborated widely in Europe, the United States, South America and Asia, including subatticals in the U.S., China and Hong Kong. Is current main interest in innovation practice linking, people, process and technology to solve the multifaceted problems faced in Healthcare.

Eva Molero


Teamit Research

Eva Molero (EM), Project Director; Founder and CEO of Teamit Research and Teamit Institute
University degree in Law (University of Barcelona, Spain), Master Degree in Communications Management (University of Toulouse, France).
Eva has developed her career initially in the field of marketing and technology transfer, first as product manager for mass market products at Arbora&Ausonia (a Procter&Gamble joint venture) and, from 2001 to 2012 at the University Pompeu Fabra and Fundació IMIM (the Barcelona Municipal Institute of Medical Research), where she was responsible for technology transfer and quality procedures at the Research Group on Biomedical Informatics. She has worked as project manager of the European Projects Coordination Office at Fundació IMIM. She was the founder and CEO during 12 years of Synapse Research Management Partners, a project management company created in 2008 specialising in the management of European Commission funded projects.
Besides the general project management aspects, her participation in European projects has focused on legal matters, governance, intellectual property rights and communication and sustainability aspects. She has participated in several initiatives to commercialize results from research projects, including the creation of alliances and spinouts. She has wide experience in teaching courses in European projects management and acts as an advisor for public and private institutions in projects evaluation and assessment. Eva has been recently appointed as member of the Executive Board of VAC4EU.

Dagmar Monett Díaz, Ph.D.

Professor of Computer Science (Artificial Intelligence, Software Engineering)

Berlin School of Economics and Law (HWR Berlin)

Dagmar Monett is Professor of Computer Science at the Berlin School of Economics and Law (HWR Berlin), Director of the Department of Computer Science (April/2022–), Co-Director of the Master's study programme Digital Transformation (12/2020–), and Co-Founding Member of the Institute for Data-Driven Digital Transformation (d-cube). She is also Co-founder of the AGI Sentinel Initiative,; AI expert at Ms.AI, “Artificial Intelligence for and with Women;” Board member of the Berlin Federation of Professors, hlb LV Berlin e. V.; and professional member of the ACM, Association for Computing Machinery. With over 30 years of research and teaching experience in different countries, her current research fields include AI, digital ethics, software engineering, and computer science education, among others. Her most recent research work focuses on intelligence research, particularly on defining and understanding both machine and human intelligence. She is also interested in machine learning, robotics in education, metaheuristics, knowledge-based systems, and software design and development including Agile.

Antony Murphy

George Okafo, BSc., PhD., ARSC., FRSC.

Global Director, Healthcare Data Analytics Group

Boehringer Ingelheim

George is currently the Global Director in Computational Biology and Digital Sciences Department and leads the Healthcare Data and Analytics Unit at Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) in Biberach, Germany. In this role, George leads a team of genetic, biomarker and data scientists that utilises healthcare datasets to derive novel insights aimed at transforming and personalising drug development. Prior to BI, George has >30 years’ experience in Pharma R&D (SmithKline & French/SKF, SmithKline Beecham/SB and GlaxoSmithKline/GSK) holding Director/Senior Director roles in Drug Discovery/Pre-clinical Development for global scientific due diligence, innovation seeking/incubation/delivery, pre-clinical/CMC consultant, global emerging biology platforms, entrepreneurial thinker/leader, and drug development project leader. George holds a BSc (Joint Honours, Chemistry and Biochemistry), a PhD in Chemical Carcinogenesis, both from Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London, and Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Toronto, Canada. George has established a successful track record of seeking, incubating, and implementing innovation in drug discovery and development across multiple areas in chemistry and biology. George has led numerous R&D projects from discovery to IND/MAA/NDA regulatory submissions and is an expert in Scientific Due Diligence (>40 due diligence opportunities). George has an extensive publication track record (~60 scientific papers, 4 books, 2 patents and invited speaker at numerous international scientific conferences). George has been active in many external organisations (Associate Member of the Royal College of Sciences, Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Society for Chemical Industry (formerly Chair of the Separation Sciences Committee), Science and Innovation Advisory Committee for the UK Bio-Industry Association (SIAC, UK BIA) and STEM ambassador).

Lucy O'Keefe, PhD



Dr Lucy O'Keeffe is the co-founder and CEO of CroiValve, a medical device start-up that has developed a device to repair the tricuspid valve in the heart without the need for open heart surgery. She worked as a cross-functional lead at Medtronic, managing R&D programs from concept to launch, including an early transcatheter aortic program. Additionally, she worked in Nypro Healthcare, managing multiple complex, cross-functional, global projects developing drug delivery devices for top tier pharmaceutical clients and in a CRO, ICON PLC, where she developed an understanding of clinical trials. She holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from University College Dublin, a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from University of Limerick and a Diploma in Project Management from University College Cork.

Luke O'Neil

Paul Overton

Helena Peilot Sjogren, PhD

Associate Principal Scientist

AstraZeneca R&D

I’m a cell biologist with focus on early drug discovery. I develop cell assays, screening strategies and drive projects in early discovery and technology development. I have a passion for the science behind the drug discovery process and love to see what I work with in the lab can translate into value for patients. In addition, I thrive in the collaborative spirit of working together in a global company with a common goal.

Steve Rees

VP Discovery Biology, Discovery Sciences


Steve is Vice-President of Discovery Biology at AstraZeneca with responsibility for reagent generation and assay development, functional genomics, and cell and gene therapy. Previously Steve led the Screening Sciences department with accountability for Compound Management, Hit Discovery and Lead Optimisation biology. Prior to joining AstraZeneca, Steve worked at GlaxoSmithKline for 24 years in various roles. He has served in many roles within the Society of Laboratory Automation and Screening most recently as Chair of the European Council. He has also served as Chair of the European Laboratory Research and Innovation Group, and is currently Industry Trustee of the British Pharmacological Society. Steve sits on multiple Scientific Advisory Boards including EU-OPENSCREEN, WCAIR at the University of Dundee and the Centre for Membrane Protein Receptor Research (COMPARE). Steve has authored over 70 research papers and was awarded an OBE in 2021 for services to science and the COVID19 response.

Nicola Richmond, PhD Mathematics, MSc Computer Science, BSc Mathematics



Nicola trained as an algebraist up to Ph.D. level then moved into chemoinformatics via a two year role in the Statistics and Modelling Group at Unilever R&D. After completing a post-doctoral fellowship with Prof. Peter Willett at the University of Sheffield, Nicola joined GSK’s then Cheminformatics group in 2004, where she focussed on developing methodologies for chemical database searching and hit identification in the presence of process error for high-throughput, high-content screening, and both supporting and leading early, small molecule, drug discovery programmes. Nicola then joined one of GSK’s fledgling data science groups and led the Biopharm Digital, Data and Analytics focus area, overseeing a number of high-impact projects and continuing with methods development. Nicola then moved into GSK's newly-formed AI and Machine Learning team where she built up and led the Fellowship Programme, carried out causal machine learning research and oversaw academic collaborations. After nearly 18 years at GSK, Nicola then decided to join Ladder Therapeutics, a start up focussing on discovering small molecule modulators of RNA, where she leads the AI function.

Elena Rivas, MA



Elena Rivas. Partner and CEO
She is Vice-president of the Spanish Biotechnological Companies Association (ASEBIO) sin 2020.
Biology Graduate by the University of Jaén and and MBA Biotechnology
With more than 23 years of experience in Biotechnology Sector leading the go to the market of innovative solutions of emerging companies and helping them to become affordable business. She started her professional career in the foodtech segment achieving high experience transforming the statetment of the food companies. After this, she was working for nanotechnological field to develop new diagnostic tools enhancing the sensitivite and accuracy of the rapid test for many application by the gold nanoparticles used
In order to improve private companies' performance, she is very committed to making the transfer of technological knowledge a reality.
With this expertise, she has now achieved her dream of entrepreneurship and has become a leading woman in the biotechnology sector in Spain, especially in the field of single cell analysis.

Ali Safavi, MS

Founder, President & CEO

Grenova, Inc.

Ali Safavi, founder, President, and CEO of Grenova, is on a mission to enable laboratories around the world to become sustainable and waste-free. Ali founded Grenova, which is short for Green Innovation, shortly after graduating from college using the firsthand experience he gained working in the lab industry. Today, his award-winning company has created the only technology solution in the industry that enables life sciences and healthcare laboratories to reduce their plastic consumables cost and biohazard waste by over 90%. As a result of his work, Grenova's environmental and economic impact on the life sciences industry has so far resulted in 4,581 metric tons in Carbon Emission (CO2e) reduction, 2,650,848 lbs. of biohazard plastic waste reduction, and $84,135,258 in savings and cost reduction.

Gary Saunders, PhD

Data Director


Gary Saunders is the EATRIS Data Director. He is responsible for leading the EATRIS data strategy over the next scientific programme (2023-26). As part of this work Gary will lead the EATRIS core data team and work with key data focussed initiatives such as the Horizon Europe Mission Areas, European Open Science Cloud, and the 1+ Million Genomes.

Gary joined EATRIS from ELIXIR where he was the Human Data Coordinator responsible for the implementation of the ELIXIR-wide strategy to enable responsible sharing of human data consented for reuse in scientific research. Previous to ELIXIR Gary was based at EMBL-EBI where he was the data manager for the European Variation Archive (EVA), and the Database of Genomics Variants Archive (DGVa). Gary has a PhD in Bioinformatics from the University of Glasgow, UK, and has a background in comparative genomics.

Silvia Scaglione, Ph.D.

Chief Scientist


She received in 2005 the Ph.D. in Bioengineering at the University of Genoa, Italy.

Since 2010 Silvia Scaglione is permanent Researcher at National council of Research (CNR).

She is founder and chief scientist of React4life s.r.l., an innovative biotech company that develops organ on chip technologies for accelerating the human disease understanding and novel personalized therapies development; React4life has won several international awards and projects, such as H2020 SME Instrument Phase 1, seal of Excellence SME phase 2, Innovation Radar (2021) as best Health technology.
Scaglione is author of more than 80 international peer-reviewed papers, book chapters, author of 7 patents.

Srijit Seal, MPhil

PhD Student

University of Cambridge

Srijit is a PhD student in his second year at the Andreas Bender group at the University of Cambridge. He is interested in research in chemoinformatics and is currently working on modelling and interpretation of Cell Painting assay in predicting bioactivity and toxicity data. Srijit uses machine learning techniques like Random Forest, Deep Neural Network, Convolutional neural networks to link chemical structures and Cell Painting features to biological activity.


Associate Principal Scientist


Bharath is a mechanistic enzymologist with extensive experience in the steady-state kinetic characterization of enzymes. For his Ph.D., he studied the structure-function relationship in members of the HAD superfamily of enzymes. He pursued an NIH-sponsored postdoctoral fellowship at the Georgia Institute of Technology, working at the interface between enzyme kinetics and computational sciences. Subsequently, he was awarded the Marie-Curie Actions fellowship to study the substrate specificity of deaminases acting on dsRNA at the IGC, Portugal. In 2019, he joined MBP at AstraZeneca, contributing actively to several oncology projects. Bharath is on the editorial board of two prominent pharmacology journals and is a faculty at facultyopinions. Additionally, Bharath has been nominated to the honorary membership of BPS, ACS and SLAS and ISE. Bharath has published 35 peer-reviewed publications and 1 patent. He is passionate about enzyme kinetics with particular emphasis on studying the spatio-temporal evolution of kinetic systems and non-Michaelian kinetics.

Oksana Sirenko

Sr. Scientist

Molecular Devices

Dr. Sirenko is an established cell biologist and imaging specialist who is an expert in developing assays with complex cell-based models for research and drug discovery. She is a senior scientist at Molecular Devices where she works on development of high-content imaging methods to the analysis of novel cell systems. Dr. Sirenko currently leads a group of scientists developing methods and new tools for automation of 3D cell models – including organoids and organ-on chips – for modeling cancer, neurotoxicity, and toxicology. Dr. Sirenko holds a PhD in Biochemistry/Biophysics, has over 15 years of industry experience, and has authored more than 35 scientific papers.

Jeremy Simpson, Ph.D.

College Principal and Dean of Science

University College Dublin

Jeremy Simpson obtained his BSc and PhD from the University of Warwick (UK). After post-doctoral work at the Scripps Research Institute (San Diego, USA) and the ICRF (London, UK), a long term EMBO fellowship took him to the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, EMBL (Heidelberg, Germany), where he developed and applied novel high-throughput imaging approaches to study protein localisation and membrane traffic in mammalian cells. In 2008 he was appointed as Full Professor of Cell Biology at University College Dublin (Dublin, Ireland). His lab applies high-throughput imaging technologies to study intracellular trafficking pathways, diseases associated with the endomembrane system of cells, and the internalisation routes taken by synthetic nanoparticles as drug delivery vehicles. In recent years his lab has pioneered the use of 3D cell models in UCD, specifically developing a number of methodological approaches that allow their high-throughput production suitable for cell-based assays. The lab also designs innovative image analysis approaches for the volumetric analysis of these 3D models at multiple scales, allowing detailed assessment of nanoparticle localisation and toxicity. He has authored over 120 peer-reviewed articles, including articles in Nature Cell Biology, Nature Communications, Nanoscale and Scientific Reports. He oversees the UCD Cell Screening Laboratory (, which provides infrastructure and technical support for collaborators and other users who wish to access the high-content screening platform. He is currently also serving as the College Principal and Dean of Science in the UCD College of Science.

Roland Terborg

Javier Terriente, PhD

Chief of Drug Discovery


Javier Terriente is a Biochemistry graduate from the University of Granada (2000) and Phd in Molecular Biology from the University Autonoma of Madrid (2006). He has 15 years of research experience in different academic institutions in Spain and the UK. He has published 25 research articles (h = 18). From 2013, he is co-founder and Chief of Drug Development (CDD) (and former CSO) at ZeClinics, a vibrant biotech exploiting zebrafish as a model for drug discovery and understanding human diseases. More recently, he co-founded, and has a CSO role, at ZeCardio Therapeutics (ZeCardioTX), a biotech company spun out from ZeClinics, focusing on the discovery of therapies to treat cardiovascular diseases. As ZeClinics CDD, he is in charge of supervising every scientific aspect regarding the drug discovery and "crazy-projects" activities: bringing new ideas and collaborations, assessing the quality of our drug discovery platforms, asking for public and private funding, managing our growing and talented R&D scientific team. At ZeCardioTX, he devises and supervises the science and preclinical work plan to bring therapeutic drugs into the clinic. Beside his activities at ZeClinics and ZeCardioTX, he is Vice President of ASEBIO, the Spanish Association of Biotech Companies, where he hopes to bring his expertise to help the biotech sector to gain public awareness, promote networking and increase its political leverage.

Mark Truesdale, PhD



Dr Mark Truesdale, Former CEO of Solentim graduated with a degree in Biochemistry and a PhD in Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics from the University of London. After spending several years in research in the field of Plant Molecular Genetics he has amassed over 20 years of commercial and leadership experience within the Life Science and Diagnostics sectors. Mark spent 14 years with Genetix PLC in several roles, including Head of Global Marketing, prior to and through its acquisition by Danaher. Mark went on to join the Microbiology division of Thermo Fisher Scientific where he held a number of roles including Senior Director of its Global Food Safety Diagnostics business. For the past 2+ years until Feb 2022 Mark has been CEO of Solentim, leading the expansion of the business, culminating is a successful acquisition by Advanced Instruments.

Paul Trusty, PhD

Senior Technical Director


Paul Trusty Ph.D. (University of Surrey) is a Senior Technical Director in the Quality Supply Chain for GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Health, UK. He is a Materials Scientist by training, with over 30 years’ experience of applying this approach to different manufacturing industries.
Most of his early research focused on the fabrication and properties of engineering ceramics for aerospace applications. He then worked for 9 years in the Food Industry (Unilever Research) where he headed Product Characterisation and Development groups in both the UK and Latin America.
For the past 15 years Paul has been working in the Pharmaceutical Industry for GSK in various positions in New Product Development, Process Design and Development, and HIV Supply Chain. More recently, in 2021, Paul joined the Consumer Health Division of GSK, in a Global Technical role that ensures Business Continuity of Consumer Products.

Philipp Tschaikner

Mariana Vaschetto

Vesna Vetma, PhD

Cell Biology Scientist

University of Dundee

Vesna Vetma, PhD is a cell biologist investigating PROTAC drug discovery in Alessio Ciulli's collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim at Centre for Targeted Protein Degradation, University of Dundee, UK. She got her BSc and MSc degree in Molecular biology from University of Zagreb, Croatia and a doctoral degree in Cancer biology from University of Stuttgart, Germany.

Manfred Voglmaier



Manfred Voglmaier is an Executive Manager in Sales and Business Development of Enterprise-Class Technology Solutions for Life Sciences. Manfred, a native resident of Austria brings over 30 years of industry experience in Life Sciences and innovative enterprise technology. His experience and passion lies in introducing innovative technologies and consulting that help companies in LifeSciences to successfully execute their digital transformation programs.

He worked with companies like Stada (CMC), Kontron, Waters, Documentum, NuGenesis, Definiens, IDBS, Tracelink and the OSTHUS Group. Manfred joined Tetrascience as VP Sales EMEA, responsible to deepening its pan-European presence and to develop localised Team Tetra, dedicated to serving the life sciences industry.

Tetrascience is one of the leading companies providing an open Scientific Data Cloud (E2E) and helps Pharmaceutical companies, Biotech’s and CDM/CDMOs on their digital transformation journey. The Tetra Scientific Data Cloud provides life sciences companies with data-centric capabilities, they help to connect and collect data from any source (instruments and applications), they help to engineer and harmonize data to enable easy access to centralized, harmonized, and actionable scientific data which can be actively deployed across an enterprise.

Manfred holds a Diploma in Analytical Chemistry from the Technical College of Applied Sciences in Frankfurt.

Glyn Williams, MSc, BSc Hons

Chief Product Officer


Glyn Williams joined DeepMatter as Chief Product Officer (CPO) in April 2022.
Working collaboratively with the leadership team, Glyn bridges between external parties (customers; technology and laboratory equipment providers etc.) and the Group’s technical team, to deliver material product enhancements, and connectivity, positioning the platform as the dominant digital interface for chemists globally. Glyn is passionate about scientific companies; collecting, managing and using their data. He joined DeepMatter with 30 years’ experience of informatics in pharma, life sciences and chemical industries, having started his career as an analytical chemist at Shell. He has worked with a number of companies, but spent the bulk of his career at IDBS, where he worked with all major pharma and helped IDBS become a brand leader in ELN with a customer base of >250 customers world-wide and >40,000 users. Glyn joined IDBS when it had just 7 employees, and was instrumental in its growth to over 250 globally, before it was sold to Danahar. He has previously led Product Management, Marketing, Sales, Development and Business Development and has a broad knowledge of HTS software, ELN and data management for chemical and biological data.

Viktoria Zieger, n/a

PhD student

Laboratory for MEMS Applications, IMTEK - University of Freiburg

Viktoria Zieger started her bachelor's degree in physics in Heidelberg in 2015 and completed it with her thesis about simulations of the accuracy of dose delivery for particle radiation in cancer therapy. In 2018 she continued her studies with a master's degree in Muenster with a focus on nanophysics and biophysics. For her thesis, she constructed a novel optical setup that combined a light sheet microscope with optical tweezers and used it to carry out microrheological measurements while simultaneously acquiring 3D microscopic images. In March 2021 she started her PhD in the Laboratory for MEMS Applications at the University of Freiburg. As part of her project, she is developing a platform for automated 3D microtumor analysis for personalized therapy. In this context, she designs and tests different methods for both automated microtumor production and automated single microtumor deposition to enable and facilitate high-throughput drug screening.

Tim Dillon

David Egan, Ph.D.


Core Life Analytics

"David Egan is the co-founder and CEO of Core Life Analytics, a Netherlands-based company that helps biologists to analyze their own data. Born in Carrickerry, Ireland, he completed his undergraduate training in Industrial Chemistry at the University of Limerick. He received his Ph.D. in 1997 from Cornell University Graduate School of Medical Sciences in New York, NY. 

After a post-doctoral fellowship at The Salk Institute in La Jolla, CA, and a position at OSI Pharmaceuticals in NY, he returned to Europe in 2003. In Utrecht, The Netherlands, while managing the Cell Screening Core at the Department of Cell Biology, he encountered the challenges of data analytics in phenotypic screening. This led to the development of the StratoMineR data analytics platform with Wienand Omta and the subsequent establishment of Core Life Analytics in 2016. Since then StratoMineR has been widely adopted in big pharma, biotech, and academic centers.

As part of the next stage of its development Core Life Analytics is launching the StratoVerse, a complete end- to-end, cloud-based, high-content analysis platform. It offers image storage in StratoMineR, high-performance image analysis in StratoScale, and downstream data analytics in StartoMineR, the current product."

Erik Gatenholm

President and CEO

BICO Group

Peter Tonge, PhD


Stony Brook University

Anton Ussi, MSc

Operations & Finance Director



Opening Keynote: Steve Rees​
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Open to view video. Challenges and Opportunities in Drug Discovery Since the first SLAS Annual Meeting in 2012 we have experienced a transformative change in drug discovery with novel technologies including Genomics, Functional Genomics and Artificial Intelligence being applied to better understand disease and to identify and validate novel drug targets. This transformation in our ability to identify novel drug targets with human validation and a direct line of sight to bespoke patient populations has resulted in a major challenge to the discovery scientist as many of these targets are unprecedented in terms of drug discovery and may be intractable to small molecule discovery. This challenge is being met through advances in the development of novel drug modalities with the ambition of enabling the discovery of a medicine to any target. In this presentation I will describe advances in the field in the last decade to address these challenges and how technology is transforming drug discovery
Keynote Presentation: Jeremy Simpson
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Open to view video. Developing nanoparticles as drug delivery systems - can HCS provide the answers? Nanoparticles offer huge potential as therapeutic delivery vehicles. Despite their increasing use, relatively little is understood with respect to how they interact with and enter cells, and how they traffic through the various subcellular compartments to reach their final destination. Our research has focused on the cellular mechanisms exploited by model fluorescently-labelled nanoparticles to interact with various in vitro cell models. We have used genome-wide RNA interference approaches, coupled with high-content screening (HCS) microscopy, to dissect the machinery that they use to deal with nanoparticles, providing the first systematic view of how this process occurs (1). Although these classical 2D-grown monolayers of cells have served biologists well for many years, there is a rapidly growing interest in probing cell function in more a physiological context. In this regard, 3D assemblies of cells, so-called spheroids, provide an attractive model. We have therefore developed pipelines to reliably produce spheroids and then image them using automated confocal HCS microscopy (2). We have recently shown how this model can also be applied to study nanoparticle penetration across multiple cell layers (3), as well as how nanoparticle-toxicity occurs (4). Our approaches enable quantitative information at the population, single cell and subcellular levels in 3D to be obtained, paving the way for a deeper understanding of the therapeutic potential of nanoparticles. (1) Panarella A et al. (2016) Sci. Rep. 6:28865. (2) Chalkley AS, Mysior MM & Simpson JC (2021) J. Vis. Exp. 178; doi:10.3791/63436. (2) Cutrona MB & Simpson JC (2019) Small 15(37):e1902033. (4) Kelly S et al. (2021) Nanoscale 13(41):17615-17628.
Closing Keynote: Dagmar Monett Díaz​
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Open to view video. Artificial Intelligence: The promise, the myth, and the challenges ahead AI has left the academic research lab once again. As a field, it is living a new spring mainly due to its recent machine learning applications, now also part of the technological advances we all use and are affected by every day. Yet, the AI promise to solve the future is both hitting the immaturity of its present and repeating several mistakes from the past. Myths about AI superpowers are ballooned above its actual capabilities, thereby obscuring the tremendous impact AI could have on the way technology is being perceived, developed, and used. Surrendering to machines is not the solution to society?s most crucial problems. It depends on us, humans, how we deal with AI and its implications when shaping the society we want to live in.
Emerging Biology
Combinatorial CRISPR Screening and the Next Evolution in Functional Genomics​
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Open to view video. Genome-scale CRISPR screens in cancer cell lines have enabled the unprecedented identification of genome-scale vulnerabilities and co-dependencies. However, a major obstacle in identifying co-dependencies is that the range of genomic features defines the discovery space. It is therefore clear that paired perturbations are needed to comprehensively map co-dependencies and establish functional genetic interaction maps. During my presentation, I will present the basic concept of CRISPR gene editing and functional genetic screening, and how these approaches can be used to identify co-dependencies and functional genetic maps. A particular focus will be set to key technological advancements that make human combinatorics possible. I will highlight Vivlion's© 3Cs technology and demonstrate its versatile applicability for monogenetic and combinatorial CRISPR approaches, and conclude my presentation by providing experimental design criteria.
An open access chemical biology database for developing better algorithms to predict compound properties​
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Open to view video. The European research infrastructure for chemical biology EU-OPENSCREEN was founded in 2018 to support chemical probe and drug discovery projects. Through its more than 20 partner institutes in nine European countries, it offers resources, expertise and technology platforms for the global life sciences community. Collaborators from academia and industry can make use of compound collection consisting of more than 100.000 commercially sourced small molecules, and a growing number of proprietary compounds submitted by academic chemists. All structures and primary screening data are available through its European Chemical Biology Database (ECBD). Experimentally measured physicochemical and biological data on compound properties such as solubility, light absorption, cytotoxicity or anti-microbial activity are now also being uploaded into the ECBD. These large and openly available data sets will allow the development of novel computational tools for accurate prediction of compound behaviour in in vitro screening assays. The addition of cell painting data for these compounds might aid in the elucidation of their molecular mechanisms and identification of biological targets when they are identified as promising hits in phenotypic assays.
Widening the Therapeutic Window: Kinetic Selectivity and Target Vulnerability​
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Open to view video. Time-dependent enzyme inhibitors are of particular interest in drug discovery programs since the rate of complex dissociation (koff) can be slower than the time scale of in vivo drug elimination, leading to sustained target occupancy at low drug concentration, enabling dosing frequency and exposure to be reduced and thus improving the therapeutic window. However, the translation of sustained occupancy to prolonged drug activity depends on factors such as target vulnerability and the rate of target turnover which in turn impact the potential benefits of kinetic selectivity. To provide direct insight into target vulnerability we are developing compounds with altered residence times on their targets and quantifying the molecular factors that modulate the coupling of time-dependent enzyme inhibition to prolonged drug activity following compound washout. We are also developing mechanistic PK/PD models that integrate the thermodynamic and kinetic parameters for enzyme inhibition into predictions of in vivo drug efficacy. Collectively this approach leads to a vulnerability function for target occupancy that can be used to predict the activity of other compounds that bind to the same target. In the present work we show that small changes in protein stability can have a dramatic impact on target vulnerability.
Selective high-throughput deposition of microtumors for in vitro studies on 3D tumor models​
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Open to view video. Three-dimensional in vitro tumor models are gaining increased attention as their physiological features are mimicking human tumors. This opens up new possibilities for carrying out preclinical drug testing in vitro and refining the transferability to in vivo models. In addition, patient-derived microtumors can be used to investigate the individual response to cancer treatment, thereby advancing the emerging field of precision oncology. The treatment response is critically dependent on the number of microtumors per test volume, like for example a well of a microtiter plate. For reliable drug studies, it is therefore necessary to be able to precisely control and adjust the number of microtumors per well. However, the standardized realization of large-scale studies is limited by a lack of technologies that enable robust and automated microtumor handling in the first place. To this end, we are developing an automated microtumor handling platform. The technology is based on a drop-on-demand approach and is able to print a definable quantity of individual, label-free microtumors with a diameter from 40 µm to 230 µm to a desired target location. The non-contact droplet dispenser is supplied with microtumor suspension from a reservoir. Droplets containing only one microtumor can then be placed into a physiologically mimicked microenvironment, for example, in order to study the effect of different drugs and drug doses. The technology is based on both, camera-assisted detection of microtumors in the dispenser as well as optical monitoring of the reservoir. In this way, the platform offers the option of transferring only specific microtumors to the dispenser, for example of a certain size range or shape. Only this desired fraction is then dispensed while the remaining components of the sample stay in the reservoir. Time-intensive sample pre-processing is avoided and sample loss rates below 10% can be achieved. Since the sample is only in contact with disposable, single-use products, the risk of cross-contamination is minimized. In addition, the viability and integrity of microtumors compared to control samples are preserved. The active scanning of the reservoir for suitable microtumors enables highly controlled processing so that microtumors can be placed with a frequency of up to one per second, regardless of the microtumor concentration. The total number of microtumors that can be processed in one run ranges from a few single ones to a few thousand, which technically opens up both pharmaceutical and clinical areas of application with high throughput and process flexibility.
A new immunocompetent OOC platform for modeling the 3D tumor microenvironment with capillary flow-driven immune cells
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Open to view video. One of the most unmet challenges of microphysiological systems (MPS) is related to more predictive and fully humanized in vitro models for immune-oncology. The preclinical assessment of immunotherapies is currently carried out through 2D cell culture in static conditions, and in vivo xenografts or genetically engineered animal models, generated by the engraftment of PDXs into immunodeficient mice bearing human immune cells, but cost, time, and complete immune-compatibility remain important challenges. A novel Multi-In Vitro Organ (MIVO) organ on a chip (OOC) platfom has been recently developed to culture immunocompetent tumor models, with circulating immune cells under proper physiological culture conditions. Biologically-relevant cancer samples (up to 5 mm) or patient biopsies are cultured within the MIVO chamber, while human immune cells (e.g. Natural Killer cells, NK) are able to (i) circulate in the OOC mimicking the blood capillary flow, (ii) extravasate through a permeable barrier resembling the vascular barrier, (iii) infiltrate the cancer tissue. A human 3D neuroblastoma model with proper immunophenotype was optimized to develop a complex tumor/immune cell coculture as a paradigm of an immune-oncology screening platform (Marrella A et al, 2019). NK cells have been introduced within the capillary fluid flow circulation of the MPS and their migration and infiltration towards the 3D tumor model was analyzed. Preliminary flow cytometry analysis highlighted that tumor cell viability seems to be reduced in the embedded coculture of tumor and NK cells, suggesting an effective anti-tumor NK cell-mediated activity. Importantly, a tumor-specific NK cell extravasation was observed, with DNAM1+ NK cells infiltrated within 3D tumor models. In conclusion, we generated a functional and relevant human model, through the adoption of OOC device, that can be efficiently employed as an immune-oncology screening platform, both for pharmacological treatments and for cell-based therapies, that could be ?infused? into the platform for testing their journey and activity toward tumor cells.
Enzyme Kinetics in early Drug Discovery
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High-level, flexible programming of automation enables complex automated Design of Experiments (DoE) execution
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Open to view video. Automation has been transformative in applications where the same protocols are used many times with little to no variation between repeats: classic examples are high-throughput screening and diagnostics. However, automation hardware available on the market is highly flexible, and can enable highly dynamic and varied experiments. The issue lies with the length of time needed to program automation and establish new protocols: establishing and modifying methods can be extremely arduous, which results in automation under-utilisation. Here we show how high level, no-code programming on the Synthace platform can enable highly sophisticated multifactorial experimentation. Design of Experiments (DoE) is a systematic method of investigating the combined effect of multiple factors simultaneously, which we have found to be extremely powerful for the optimisation of a wide range of biological protocols. However, DOEs will often vary substantially from run to run, making conventional programming of automation untenable. High quality and robust biochemical and cell assays are critical for drug discovery campaigns, and the development of such assays is a multifactorial and complex process. With the ambition to improve both assay quality and robustness whilst decreasing timelines and cost, a focused effort was made to investigate the value of an integrated software solution to link assay design with experimental execution and data analysis in the assay development process. Here we describe how scientists across the Discovery Biology department at AstraZeneca have implemented workflows using the Synthace platform to enable complex DoE (JMP software, SAS Institute Inc) and HDE experiment designs (In house generated Excel tools, Microsoft) to be run on the Dragonfly® Discovery liquid dispenser (SPT Labtech) and Echo 655 (Beckman). This enabled experiments of a complexity and sophistication that was previously impractical, resulting in much greater insight and more robust, higher quality assays.
Automated library synthesis and screening as a new tool for accelerating preclinical profiling
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Open to view video. Automated library synthesis and screening as a new tool for accelerating preclinical profiling Fredrik Edfeldt Mechanistic & Structural Biology, Discovery Sciences, R&D, AstraZeneca We asked the provocative question whether traditional approaches for optimization of compounds is always the most efficient - or whether there are more effective methods that can be applied early in projects or at stages where it is important to explore a larger chemical space. Rapid exploration of chemical series through the automated synthesis and integrated purpose-built testing of large compound libraries has the potential to significantly reduce costs and cut times to delivery of candidate drugs. Building on an established automated chemistry platform (Kossenjans, SLAS2020), here we present on the application of this platform for rapid library profiling based on off-rate screening. Removal of the normal sample submission and subsequent plating process reduces times to test from weeks to days. We have developed an efficient process comprising of: library design, high throughput plate-based nano-scale synthesis, off-rate testing of crude reaction mixtures, re-synthesis and purification, and finally testing and validation of purified actives. A key part of the improved process is to skip lengthy purification and instead use crude reaction mixtures, which is feasible since off-rate measurements are concentration independent. We focus on surface plasmon resonance measurements as the sensitivity allows testing with low reaction yields. We also present and discuss some of the pitfalls with the approach, such as cases with poor correlation between off-rate and affinity/activity and when chemical reagents interfere with measurements. Presented case studies across the AstraZeneca drug discovery portfolio include rapid exploration of tool compounds, evaluation of HTS, DEL & FBLG hits, selectivity profiling, and improvement of physico-chemical properties in lead optimization.
BromoTag; A rapid and selective tagged protein degradation approach
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Open to view video. Small-molecule-induced protein depletion technologies, also called inducible degrons, allow degradation of genetically engineered target proteins within cells and animals. Here, we design and develop the BromoTag, a new inducible degron system comprising a Brd4 bromodomain L387A variant as a degron tag that allows direct recruitment by heterobifunctional bumped proteolysis targeting chimeras (PROTACs) to hijack the VHL E3 ligase. We describe extensive optimization and structure?activity relationships of our bump-and-hole?PROTACs using a CRISPR knock-in cell line expressing model target BromoTag-Brd2 at endogenous levels. Collectively, our cellular and mechanistic data qualifies bumped PROTAC AGB1 as a potent, fast, and selective degrader of BromoTagged proteins, with a favorable pharmacokinetic profile in mice. The BromoTag adds to the arsenal of chemical genetic degradation tools allowing us to manipulate protein levels to interrogate the biological function and therapeutic potential in cells and in vivo.
Profiling pipeline for PROTAC characterisation and optimisation
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Open to view video. PROTACs (Proteolysis targeting chimeras) are two-headed small molecules constituting a ligand for a specific protein of interest and a ligand for an E3 ligase, joined by a linker. PROTACs undergo a cascade of events to efficiently degrade the target. They co-recruit target protein and an E3 ligase in a binary and ternary fashion, leading to ubiquitination and proteasome-dependent degradation of the target protein. This talk will address techniques for monitoring each step in the cascade and quantifying key read-out and parameters with the aim to guide PROTAC optimisation.
Emerging Technology
Applications of Cell Painting in Safety Prediction
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Open to view video. Chemical structural data is frequently used In safety prediction but is limited in its generalizability to unknown chemical spaces. High-dimensional cell morphology data are versatile biological descriptors and could hence improve the performance of predictive models, assuming its information content is at least partially independent of the chemical structure. We combined Cell Painting, Gene Expression features and Morgan fingerprints to explore and detect mitochondrial membrane depolarization. We found mitochondrial toxicants significantly differ from non-toxic compounds in morphological space. Our models combining Cell Painting, Gene Expression features and Morgan Fingerprints relatively improved detection (F1 scores) of toxicants by 60% (from 0.25 to 0.42). Such models improved the applicability domains, facilitated mechanistic analysis by interpreting the features and could enhance the detection of mitochondrial toxicants. In another study, we improved the fusion of models by leveraging distance to training data in both morphology and chemical space. For 92 PubChem assays annotated with Cell Painting readouts, two Random Forest classification models (Cell Painting features and Morgan fingerprints) were combined using a decision boundary based on their distance to the training set both morphologically and chemically. Models based on decision boundary improved the prediction of biological assay outcomes by combining high predictivity of fingerprints in areas of chemical space close to the training set with better generalizability of cell morphology descriptors at greater distances to the training set. Finally, we aimed at interpreting the Cell Painting features using convolutional neural networks to predict toxicity assays such as proliferation, oxidative stress, apoptosis etc. Visual explanations (information areas) generated using gradient-based localization (Grad-CAM) were used to interpret and determine similarities in information areas. Compounds with similar mechanisms of action showed similar information areas. Overall, our results show that single-screen hypotheses-free Cell Painting assays contain pharmacological information and could predict outcomes for a range of safety endpoints in drug discovery projects.
Data-efficient and multimodal computational pathology
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Automation of compound screening and high content imaging of 3D triple-negative breast cancer patient-derived tumoroids
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Open to view video. Finding efficient drug combinations to treat cancer patients is critical for therapy success, especially for rare types of tumors that resist traditional therapy. Triple negative breast cancer is a clinically aggressive subtype, with high rates of metastasis, recurrence, and drug resistance, and no clinically approved small molecule targeted therapies. There is a critical need to develop methods for efficient testing drug efficacy in patient-derived tumor samples to discover new therapeutic targets. Patient-derived 3D cancer models are highly valuable tools for cancer research and drug development. However, the complexity of performing 3D assays remains a hurdle for adopting these methods for compound screening. In the present study we describe automation of imaging, analysis, and cell culture methods which enables scaling up complex 3D cell-based assays and compound screening. We developed an integrated workcell that includes a confocal imaging system, an automated CO2 incubator, an automated liquid handler, and a collaborative robot. The workcell allows an automation of compound testing, culture monitoring, and evaluation of phenotypic effects of drugs with high content imaging. Tumoroids were formed from primary cells isolated from a patient-derived tumor explant, TU-BcX-4IC, that represents metaplastic breast cancer with a triple-negative breast cancer subtype. Cells were expanded in 2D, then tumoroids were formed by plating cells in U-shape low attachment 384 plates. Tumoroids were treated with 165 compounds of approved cancer drugs from the NCI library at multiple concentrations. Cell plating, compound dilutions, compound additions, media exchange, and staining were performed using Biomek liquid handler. Tumoroids were monitored using transmitted light imaging and phenotypic analysis was done using machine learning. For end point assays tumoroids were stained with nuclear and viability dyes and imaged using IXM automated confocal imaging system. Advanced image analysis included 3D reconstitution and phenotypic evaluation. We characterized multiple quantitative descriptors for tumor phenotypes and compound effects including characterization of tumoroid size, integrity, cell morphology and viability. Cell Painting method was used for 3D tumoroids for evaluation of phenotypic effects. The method uses six fluorescent dyes to reveal eight cellular components or organelles: nucleus, nucleoli, RNA, endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria, plasma membrane, Golgi and cytoskeleton. Then principal component analysis was used to identify hits and cluster them based on similarity of phenotypes. Concentration-dependent effects of compounds were observed across multiple read-outs. Eight compounds were detected that demonstrated effects at low concentrations (10 nM), including romidepsin, trametinib, bortezomib, carfilzomib, panobinostat, that will be further investigated as potential drug candidates. 33 additional compound were identified as effective at higher concentrations. We demonstrated methods for increased throughput and automation in 3D cancer assays, that are suitable for compound screening using patient-derived samples. We also demonstrated the analysis approaches and descriptors that provide information about cell phenotypes and compound effects.
Streamlining a 3D workflow to enable automated high resolution, high content imaging in physiologically-relevant microtissue models
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Open to view video. Human tissue homeostasis relies on cell-cell contact and paracrine signaling between multiple cell types. The cyto-architecture of tissue, which includes the 3-dimensional organization of native cell types and surrounding ECM, also plays an important role in maintaining normal tissue function and viability. As a result, in vitro assays which rely on isolated cell types cultured in 2-dimensions cannot adequately model dysregulation of homeostasis and development of human disease, or the prevention and reversal thereof. To overcome this shortcoming, we developed 3-dimensional, heterotypic in vitro models of human tissue (a.k.a. spheroid microtissues) and an accompanying Akura? 384 microplate technology that supports the production, cultivation, and the imaging of spheroids microtissues with the single cell resolution and spatial context afforded by confocal imaging. The platform is also scalable and automation-compatible making it ideal for studying integrated tissue responses at earlier stages of the drug discovery pipeline. As an example of this concept, Islet microtissues prepared in Akura? 384 plates were subjected to automated high-resolution imaging on a confocal Yokogawa CQ1 HCA instrument. Using this approach, we were able to develop an exquisitely sensitive and automated imaging assay to quantify beta cell proliferation in the context of intact heterotypic islet microtissues. The automated liquid handling-compatibility of the combined microtissue/microplate platform was also explored via the implementation of a fully automated fixation, permeabilization, immuno-staining, and tissue clearing method on an OpenTrons OT-2 pipetting station. Tumor microtissues were subjected to an automated overnight Fix-Perm-Stain-Clear method and evaluated via High Content Imaging for retention of spheroids, tissue clarity, and uniform staining of 3 spatially resolved detection reagents. Our results suggest that the platform is fully compatible with automated assay processing steps and consistent with a high-throughput workflow. As the dependence on 3D tissue models and downstream imaging continues to expand, streamlining 3D workflows is crucial to the successful scaling of these models for higher throughput applications. Innovations, such as the development of standardized heterotypic 3D models, 3D-optimized microplates, and introduction of 3D-compatible automation (e.g. liquid handling and confocal imaging) may help overcome the remaining obstacles limiting the broader utilization 3D cell models in early drug discovery.
Automation- and miniaturization of organoid assays for drug screening ? development of a screening platform for hepatocellular carcinoma
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Open to view video. The last years have shown an enormous increase in the popularity of using organoids for in vitro drug evaluation due to their improved physiological relevance, which in turn is expected to reduce the number and size of in vivo studies required to confirm the results. Most drug tests using organoids happen in a small scale, and these experiments often take place as validation experiments of earlier in vitro drug screens. Currently, most organoid drug screens range in size from a few hundred to maybe a few thousand compounds per screen, but do not typically approach the size of traditional high-throughput screens. This is a direct result of the technical challenges associated with automation of organoid screening assays. On the one hand, this is due to the availability of organoids, but on the other hand also due to the reagents traditionally used that are costly and require extensive temperature regulation. Here we report the development of an organoid high-throughput screening platform for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) that is compatible with 1536 well plates and uses the nanocellulose-based hydrogel GrowDex-T rather than its animal-derived alternatives as a matrix. Furthermore, due to this miniaturization, no pipette tips are required at any step in the screening procedure, thereby dramatically reducing the experimental cost and improving the assay quality.
Why Lasagne Are Better Than Spaghetti: A Novel Automated High Throughput Screening Model for Adipogenic Differentiation
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Open to view video. Cultured meat is an emergent technology that aims to resolve problems related to industrial livestock farming. To accurately mimic traditional meat, fat tissue is needed for texture and flavor. Fibro-adipogenic progenitor cells (FAPs) can be efficiently differentiated to mature adipocytes in three-dimensional (3D) cultures, with FAPs embedded in edible hydrogel enabling large scale production of fat for human consumption, which have been given the moniker ?spaghetti'. For optimizing the large scale production, methods are needed that (1) reliably mimic adipose differentiation in a 3D hydrogel culture and (2) are scalable to allow efficient screenings for optimal media compositions. Unfortunately, 3D cultures are unwieldy and difficult to handle. And while 2D cultures are easy to scale up, they often fail to reproduce cell behavior in 3D environments. Therefore, we established an intermediate culture system that unites the advantages of both systems. In this ?2.5D? culture, cells embedded in a hydrogel are seeded as thin sheets (given the endearment ?lasagne?) adhered to the bottom of a 96-well plate. While the embedded cells are still subjected to a 3D structure, the sheets can be handled and analyzed like conventional 2D cultures, enabling high-throughput screening for media conditions. Here we outline this novel and cost-effective method to differentiate adipocytes in a 2.5D setting using the open source, low-cost Opentrons OT-2 liquid handler. With robotic handling, sheets of a 5 to 12 µL (1.5 - 3.6 105 cells) FAPs/hydrogel mixture are pipetted into the center of a well, followed by a wash with a cross-linking solution to induce polymerisation of the hydrogel. These sheets are then differentiated over a four-week period with weekly media changes. Adipogenic differentiation is assessed by lipid staining and quantifying lipid content using a high content screening device. Due to the adherent nature of 2.5D cultures, all steps (preparing media, media changes, fixation and staining) can be performed with a liquid handler thus minimizing hands-on time for the researcher. For the sheets, as little as 1.5x105 cells can be used, reducing the needed amount of cells substantially compared to floating 3D differentiation, where a minimum of 1x106 cells is needed for reliable differentiation and analysis. Our results show that the differentiation efficiency of this 2.5D lasagne culture is more comparable to the 3D spaghetti differentiation and more predictive for large-scale applications than the conventional 2D method. Additionally, this method enables higher throughput than the same procedure done manually. The resultant method is a reproducible, cost-effective, and cell-efficient screening platform that can be automated using a low-cost liquid handler system.
AI_PREMie: saving lives of mothers and babies using AI.
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Open to view video. Background: Preeclampsia (new-onset hypertension and proteinuria presenting after 20 weeks gestation) is a serious complication affecting 1 in 10 pregnancies. Annually, preeclampsia claims the lives of 50,000 mothers and 500,000 babies, making it one of the world?s deadliest pregnancy complications. Timely diagnosis remains a significant challenge, and pre-term delivery of the baby is the only cure and the safest option for the mother. As a result, an additional 5 million babies are born prematurely each year, which poses its own risk for the child's survival and long-term health. Accurate diagnosis and risk stratification, where patients are assigned health risk statuses to help inform care, is urgently required to reduce these enormous competing risks for both mother and baby. Aim: To develop a novel, easy-to-use, real-time tool for the diagnosis and risk stratification of preeclampsia. Method: Combining cutting-edge biomedical, clinical, and machine-learning knowhow we have developed a prototype risk stratification tool for preeclampsia called AI_PREMie. Results: Utilising an in-house platelet-based diagnostics discovery platform, PALADINTM, we have uncovered a combination of patent-pending biomarkers that have not only shown great promise in diagnosing preeclampsia, but which may also be useful in separating women who will progress to severe disease from those who will remain stable. Using powerful machine-learning algorithms, we have combined these unique biochemical signals with patient demographics, medical history, and clinical assessment data to develop a new prototype test, AI_PREMie. In a population of women with suspected preeclampsia, recruited across the three large maternity hospitals, thereby capturing 50% of Irish births; we have compelling evidence that our new test AI_PREMie can accurately diagnose preeclampsia, which can be incredibly challenging even for experienced front-line staff. We found that AI_PREMie may also be useful towards predicting whether a woman will progress to severe preeclampsia, permitting a more accurate timing of delivery, and potentially allowing a baby to remain in utero for several more precious hours or days, impacting their survival chances and long-term health. Conclusion: In the future, through performance of our analysis using standard equipment in the hospital lab as well as ?in the cloud?, we hope that AI_PREMie will arm clinical care providers across the globe with an affordable risk stratification tool to closely observe pregnancies complicated by preeclampsia and will help to prevent unnecessary adverse outcomes for mother and baby. Furthermore, as we are utilising cloud technology, the AI_PREMie tool has the potential to continually learn and evolve once it is implemented into widespread clinical practice.
ZeBYTE - A new platform integrating AI and zebrafish data
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Open to view video. The zebrafish is a vertebrate model displaying high genetic and physiologic homology with humans. As such, it provides strong biological translatability to model diseases and discover new targets and drugs. In addition, its experimental features ? large progenies, quick organ maturation, small size and optical transparency ? allow its exploitation for high-throughput genetic and pharmacological screenings. Thus, allowing the generation of massive datasets. The combination of biological translatability and big data acquisition makes zebrafish ideal for applying AI tools for: i) automating the extraction of phenotypic endpoints; ii) predicting toxicity; and iii) discovering new therapeutic targets. Based on these uses, ZeClinics is building ZeBYTE, a unique platform expected to accelerate the discovery and understanding of new therapeutic targets and drugs.
VirCAD©: An AI/ML BioCAD Platform for Viral Bioengineering
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Open to view video. Current gene therapies are mostly limited to plasmid-based and Adeno-associated virus variants with inefficient response rates and limited use. Better viral delivery methods would expand the available cell and gene therapy tool kit to produce precision medicines for intractable and incurable diseases. We are building VirCAD© (Virus Computer-Aided Design), an HPC-powered, cloud-accessible, AI/ML-capable bioCAD platform to mine, design, model and simulate new viral drugs for better cell and gene therapies, vaccines, oncolytics and antibiotics. These modalities would be useful for treating and potentially curing the many inherited and acquired genetic disorders afflicting patients due to their therapeutic specificity, efficiency and irreversibility.
Finding disease phenotypes and candidate therapeutics using images: Cell Painting​
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Open to view video. Cell images contain a vast amount of quantifiable information about the status of the cell: for example, whether it is diseased, whether it is responding to a drug treatment, or whether a pathway has been disrupted by a genetic mutation. We aim to go beyond measuring individual cell phenotypes that biologists already know are relevant to a particular disease. Instead, in a strategy called image-based profiling, hundreds of features of cells (or other biological samples, such as tissues or whole organisms) are extracted from images using advanced computer vision techniques, including deep learning, using whatever stains are present in the experiment, even label-free imaging. Just like transcriptional profiling, the similarities and differences in the patterns of extracted features reveal connections among diseases, drugs, and genes. Often using the Cell Painting assay, we are harvesting similarities in image-based profiles to identify, at a single-cell level, how diseases, drugs, and genes affect cells, which can uncover small molecules? mechanism of action, discover gene functions, predict assay outcomes, discover disease-associated phenotypes, identify the functional impact of disease-associated alleles, and find novel therapeutic candidates.
JUMP-Cell Painting - Powering drug discovery and development with images
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Open to view video. Cell microscopy images contain a vast amount of information about the status of the cell: whether it is diseased, how it is responding to a drug treatment, or whether a certain pathway has been disrupted, for example. These profiles can be analyzed to identify subtle cellular patterns, potentially biologically meaningful but undetectable to the human eye. The JUMP-Cell Painting Consortium, a group of pharmaceutical companies and non-profits, aims to create a critical mass of such cellular imaging data to empower discoveries about cell biology that can inform drug discovery and development. The goal is to create the world?s largest public Cell Painting image set of chemical and genetic perturbations. The community will use it to identify the effect of each gene or compound on the cell?s shape or activity ? creating a morphological atlas that can be referenced as a baseline in further studies. With a large reference of image-based cellular profiles, scientists could computationally compare their images to determine a drug?s likely mechanism of action or a gene variant?s impact, accelerating basic biology research and drug discovery alike.
Generating large transcriptomics data sets for AI modelling and other applications for Drug Discovery
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Open to view video. We live in an era of OMICs scale biological data driven largely by advances in next generation sequencing (NGS). Transcriptomics particularly offers the opportunity to gather rich, comprehensive, unbiased multi-dimensional data from dynamic states such as age, disease, drug treatment amongst diverse populations and model systems of all species. This data is being harnessed to drive success in drug discovery through enhancing our deep molecular understanding of disease, patient and treatment. When performed comprehensively transcriptomics generates enormous datasets that can not only answer the primary study questions but can also be repurposed and combined with other omics datasets, with the ultimate aim of building robust systems wide predictive biological models that will take us into another era of drug discovery and development. To support this vision it is imperative when we perform transcriptomics experiments we maximise the fidelity, bredth and depth of data generation and analysis. In this presentation we will discuss how we should optimally approach the generation and analysis of large transcriptomics datasets, starting from the original experimental design philosophy, through sample generation and handling, processing, sequencing, data analysis and ultimately deriving scientific knowledge and wisdom. We will also cover the need to perpetually embrace scientific and technological advances which increase the utility and longevity of these transcriptomics datasets, and provide use case examples across a range of different large-scale transcriptomics projects. Large-scale transcriptomics together with other multi-dimensional omics data sets offers us the rare opportunity to move our fundamental understanding of biology from observation and reactivity to predictive and pro-activity - that will enable us to make revolutionary advances in the treatment of disease, as long as we take the necessary steps along the way to maximise the dimensionality and fidelity of the data we generate, and the knowledge we infer.
Smart Chemistry : Proprietary Data Acquisition for use with Proprietary Algorithms
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Open to view video. Chemistry now generates vast amounts of data however without context this data is of limited value. Capturing comprehensive data sets from reactions in real time enables their use in real time and retrospectively, facilitating improved outcomes, better reproducibility and contemporaneous control of conditions. An important element of this is the ability to describe any chemistry experiment in a standardised format, DMG will illustrate its approach using a range of different experimental sources, how this can provide improved outcomes and may be applied prospectively. Legacy data sets e.g. ELN records may be data rich however accessibility may not be straightforward; translation to a standardised format enables improved context for the data and AI provides the opportunity to maximise their value.
Perspectives on the European Life Sciences Ecosystem
Creating Value Through Entrepreneurship | Panel Discussion​
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Open to view video. Stories from two entrepreneurs who founded biotech companies, grew them over years up to clinical stage and sold them to Pharma company matched by the view of investors in medtech and therapeutics on importance of technology, team and investor for the success of the companies. Shed light on career opportunities in start-ups vs. academia vs. pharma. Dos and Don'ts for entrepreneurs.
Lessons learned from a Scientist turned Entrepreneur
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Open to view video. My journey from Bench to Boardroom, or how I got from my engineering and biotechnology background to entrepreneurship and developing tools to unlock life science and diagnostics solutions, based on disruptive technologies
Beyond COVID-19: Embracing vulnerability on the road to recovery
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From pure mathematics to accelerating drug discovery with AI
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Open to view video. While studying rather abstract pure mathematics during my PhD, I never imagined I'd end up in the world of drug discovery. All I knew was that I didn't want to pursue a career as an academic mathematician, nor end up in finance. I can't say my journey was meticulously planned. The decisions I made were largely informed by my interests, and perhaps a somewhat slow realisation that my mathematics background and way of thinking were surprisingly useful for tackling problems in the drug discovery space. During this session, I hope to share my career journey and provide insights into my decision-making.
A Career in Materials Science & Engineering – Linking Ceramics, Ice Cream and Pharmaceuticals
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Open to view video. When asked the dreaded question "What do you want to be when you grow up" and you respond that you either want to be a pilot or an inventor - with the pilot route there is some semblance of academic subjects that you can study that will move you in that direction. But the route is slightly trickier if what you really want to be is an inventor. I have found that the discipline of Materials Science and Engineering has served me well in my pursuit of this childhood dream. This subject is truly multidisciplinary and can be applied to any industry that fabricates products from raw materials. In this way, a career that began researching high temperature ceramics for aerospace applications has progressed to the study of other diverse materials such as ice creams and pharmaceutical dosage forms. My presentation will highlight the importance of honing portable skills in your career, the importance of specific asks for continued career development, and finally, the importance of maintaining a network of allies to help you progress to your next career challenge.
Taking the pain out of partnerships | Panel Discussion
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Open to view video. Working across institutional and geographical borders is often essential for success, yet is tough to master. Is there a secret recipe for painless collaboration, or is misery inevitable? We'll hear the do's and don'ts of partnering up, on the basis of success stories - and abject failures - from the field.
From Scientific Innovation to Scalable Business in Europe
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Open to view video. Europe is home to 43 of the top 100 universities of the world, shows excellent productivity in publications and patents, and has a lively, growing startup scene. Aside from ICT and fintech, life-science is a key playing field for startups. Especially in the latter space, innovation speed is high, but translation into global players succeeds not often enough. We'll discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the European ecosystem as we encountered them while building InSphero from a 3-person academic spin-off into a global leader in 3D cell culture and organ-on-chip technology.
Building a global business from a European base
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Open to view video. Building a successful global business while based in Europe has many challenges: How do I effectively market to customers in different regions? Will the same commercial tactics work in all geographies? How do I penetrate a new geography? Does the same customer need your product / technology is trying to address exit is different geographies? Are there any logistical / regulatory hurdles that might affect my ability to sell? These are just some of the questions that a business may encounter as it seeks to expand its coverage.
Headwinds and Tailwinds, Bulls and Bears: Navigating Changing Conditions to Build Great Businesses
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Open to view video. It has been a wild ride in public markets over the past two and a half years. The flurry of public listings, crossover financings and increases in valuations during the roughly 18 months years that followed the onset of the pandemic was spectacular. The drop off in public listings, crossover financings and decreases in valuation over the past eight months has been equally spectacular. So what does all this mean for emerging companies in the life sciences sector going forward? The truth is that nobody (least of all the person giving this talk) really knows. But a look at how companies have navigated challenging conditions in the past may help us all put recent events in perspective as we continue to build successful businesses in Europe and globally.
The Future of Life-Saving Treatments
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Special Sessions
StartUp 101- moving from a promising idea/research into creating a start up
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Open to view video. How does one move from a promising idea or research into creating a startup? Our panelists have done exactly that and they are excited to share their stories, lessons learned, wins and losses. Join us to learn strategies for creating and growing your own startup, including best practices on logistics and operation, market access tips, and strategies for success.
Ignite Award Finalist Presentations ​-Causeway Sensors Limited (United Kingdom)
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Open to view video. Ignite Award Finalist Presentations ​ The SLAS Ignite Award recognises the best start-up or emerging company exhibiting within Innovation AveNEW, the specially designated area for start-ups and emerging companies within the Exhibition. Companies selected for Innovation AveNEW, and 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. Watch presentations from the three finalists for this award as they compete for this prestigious prize. The Ignite Award Finalists for Europe 2022 are: Causeway Sensors Limited (United Kingdom) ICFO (Spain) KinCon Biolabs (Austria) SUN Bioscience (Switzerland)
Combinatorial CRISPR Screening and the Next Evolution in Functional Genomics​
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Open to view video. Genome-scale CRISPR screens in cancer cell lines have enabled the unprecedented identification of genome-scale vulnerabilities and co-dependencies. However, a major obstacle in identifying co-dependencies is that the range of genomic features defines the discovery space. It is therefore clear that paired perturbations are needed to comprehensively map co-dependencies and establish functional genetic interaction maps. During my presentation, I will present the basic concept of CRISPR gene editing and functional genetic screening, and how these approaches can be used to identify co-dependencies and functional genetic maps. A particular focus will be set to key technological advancements that make human combinatorics possible. I will highlight Vivlion's© 3Cs technology and demonstrate its versatile applicability for monogenetic and combinatorial CRISPR approaches, and conclude my presentation by providing experimental design criteria.
Ignite Award Finalist Presentations ​- ICFO/ShinePhi (Spain)
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Open to view video. Ignite Award Finalist Presentations The SLAS Ignite Award recognises the best start-up or emerging company exhibiting within Innovation AveNEW, the specially designated area for start-ups and emerging companies within the Exhibition. Companies selected for Innovation AveNEW, and 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. Watch presentations from the three finalists for this award as they compete for this prestigious prize. The Ignite Award Finalists for Europe 2022 are: Causeway Sensors Limited (United Kingdom) ICFO (Spain) KinCon Biolabs (Austria) SUN Bioscience (Switzerland)
Ignite Award Finalist Presentations- KinCon Biolabs (Austria)
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Open to view video. Ignite Award Finalist Presentations The SLAS Ignite Award recognises the best start-up or emerging company exhibiting within Innovation AveNEW, the specially designated area for start-ups and emerging companies within the Exhibition. Companies selected for Innovation AveNEW, and 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. Watch presentations from the three finalists for this award as they compete for this prestigious prize. The Ignite Award Finalists for Europe 2022 are: Causeway Sensors Limited (United Kingdom) ICFO (Spain) KinCon Biolabs (Austria) SUN Bioscience (Switzerland)
Ignite Award Finalist Presentations- SUN Bioscience (Switzerland)
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Open to view video. Ignite Award Finalist Presentations The SLAS Ignite Award recognises the best start-up or emerging company exhibiting within Innovation AveNEW, the specially designated area for start-ups and emerging companies within the Exhibition. Companies selected for Innovation AveNEW, and 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. Watch presentations from the three finalists for this award as they compete for this prestigious prize. The Ignite Award Finalists for Europe 2022 are: Causeway Sensors Limited (United Kingdom) ICFO (Spain) KinCon Biolabs (Austria) SUN Bioscience (Switzerland)
Sustainability in the Lab​
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Open to view video. Base reduction, recycling, supply chain, green products and more! This panel is going to share their strategies for supporting all the ways to ensure environmental sustainability in the lab of now and the lab of the future. Attendees will hear best practices for sustainability in the life sciences, collaboration potential, and what we as a community can do together to implement best practices.
Future of Work After Pandemics- Technology Providers Future Strategy​
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Open to view video. This panel discussion will focus on the future of the remote workforce, technological advances in managing and measuring productivity, and how tools, automation and software uses have changed post pandemic. Join in the discussion on how supply chain issues have affected technology providers and hear about their solutions, how remote product management affects user experience, and customers: please come ready to share your experiences in the use of remote technological tools and customer support.
Horizon Europe: Research and Innovation​
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Open to view video. Join the Irish National Delegate for Horizon Europe as they chat with SLAS European Ambassador on how Horizon Europe fosters research and innovation through this key funding program. Come prepared to learn how to access tech partners to fill gaps in your institution, what the priority areas are for Horizon Europe, and processes to develop Horizon Europe work programmes.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion​
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Open to view video. This conversation on DEI walks us through the importance of DEI at a micro-level, as well as at the macro-level of our life sciences industry. We will discuss the value of diversity, equity and inclusion to our businesses and our industry, particularly as it relates to talent, as well as specific DEI policies or programs that have been especially effective for organizations? growth in diversity, equity and inclusion.
Powering the Standardization, Sharing and Reuse of Data to Become a Data Driven Company​
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Open to view video. How can we encourage and enable the more open, accessible data sharing and ensure homogeneity of data collection processes? Our panel of data professionals will share their thoughts and strategies for opening our world of data. The panelists will discuss: -Making data as open as possible -Data standardization -Where should data be shared -Regulation of data sharing