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Tips, Trends, and Innovations at Lab Automation 2017

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Laboratory Automation 2017 kicks off this Wednesday, May 24th and continues through Thursday, May 25th. The virtual conference is new to the LabRoots line-up and is for professionals interested in the most recent technologies for today’s labs. Laboratory automation is a multi-disciplinary approach benefiting from technologies in the lab that facilitate new and improved processes with the goals of increasing productivity, improving data quality, and reducing manual lab procedures for more reliable results.

This year’s Lab Automation virtual conference will include discussions about Automation and High-Throughput Technologies, Lab Automation and Screening, Data Analysis and Informatics, Micro- and Nanotechnologies, and Cellular Technologies. Participating in this virtual event and watching qualified webcast presentations such as those outlined below offers the opportunity to earn Free Continuing Education (PACE) and/or Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits.

felderOn May 24th, 2017 at 9:00 AM PDT, Robin Felder, PhD, a Professor and Associate Director of Clinical Chemistry and Toxicology at the Univerisity of Virgina School of Medicine, will discuss “Fully Automated 3D Cell Culture for Human Cells.”

Dr. Robin Felder has published over 300 papers, reviews, and chapters, and co-edited 3 textbooks on medical automation. He has been awarded 27 patents and has founded 9 biotech companies, including 2 non-profit organizations including the Association for Laboratory Automation (SLAS) (and its journal JALA) as well as Medical Automation.org.

The consistent and optimized production of living human cells for drug discovery and regenerative medicine faces many challenges including the need for cost effective large scale expansion, improved representation of in vivo cellular physiology, and the ability to achieve reproducible data and/or cellular products.  In order to achieve these goals there has been an evolution in the methods used to culture cells involving the use of potentially automated 3D approaches that include the growth of cells in and on biomimetic substrates, optimization of cell culture media, and exposing cells to shear forces and oxygen tension that more closely mimics the in vivo environment. Dr. Felder will discuss current 3D cell culture systems and their suitability for automation.  The presentation will demonstrate the benefits and ROI of each automated 3D cell culture process, and the need to create improved standards for primary/stem cell production and screening.

carvalhoOn May 25th, 2017 at 10:30 AM PDT, Denise Carvalho-Silva, PhD, will present “Open Targets Platform: mining gene and disease evidence for improved drug target selection.”

Dr. Carvalho-Silva is the Scientific Outreach Officer for the Open Targets Program at EMBL-EBI, where she delivers workshops, provides user support, and creates online training materials for the Open Targets projects. Before coming to Open Targets, she worked in Ensembl at EMBL-EBI, at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute as a Research Associate in Human Evolution, and as a Senior Computer Biologist in the HAVANA team on the GENCODE, EUCOMM and Pig genome projects.

Open Targets is a public-private partnership made up of four global leading institutions in the fields of pharmaceuticals, bioinformatics and genomics, GSK, EMBL-EBI, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, and Biogen. The group combines large-scale genomic experiments with objective statistical and computational techniques to identify and validate the causal links between targets, pathways, and diseases. The Open Targets Platform, a web application for data integration and visualization, enables biomedical researchers to discover and prioritize biological targets for new therapies. Dr. Carvalho-Silva will introduce the Open Targets Consortium and focus on the Open Targets Platform. She will demonstrate how the Platform can be used to visualize and interpret target and disease associations based on the different datasets available.

coopeAlso on May 25th, 2017 at 6:00 AM PDT, Dr. Robin Coope will present his talk titled, “In-House Technology Development for Next Gen Sequencing, Tissue Handling and beyond, at the BC Cancer Agency.”

Robin Coope is the Instrumentation Group Leader at the BC Cancer Agency’s Genome Sciences Centre and has been in the genomics field since 2000. Dr. Coope is responsible for evaluating new instrumentation as well as designing de-novo solutions. At the GSC, Dr. Coope has led several large-scale automation efforts including mechanizing a large scale genomic mapping pipeline to characterize large scale rearrangements in follicular lymphoma genomes and more recently, leading the development of the first 96 channel size selection robot for NGS sample preparation.

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