Special Interest Group Meetings

Dive deep into a subject area and talk to experts with similar interests

Wednesday, 27 June

Sample Management Special Interest Group

Wednesday, 27 June | 16:45 – 17:45 | Studio 311

Facilitator: Thomas Frech, Director Life Sciences, Xavo

The Sample Management SIG provides a forum for discussing sample library management issues in the modern drug-discovery high-throughput screening laboratory. Sample libraries include discrete compounds, defined compound mixtures, natural product extracts, and biologics (tissues, cells, DNA, RNA, and antibodies). Topics of critical importance include issues involved in:

Sample Collection: sample acquisition, structural diversity, physical storage, physical manipulation, sample purity and stability.
Materials Management: logistics, information technology, customer support, quality control and systems integration.
Instrumentation and Laboratory Automation: sample preparation, sample retrieval, screening set creation, non-scale technologies, and analytical methodologies.

Meeting Agenda:

  • Introduction to the Sample Management SIG
  • Current activities (workstreams, topics, scope)
  • Upcoming SLAS events about Sample Management
  • Q&A

Compound Combination Screening Special Interest Group

Wednesday, 27 June | 16:45 – 17:45 | Studio 312

Facilitator: Oliver Leven, Head of Screener Business Europe, Genedata
The mission of the SLAS Compound Combination Screening SIG is to create a knowledge-sharing forum for screening practitioners active in the field of compound combinations. As such, the goal is to mature the field of compound combination screening, aimed at better science that accelerates the pace of drug discovery.

Development of a High-Throughput Cell Line Combination Screening Platform
Speaker: Lily-Xiaoyan Shi, Merck Biopharma

Combination therapies that improve treatment response, reduce adverse events and development of resistance have become the key for the treatment of cancer. Consequently, in-vitro drug Combination Screening has become important in oncology drug development. However, despite the recent advances in technology and methodology, combination screening remains a challenge due to its complexities in experimental designs, high data volume, data analysis and interpretation. Here we will share our experience in the development of a HTS combination screening platform. Over the last two years, we have set up an efficient and flexible high throughput combination process that allows us to run both large compound libraries screenings and small targeted screenings in multiple cancer cell lines. An essential step in this process is to efficiently analyze the data and feed the results into our corporate database.

Academic Screening and Not-For-Profit Drug Discovery Special Interest Group

Wednesday, 27 June | 16:45 – 17:45 | Studio 314


  • Catherine Kettleborough, Head of Biology, Associate Director, LifeArc
  • Marc Bickle, Head of Technology Development Studio, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics

Screening and Drug Discovery centres in academia and not-for-profit organisations have a diverse range of roles and can be found in many places across Europe, These centres have typically fewer resources than comparable operations in pharma. Furthermore, the type of assays and projects conducted by these centres is often much earlier stage and considered risky by Pharma standards. The Special Interest Group of Academic and Not-For-Profit (Screening) brings together these actors who face common challenges. It is a platform to learn about similar groups and exchange experience and information that is otherwise difficult to come by. We hope to have an open and vibrant discussion about the challenges that such (screening) centres face and also discuss opportunities for collaboration.

Thursday, 28 June

Standards Initiatives Special Interest Group

Thursday, 28 June | 17:45 – 18:45 | Studio 311

Facilitator: Burkhard Schaefer, President, BSSN Software 

The European Standards Initiatives SIG promotes standardization and interoperability of instruments and data systems in the laboratory. This SIG is a unique forum which brings together two general groups of stakeholders: standard builders and standard consumers. Its purpose is to raise awareness of community-driven standardization efforts currently underway. It also provides a forum to foster collaboration between standards initiatives to ensure greater impact and better utilization of community resources.
This session kicks off with a showcase of a number of current community standard efforts, including SiLA and AnIML. Each group presents a quick summary of their activities, current status, and an application example. Afterwards, the presenters are available in a panel discussion format.

The SIG has three major goals: 1) creating awareness 2) facilitating collaboration and 3) providing a community.

HCS/HCA Data and Informatics Special Interest Group

Thursday, 28 June | 17:45 – 18:45 | Studio 312

Raising the Bar in Machine Learning: Opportunities and Limitations of Deep Learning
Facilitator: Daniel Siegismund, Scientific Account Manager, Genedata

Speakers: Peter Horvath und Emmanuel Gustin

Machine learning has been one of the big trends in HCS over the last few years, to the point where the application of such methods has become a commodity in the quantification of complex phenotypes. Deep learning has pushed this trend to a new level. It has been shown to outperform existing machine learning methods in a range of applications and it eliminates the need to extract handcrafted features prior to the classification task.
This SIG will discuss the pros and cons of deep learning-based approaches, especially compared to classical machine learning approaches based on handcrafted features. The session will be split into three presentations, each given by experts in the fields, followed by a discussion with the audience.

Phenotypic Drug Discovery Special Interest Group

Thursday, 28 June | 17:45 – 18:45 | Studio 314


  • Eberhard Krausz, Consultant, ChemBioCon
  • Marc Bickle, Head of Technology Development Studio, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics

The phenotypic screening/drug discovery (PS/PDD) SIG of SLAS Europe 2018 will serve as a discussion forum for the academic, not-for-profit and commercial research community to share/discuss/debate topics related to phenotypic screening and drug discovery. Participants will share their experiences, perceptions, and thoughts on the advantages/disadvantages of PS/PDD and whether/how PS/PDD complements target-based drug discovery (TDD) strategies. Updates should be shared where the field is, how far did discovered compounds get in the process, what are successes, roadblocks and lessons learned. Relevant aspects such as increasing complexity of models, screening library selection and strategies, target deconvolution, poly-pharmacology, …, can be discussed. A debate on the necessity of knowing the target before going next steps and at which step it would be critical can be initiated.