2018 NERLSCD Annual Meeting Recap
2018 - NERLSCD Annual Meeting - Amherst, MA
Expanding Core Boundaries: Developing Partnerships & Collaborations
The Northeast Regional Life Sciences Core Directors Meeting
The Northeast Regional Life Sciences Core Directors (NERLSCD), a regional chapter of the Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities (ABRF), hosted its 13th annual meeting in the Campus Center at UMass Amherst on November 7-9, 2018.
The meeting (often called NERDS) is an outstanding regional forum for core facility administrators, directors, managers and staff. Offering opportunities to network with colleagues, learn about biotechnology advances and applications, and discuss the challenges of implementing shared research resources.
A reception at the Eric Carle Museum kicked off this event which provided numerous networking opportunities for out of town visitors. Several pre-meeting workshops were held including a gathering of the New York Regional Core Administrators Network, tours of the Institute for Applied Life Sciences 30+ Core facilities, and a special Career Development workshop, hosted by the Graduate School, for students looking to learn more about careers in core facilities and industry. The first full day started off with a keynote from Job Dekker, Investigator in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the Joseph J. Byrne Chair in Biomedical Research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, whose talk, “3D Folding of Genomes” engaged the audience to think about the complex operations in the spatial organization of the genome.
The second and third days of the conference offered breakout sessions, presentations and discussion forums organized by UMass Amherst Core Directors, which offered a wide variety of technical tracks including flow cytometry, mass spectrometry, genomics, proteomics, advanced manufacturing, and human studies which focused on best practices and emerging technologies. The Administration track heavily emphasized building sustainability in an increasingly resource restrained environment, including operational issues facing biotechnology core laboratories and the roll cores play in the entrepreneurial ecosystem today.
Additional keynote presentations were from Jay Fox, Associate Director of the University of Virginia Cancer Center, and longtime core advocate. “40 Years in Cores, or Mel Brook’s Movies Pretty Much Sum It All Up,” gave an insightful perspective on his many years working with core facilities, and kept it humorous by summarizing his career through the titles of Mel Brook’s movies.
Throughout the event participants interacted with companies in Vendor Hall and learned about new technologies to bring back to the institutions. The poster session allowed attendees to learn about the latest research being done using core facilities.
The final keynote was delivered by Woody Sherman, Chief Scientific Officer at Silicon Therapeutics, who spoke to the utility of core facilities for his early stage drug discovery company and how having access to world-class technologies run by experienced professional here at UMass Amherst has been advantageous to their success. After closing remarks, the meeting ended with a workshop from Bruker Corporation, a Platinum Plus Sponsor, back in the Life Science Laboratories.
Funding for the NERLSCD meetings is provided by sponsorship from industry partners, academic and non-profit institutions, and attendee registration fees. This year’s meeting was attended by 220 participants (135 academic) from 40 institutions traveling from 18 states and two Canadian provinces, and by 42 corporate and seven academic sponsors.
For more information on future events, please visit: http://nerlscd.org
- “I thought the breakout sessions I attended were excellent and thoroughly enjoyed the keynote sessions as well. The location was perfect for me as far as ease of access and cost.”
- “…a couple of very strong keynotes and several of the admin breakouts were outstanding as a relatively intimate, interactive discussion format. [The committee] did a great job keeping the program moving, adjusting for time shifts etc. Very well done!”
- “Proteomics breakout session Social at Eric Carle Museum was outstanding in terms of networking Food and organization in general was good”
- “This was very diverse! I liked all of the breakouts”
- “Good networking opportunity. Casual enough to get to know people and talk about project/work if desired but never pressured.”
- “Very positive. Great showing among both vendors and attendees. Everyone was in a good mood and there were many good conversations.”
- Andrew Vinard, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Host
- Stuart Levine, MIT
- Roxana del Rio-Guerra, University of Vermont
- Sridar Chittur, SUNY Albany
- Luellen Fletcher, University of Pennsylvania, Host, NERLSCD 2019
- David Needleman, USDA, Host, NERLSCD 2019
- Kelley Thomas, University of New Hampshire, Host, NERLSCD 2020
- Peter Lopez, New York University Langone Health
- Shahina Maqbool, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
- Susanna Perkins, University of Massachusetts Medical School
- Robert Steen, Harvard Medical School
- Robert Donnelly, Rutgers University
- Christian Lytle, Dartmouth