2019 NERLSCD Annual Meeting Recap
2019 - Joint NERLSCD & MAD SSCi Meeting - Philadelphia, PA
Exploring New Technologies: Driving Advances in Basic and Clinical Research
The Northeast Regional Laboratory Staff and Core Directors and Mid-Atlantic Directors and Staff of Scientific Cores Joint Chapter Meeting
The Northeast Regional Laboratory Staff and Core Directors (NERLSCD) and the Mid-Atlantic Directors and Staff of Scientific Cores (MAD SSCi) hosted a joint chapter meeting at the Philadelphia 201 Hotel on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Center City Philadelphia on November 6-8, 2019.
Both ABRF chapters are outstanding regional forums for core facility administrators, directors, managers and staff. The conference offered opportunities to network with colleagues, learn about biotechnology advances and applications, and discuss the challenges of implementing shared research resources.
A reception at the Benjamin Franklin Institute and National Monument kicked off this conference. Having three of the Institute’s exhibits: The Brain, Electricity and Changing Earth –open just for our guests was a special treat. Also, the Yo-Philly appetizers couldn’t be beat!
This meeting was marked by four Platinum Plus Vendor pre-meeting user groups on Wednesday Nov. 6: Cytek, New England BioLabs, Illumina, and Agilent. A gathering of the New York Regional Core Administrators Network (NY-CAN) also took place with an increased number of participants. Local tourism group Philadelphia Hospitality organized a three hour guided walking tour of historic Olde City, including the Liberty Bell, Constitution Center, and Rocky’s steps leading to the Art Museum.
Dr. Lou Soslowsky of the University of Pennsylvania welcomed participants Thursday morning, highlighting the importance of ABRF chapter meetings in promoting dialogue among Core professionals around scientific and operational concerns. He explained his own ‘hands-on’ approach as Penn’s Dean of Cores —visiting resource labs, gowning up, to learn what core staff do and how they further Penn’s research mission.
The opening keynote on Thursday morning was delivered by Monica Guzman, Ph.D., Weill Cornell Medical College, “Tailoring Therapeutic Approaches for Selective Targeting of Leukemia Stem Cells.” Dr. Guzman presented her more recent work on effective treatments that ablate malignant stem cells, particularly AML therapies. She took the audience on a fascinating journey on the biology of Leukemia Stem Cells (LSC) and explained different targeting approaches she and her team are using, including oxidative ferrotherapy, targeting the epichaperome, and Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T cells.
The second and third days of the conference offered breakout sessions, presentations and discussion forums organized by Joint Organizing Committee members, featuring many disciplines including flow cytometry, mass spectrometry, genomics, proteomics, microscopy, advanced manufacturing, and human studies, which focused on best practices and emerging technologies. The Administration track focused on institutional leadership and best practices for Cores to ensure compliance and sustainability, and included a special ‘open discussion’ on using social media to market Core offerings.
Mark E. Curran, Ph.D., Vice President for Systems Pharmacology and Biomarkers, Janssen Research and Development, gave an afternoon keynote talk Thursday. “Challenges in Pharmaceutical Development: Incorporating Big Data and Personalized Medicine.” A gadget guy, Mark fascinated the audience by demonstrating how he tracks his own biomedical metrics with Johnson and Johnson custom-designed apps to monitor glucose levels, blood pressure, inflammation and allergies.
Throughout the event participants interacted with companies in Vendor Hall and learned about new technologies to bring back to the institutions. The Thursday late afternoon poster session allowed attendees to learn about the latest research being done using core facilities.
Friday morning’s final keynote was delivered by Drs. Carl June (UPenn) and Aaron Rapoport (UMD), longtime colleagues and friends, as well as pioneers in immunotherapies. They illustrated the ‘heart’ of what we do: peoples’ lives saved, compassionate care for patients and their families. When asked what frustrates them most in this race to cure cancer… regulation, FDA rules, not being allowed to move quickly enough to save more lives– was their answer. Afterwards, many registrants and vendors described being incredibly moved by these master clinicians.
Funding for the NERLSCD MAD SSCi meeting is provided by sponsorship from industry partners, academic and non-profit institutions, and attendee registration fees. This year’s meeting was attended by 315 participants (198 academic) from 40+ institutions traveling from 20 states and two Canadian provinces, and by 40 corporate and ten academic sponsors.
Joint Organizing Committee
- Luellen Fletcher (U.Penn)
- David Needleman (DVU)
- Stuart Levine (MIT)
- Roxana Del Rio Guerra (UVM)
- Roxann Ashworth (JHMI)
- Kevin Gerrish (NIH/NIEHS)
- Annabelle Stein (UNC)
- Joanne Lannigan (UVA)
- Lauren Ciotti (JHU)
- Nick Ambulos (UMD)
- Sridar Chitur (SUNY Albany)
- Andrew Vinard (UMass Amherst)