SLAS2017 Mentoring Program

All attendees are welcome to participate in the SLAS2017 Career Connections offerings! Don't miss out on the opportunity for FREE one-on-one mentoring and career counselling with an industry expert. Click here for a complete schedule of Career Connection offerings.

Colin White, founder and CEO of White Consulting will be available for one-on-one career counseling sessions in the Member Center on Monday and Tuesday. Schedule a session to have your resume reviewed, hone your interviewing techniques, or simply discuss the options available to you in the workplace today. Sign up using the link above to schedule a session with Colin in the Member Center.

There are also several industry experts lined up to offer one-on-one mentoring sessions at SLAS2017. Mentoring sessions will be 45 minutes in length and will be held Monday and Tuesday in the morning and afternoon. These sessions are first come-first serve. Review the SLAS2017 Mentor bios below to determine who would be the best fit for you, then sign up using the button above!

Additionally, Joanne Kamens, Ph.D. Executive Director with Addgene will also hold 'Office Hours’ in the Member Center after her sessions. Stop by for Q & A and discussion with Joanne between 2:00 – 4:00 on Monday and Tuesday.

Email Suanne Determan with any questions, or stop by the Member Center for more details.

SLAS2017 Mentors:

Betsy Jean Yakes, PhD, Food and Drug Administration
Research Chemist

Betsy Jean Yakes earned her PhD in analytical chemistry in 2007 and has been with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration since then as a specialist in immunoassay development and spectroscopic techniques for food safety and food defense. Her current emphasis is on creating rapid, sensitive, accurate detection methods for biotoxins and pathogens using biosensors as well as investigating portable, Raman spectroscopy instrumentation as a tool to identify food contaminants. Her projects allow her to collaborate with international researchers as well as the opportunity to mentor younger scientists.


Scott Mosser, Merck
Director of Pharmacology
Assay Operations Team Lead

Scott started his journey back in high school where he developed a keen interest in Biology and Chemistry. He pursued these interests during his undergraduate studies at Moravian College and the University of Delaware. He then joined Merck where he discovered his passion for studying how cells communicate and function through various signaling pathways. During his time at Merck Scott discovered, and was recognized for, having a knack for instrumentation and people management. Under excellent tutelage he helped build a LIMS to enable the integration/automation of compound and assay management to support In Vitro Pharmacology. Currently, Scott leads a team of scientists focused on the integration of innovative technologies to enable robust and efficient execution of a wide range of In Vitro assays and all the associated activities including: compound management, data capture and reporting, and automation, to support small molecule drug discovery at Merck. Scott's primary focus is to use his management skills and the scientific knowledge he has accrued over the last 27 years to enable scientists to innovate and impact Merck's pipeline from target identification through lead optimization. He has had the pleasure of working on teams that discovered Belsomra® the first-in-class Orexin Receptor Antagonist approved for insomnia and many other innovative medicines.


Elliot Hui, University of California, Irvine
Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Elliot has been at UC Irvine since 2008. His research group employs tools such as microfabrication, microfluidics, and optogenetics to control biological systems dynamically at the microscale. His interests include embryonic development and tumor progression, as well as high-throughput screening and point-of-care diagnostics. He is a recipient of the 2013 DARPA Young Faculty Award and the 2014 JALA Ten Breakthroughs in Innovation.


Jonathan Edelman
Wheaton Industries — Associate Director, Business Development Analytical Products

Chromatography Forum of Delaware Valley — President
Washington DC Chromatography DG — President Emeritus
ACS — Separations Subchapter — Executive Committee Member
HPLC international conference — Organizing committee
PREP symposium — Industrial organizing committee — SFC session co-chair

I am giving my time to service your interest in the analytical community. If you are interested in networking to furthering your career, change it or otherwise direct your efforts with a new awareness. I will lend my perspective and example to the current business landscape of the chromatography & mass spectrometry community. Those best suited are likely to have considered a position closer to this space; the process of commercializing a product, or are curious how best to work with industry to solve problems.


Christina Minnick, Merck

Christina Minnick received her B.S. in Biology from Delaware Valley College and has been working in the pharmaceutical industry since 2010. Tina has worked for multiple pharmaceutical companies and CRO’s over the years and she has worked with many types of automated liquid handlers. She has a broad range of experiences in the industry including live virus work, cell pharmacology, biochemical assays, and compound management. For the past year she has been in an automation lab at Merck working with state of the art robotic platforms. Tina has worked on projects from the target validation stage to the lead optimization stage, giving her a wide range of knowledge in drug discovery.


Julie O'Brien, Merck
Associate Principal Scientist
Assay Operations Team Member

As a Merck Assay Operations Team Member with 28 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, Julie has experience in a variety of in vitro assays aimed at medium to high throughput characterization of structure activity relationship for drug discovery. Areas of expertise include allosteric modulators, cell based assays, biochemical assays, binding assays, and FLIPR Tetra. Efavirenz and Belsomra are two drugs that she has collaborated on to bring to the market


Shastine Keeney, Theravance Biopharma Inc.
Sr. Automation Engineer, Research

Shastine Keeney is an Automation Engineer at Twist Bioscience. She originally studied Mechanical Engineering at U.C. Berkeley. She started her career with industrial robotics for applications such as fiber optic manufacturing and semi conductor manufacturing. In 2005 she took her first job in biotech working as an automation engineer in Genentech's pilot plant doing process automation. However she missed robots and moved into laboratory automation af Genentech in 2008, and she has been wrangling liquid handling robotics ever since.


Steven Jarvis, MilliporeSigma
Global Strategic Marketing Manager, Lead Discovery

Steven started his career as a researcher in one of the largest global CROs, creating cell culture models for high-throughput screening and developing novel drug discovery assays for leading pharmaceutical, biotech, and academic clients. In this role he focused on identifying new molecular entities and pathways in ion channels, GPCRs, and kinases. His career evolved from laboratory-based to marketing, where he became the sole product manager for a multi-million dollar portfolio of drug discovery services and reagents. Over the course of his career, he has worn a variety of hats including research, marketing, business development, logistics, regulatory, and strategy.

In his current role, Steven uses his broad knowledge and expertise in drug discovery to lead the assay development pharmaceutical strategy within MilliporeSigma (formed by the acquisition of Sigma-Aldrich by EMD Millipore in 2015) which focuses on application and innovation in the areas of assay development, automation, and high-throughput screening.


Dr. David Jennions, Counsyl
Associate Director of Automation Design

David is an old-school systems' engineer, enjoying the challenges of meshing the diverse disciplines of science and engineering. He completed a Master in Physics at Cambridge University in the UK, then headed to University College London to gain a further Masters in Instrumentation Systems. A PhD in Medical Physics soon followed, creating novel instrumentation to detect breast cancer with non-ionizing radiation. He started into Lab Automation at Applied Biosystems, leading architecture for a new oligo-neuclieotide manufacturing plant. He moved from California to Milan, Italy, to join a drug discovery CRO, Axxam SpA, to create compound storage and management systems for high-throughput screening. Most recently, he joined Counsyl back in the Bay Area, where he’s been guiding an organization of scientists and engineers to build a fully-integrated platform aimed at scalable sample preparation for genetic screening.


Samuel A. Hasson
Pfizer, Inc.

Sam Hasson is a Principal Investigator and Lab Head in Pfizer Neuroscience (Cambridge, Massachusetts). His lab focuses on the application of genome editing and high content analysis technologies to validate and develop novel targets in neurodegenerative disease. A major goal of his work is to identify modulators of complex phenotypes in areas such as neuroinflammation and mitochondrial health by utilizing innovative assay design strategies.


Rajarshi Guha, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)
Research Scientist, Division of Pre-Clinical Innovation

Rajarshi Guha is an informatics research scientist in the Division of Pre-Clinical Innovation at NCATS. With over 10 years of experience in handling, analysing and visualizing chemical information, he brings a diverse range of skills and experience to his current role at NCATS. He is involved in small molecule development projects in a variety of therapeutic areas including rare cancers and infectious diseases. He is also involved in software and algorithm development in the areas of cheminformatics methods and large scale infrastructure projects including Pharos ( BARD ( and the Trans-NIH RNAi Screening Initiative. His research interests focus on methodology development to analyze and visualize chemical biology data sets, with specific focus on techniques to link chemical structure information to molecular, bibliographic, genomic and clinical covariates to explain the effects of small molecules in the context of larger biological systems. His recent work has focused on the development of novel analytic and visualization methods for combination screening results. An active member of the cheminformatics community, he has made contributions to various open-source projects and has held multiple leadership roles in the American Chemical Society’s Division of Chemical Information and is currently a co-Editor in Chief of the Journal of Cheminformatics.


Shaghayegh Harbi, Ph.D. — Scientist / Adjunct Assistant Professor
VasculoTox, Inc.

Shaghayegh has extensive teaching experience (~10 years) teaching undergraduate students as well as post-graduate students including graduate students and clinical fellows. As a scientist, I have broad experience in both clinical (clinical trials phase I-IV) and basic science research. My research interests include: 1) projects that evaluate the tumor immune microenvironment and the involvement of the immune system (immune tolerance and immune privilege), endocrine system, vascular system (vascular compartment - pericyte/endothelial interaction), and development; 2) single-cell level analysis for the identification of subsets and the functional application of electrically excitable and unexcitable membranes involved in normal development (including endocrine, hematopoietic/vascular, and immune systems), neoplastic cells involved in pathogenesis and toxicology, and trafficking; 3) the use of novel techniques and applications in research projects that involve genomics — cancer and neurodegenerative disorders (including neurovascular dysfunction) — with sequencing analysis of molecular profiles (including isoform sequencing platforms for novel genes/gene isoforms and single cell transcripts) and cytometry assay development (such as flow cytometry and bioimaging assay development) for a comprehensive cell surface panel of markers (diagnostic and therapeutic), and to provide new perspectives on the failure of therapeutic strategies (such as radiation or drug inhibitors) currently in use.

At VasculoTox, Inc., an emerging biotech, our research objectives include the development of assays for diagnostic and therapeutic applications - including both sophisticated high-throughput applications and point-of-care (POC) diagnostic assay development for practical applications. Assay development of comprehensive panels of potential biomarkers (clinical classification) and therapeutic targets (existing or novel drugs for target identification, validation and modulation) can afford the development of diagnostic tools and precision-medicine therapies. The development of POC diagnostic assays can allow for an affordable and rapid approach for measurements that can be assessed frequently for the purposes of early detection (preclinical and prodromal stages) and disease progression.