10th Annual NERLSCD Meeting – Registration now OPEN


The tenth annual Northeast Regional Life Sciences Core Directors (NERLSCD) 2015 Meeting will be held October 14-16, 2015,  at the Burlington Hilton in Burlington, VT,  hosted by the University of Vermont (UVM).

The early bird registration deadline is Sept 18th, so register soon so you don’t miss out on the savings, as well as the discounted hotel room rates.

For more information, visit the NERLSCD website.

The 2015 meeting will feature:
  • Keynote address by Parker Antin, President of FASEB.
  • Presentations and discussion forums on operational issues facing biotechnology core laboratories.
  • Technical break out sessions include NGS, proteomics and metabolomics, flow cytometry, imaging and microscopy, metagenomics and digital PCR.
  • Poster session that offers attendees an opportunity to present posters describing their core services and to learn about regional life sciences shared resources. Similar to last year, attendees can rent LCD-TV displays to present electronic posters (ePosters) at the poster session.
  • New this year, the poster session will include vendor ePoster presentations with the ability to interact with a vendor representative.
  • Opening reception and numerous opportunities to network with colleagues.
  • Special 10th year anniversary celebrations.
  • New this year, two travel awards which include registration and $200 in travel and lodging expenses. 
  • Satellite conference events will include:
    • New York Core Administration Network (NY-CAN) Meeting
    • Imaging Core Workshop
    • Tours of core facilities at the host institution

NERLSCD is a regional Chapter of the international Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities (ABRF).



6 months until ABRF! Plenary Speakers Announced

Only 6 months to go until ABRF 2016! The program for the meeting is taking shape. There will be four tracks with plenary speakers that focus on Administration, Genomics, Imaging and Proteomics, along with a fifth track for other technologies and sessions of general interest.  For continued updates on speakers, sessions, workshops, and more visit the conference website.

Plenary Speakers


 Cancer Genomics: Discovery to Clinical Translation

 Elaine R. Mardis, PhD
Robert E. and Louise F. Dunn Distinguished Professor of Medicine
Professor of Genetic and Molecular Microbiology
Co-director, The Genome Institute at Washington University School of Medicine

 Elaine Mardis graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Oklahoma with a B.S. degree in zoology.  She then  completed her Ph.D. in Chemistry and Biochemistry in 1989, also at Oklahoma.  Following graduation, Dr. Mardi was a  senior research scientist for four years at BioRad Laboratories in Hercules, CA.

In 1993, Dr. Mardis joined The Genome Institute at Washington University School of Medicine.  As Director of Technology Department, she helped create methods and automation pipelines for sequencing the Human Genome.  She now serves as Co-director of The Genome Institute.

Dr. Mardis has research interests in the application of next-generation sequencing to characterize cancer genomes and transcriptomes, and using these data to support therapeutic decision-making.  She also is interested in facilitating the translation of basic science discoveries about human disease into the clinical setting.

Dr. Mardis serves as an editorial board member of Molecular Cancer Research, Disease Models and Mechanisms and Annals of Oncology, and acts as a reviewer for Nature, the New England Journal of Medicine, Cell and Gnome Research.  She is the Editor-in-Chief of Molecular Case Studies.  In 2014, Dr. Mardis was named as th Robert E. and Louise F. Dunn Distinguished Professor of Medicine.  She serves on the scientific advisory boards of Qiagen Ingenuity, DNA Nexus, and ZS Genetics, and is a member of the Supervisory Board of Qiagen N.V.  Dr. Mardis received the Scripps Translational Research award for her work on cancer genomics in 2010, and was named a Distinguished Alumni of the University of Oklahoma College of Arts and Sciences for 2011.  Discover Magazine featured her work in cancer genomics as one of their top 100 sciene stories in 2013.

FreedmanKnow Thy Cells: Improving Biomedical Research Reproducibility

 Leonard P. Freedman, PhD
Global Biological Standards Institute

 Dr. Freedman is the founding President of GBSI.  He has over 30 years of research, management, and program  development experience in molecular and cell biology, biomedical research, and drug discovery in both the private  sector and academia.  Dr. Freedman is a recognized leader in the field of nuclear hormone receptors.

 Prior to joining GBSI, Dr. Freedman served as Vice Dean for Research and Professor of Biochemistry and  Molecular Biology at Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University.  Prior to his leadership role at  Jefferson, Dr. Freedman led discovery research efforts in the pharmaceutical industry as a Vice President at Wyeth and Executive Director at Merck.  Before moving to industry, Dr. Freedman was a Member and Professor of Cell Biology & Genetics at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Weil Cornell Medical College.

Dr. Freedman has received several research awards, including the Boyer Research Award for Biomedical Research, and a MERIT award from the NIH.  He was also the 2002 recipient of the Ernst Oppenheimer Award from The Endocrine Society.  Dr. Freedman has published extensively and served on numerous scientific review panels and editorial boards.  He was an editor of Molecular and Cell Biology for ten years.  In addition, Dr. Freedman has served on the Board of Directors of the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC).

Dr. Freedman earned a B.A. degree in Biology from Kalamazoo College, and a Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics from the University of Rochester.  He completed his post-doctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Keith Yamamoto at the University of California, San Francisco.


Exporting Top Down Mass Spectrometry to become a Robust Option for Efficient Characterization of Protein Primary and Quaternary Structure

Neil L. Kelleher, Ph.D.
Professor of Chemistry, Molecular Biosciences and the Feinberg School of Medicine Northwestern University

Dr. Kelleher’s laboratory has three main sub-groups working in the areas of Top Down Proteomics, Natural Products Biosynthesis/Discovery, and Cancer Epigenetics.  The Kelleher group has been successful in driving both technology development and applications of high performance mass spectrometry at the interface of chemistry and biology.  Since 2011, Dr. Kelleher has served as the director of the Proteomics Center of Excellence at Northwestern University, where dozens of Northwestern laboratories are supported and beyond state-of-the-art in Top Down proteomics is developed.  Dr. Kelleher was elected Treasurer of the American Society of Mass Spectrometry in 2012 and established the Consortium for Top Down Proteomics that same year.  In September 2012 Dr. Kelleher gave the keynote address at World HUPO (Human Proteome Organization), where he described a “Top Down” version of the Human Proteome Project viewable at this URL (http://www.kelleher.northwestern.edu/human-proteome-project/the-talk).  With more than 200 papers published over the course of his career and teaching duties in two departments, Dr. Kelleher is a trans-disciplinary investigator with visible streaks of international impact in mass spectrometry-based proteomics and the discovery of new natural products from the microbial world.  Validation of protein-based biomarkers in organ transplantation and cancers of the blood are among the focused areas currently being pursued in clinical research at Northwestern.


The Chemistry of Color: Illuminating Biological Systems with Fluorescence

Luke D. Lavis, Ph.D.
Group Leader HHMI Janelia Research Campus

Luke D. Lavis was born and raised in the Applegate Valley area outside Jacksonville, Oregon.  He received his B.S. in Chemistry at Oregon State University in 2000, where he performed undergraduate research in synthetic organic chemistry with James D. White.

Uncertain about whether to pursue a research career or go to medical school, he took a four-year hiatus and worked in the biotechnology industry, first at Molecular Probes in Eugene Oregon (now a part of Thermo Fisher) and later at Molecular Devices in Sunnyvale, California.  While in industry, Lavis got a chance to make molecules with real-world uses, developing new fluorescent labels for imaging and creating drug discovery kits to measure such things as calcium ion flux and membrane potential.  Ultimately he decided that research, not medicine, was the path for him.

Luke entered graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and worked with Ronald T. Raines to develop strategies to trace the path of anticancer proteins in living cells.  As part of his thesis work he developed a fluorescent dye that could be attached to ribonuclease A variants.  The protein-dye pairing remained dark outside of the cell.  When the tagged protein entered the cell, natural cell enzymes called esterases automatically snipped a bit of the dye off and made the molecule fluoresce.  He received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry in 2008.

Luke started his independent career as a Group Leader at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Research Campus.  At Janelia, Dr. Lavis works at the interface of chemistry and biology, developing labels for single-molecule imaging, strategies for targeted molecular delivery, and probes to map cellular activity in intact brain tissue.  Building on existing fluorescent dyes, his lab develops strategies to synthesize, target, and modulate chemical probes for experiments in complex cellular environments, with a particular focus on fluorescent and fluorogenic molecules.  His efforts to modernize dye chemistry have resulted in the discovery of novel bright fluorophores.  These “Janelia Fluor” dyes are also being used in labs around the world for a variety of imaging applications.