SCiX to Explore Innovations in Diagnostics and Therapy at the Cellular Level

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Attendees at the SciX 2022 conference, which will be held Oct. 2-7 in Covington, Ky., will hear from expert researchers about everything from the use of surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy in drug discovery to machine learning’s capability to capture biological and chemical changes in the body. The exhibit floor will offer insights into the latest developments in scientific analysis and laser-enhanced therapy, from major companies such as Avantes, Bruker Optics, Coherent, DRS Daylight Solutions, Edinburgh Instruments, HORIBA Scientific, Ibsen Photonics, OptoSigma, Teledyne Princeton Instruments, TOPTICA Photonics, and WITec.

Organized by the Federation of Analytical Chemistry and Spectroscopy Societies (FACSS), SciX will be held at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center.

Robert Lascola, senior fellow scientist at Savannah River National Laboratory, will chair the program, which will include sections pertaining to biomedical and bioanalytical analysis, forensics and security, pharmaceutical analysis, Raman spectroscopy, and plasmonics.

A researcher interacts with an attendee during a poster session at a past SciX conference. Courtesy of FACSS.

A researcher interacts with an attendee during a poster session at a past SciX conference. Courtesy of FACSS.

Audience members listen to a scientific program session at a past SciX conference. Courtesy of FACSS.

Audience members listen to a scientific program session at a past SciX conference. Courtesy of FACSS.

“An area of interest is the interaction of artificial intelligence and deep learning toward improved methods for bioimaging and diagnostics,” Lascola said. “For example, where intelligent analysis informs real-time measurements, pixel-specific spectroscopic imaging can be made more efficient, resulting in faster and more accurate diagnoses. Similarly, AI helps bring advanced analytical methods to the point of care, reducing or eliminating laboratory turnaround times, providing faster treatment and enhancing outcomes.”

The Biomedical and Bioanalytical track will cover a variety of topics, including nanotheranostics and spectroscopy of living cells. The track is co-chaired by Jürgen Popp, scientific director at the Leibniz Institute for Photonic Technologies, and Fay Nicolson, a research fellow at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School.

“‘Biophotonics Technologies Fighting Infections at the Point of Care’ will bring to you innovative approaches at the threshold of translation,” Popp said. “Fast and efficient diagnosis comes within reach for the detection of bacteria and their antimicrobial resistances but also for the characterization of the host response to infection when focusing on immune cells. Miniaturization plays an important role for sensitive malaria detection.”

The Pharmaceutical Analysis track will cover topics such as chirality in pharmaceuticals and spectroscopic techniques in process analytical technology. It is co-chaired by John Wasylyk, associate scientific director at Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Katherine Hollywood, who is on the Faculty of Life Sciences at the University of Manchester.

“We have several sessions of interest,” Wasylyk said. “Specifically, ‘SERS for Drug Discovery’ — which has talks covering 3D tissue models, drug detection in living cells, and machine learning using Raman for medical diagnostics — and ‘Bioprocess Materials and Methods,’ covering raw material and cell productivity using vibrational spectroscopy and analysis of adeno-associated virus.”

The keynote presentation will be given by Amanda Hendrix, a senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute in Boulder, Colo. She will speak on “The Analytical Chemistry of Space Exploration” and how UV-visible spectroscopy has been used to examine solar system surfaces and space weathering effects, and how the technology will guide both human and robotic exploration of the cosmos in the future.

“I will talk about the importance of the wide range of types of measurements, including sample studies, analog studies, ground- and space-based telescopes, deep-space probes, and human missions,” said Hendrix.

Award recipients honored

Several awards will be presented throughout the program, including:

• Karen Faulds, professor of pure and applied chemistry at the University of Strathclyde, will receive the Royal Society of Chemistry Analytical Division Mid-Career Award for performing sensitive and selective bioanalysis using SERS and SESORS.

• Martin Zanni, principal investigator in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will receive the SAS Ellis R. Lippincott Award for his work in advancing interfacial and voltage-gated two- dimensional infrared spectroscopy.

• Lu Wei, assistant professor of chemistry at the California Institute of Technology, will receive Spectroscopy magazine’s Emerging Leader in Molecular Spectroscopy Award for utilizing stimulated Raman imaging for complex subcellular bioanalysis.

• Igor Lednev, distinguished professor of chemistry at the University at Albany, State University of New York, will receive the FACSS Charles Mann Award for Raman Spectroscopy for using Raman and machine learning for medical diagnostics and forensic purposes, the latter in conjunction with state crime laboratories.

• Wei Min, professor of chemistry at Columbia University, will receive the Coblentz Society Clara Craver Award for his work on stimulated Raman scattering imaging.

• Igor Gornushkin, senior scientist at the BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, will receive the SAS Lester W. Strock Award for his work with multifaceted laser- induced plasma.

• James Piret, professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of British Columbia, will receive the SAS and Applied Spectroscopy William F. Meggers Award for his work in the process analytical utility of Raman microspectroscopy for cell therapy manufacturing validation.

• Joseph Loo, professor in the Department of Biological Chemistry at UCLA, will receive the ANACHEM Award for his work using mass spectrometry as a tool for structural biology.

• Aditya Khair, a professor of chemical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, will receive the AES Electrophoresis Mid-Career Award for his work on nonlinear electrophoresis of colloidal particles.

The FACSS Innovation Award winner will be announced on the final day of the conference.

Published: August 2022
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