Lab Automation Symposium 2016

lab automation symposium

Join Festo on Friday, January 22, 2016 at the campus of UC San Diego.

Biomarkers, biobanking, sample archival, personalized medicine/diagnostics during therapy – these are important keywords for cost-reducing automation concepts in human and molecular diagnostics.

At the symposium renowned speakers from the fields of science and business will investigate these topics from a holistic perspective.

Be sure to Register today!

michael heller lab symposium

Michael J. Heller, Ph.D.

Michael J. Heller received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Colorado State University (1973). He was an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow at Northwestern University (1973-1976). Dr. Heller was supervisor of the DNA Technology Group at Amoco Corporation, Standard Oil Indiana (1976 to 1984). He was Director of Molecular Biology at Molecular Biosystems (1984-1987).  He was a co-founder of Integrated DNA Technologies, and served as President and Chief Operating Officer (1987-1989).  He was a co-found of Nanotronics and Nanogen, and served as the Chief Technical Officer (1993-2001). Dr. Heller is now a Professor in the Departments of Nanoengineering and Bioengineering at the University California San Diego. Recently he also co-founded a new company called Biological Dynamics, which is developing liquid biopsy cancer diagnostics. Dr. Heller has a respectable publication record; over 50 issued US patents and has been an invited speaker to a large number of scientific conferences and meetings.


robin felder bio

Robin A. Felder, Ph.D.

Dr. Felder is Associate Director of Laboratory Medicine Professor of Pathology at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia.  His affiliation with professional organizations included: Past President and Founder of the Association for Laboratory Automation and Founding Editor of its journal, Fellow of the Council for High Blood Pressure Research (a council of the American Heart Association), and a Fellow of the National Association for Clinical Biochemists.  Dr. Felder has published over 300 research papers, has been awarded 22 patents, and has presented over 140 lectures in 15 countries.  He served as the Director of the Medical Automation Research Center, and he has received numerous awards including the International Engelberger Award for Robotics in 2009, the Research Awards from the American Association for Clinical Chemistry and the National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry in 2010, and one of his inventions was named a Top 10 technology by The Scientist in 2009.



mark adler lab symposium bio

Mark J. Alder, MD

Mark J. Adler, MD is a board-certified oncologist, a recipient of the NIH Physician-Scientist Award and Internist trained at the University of Pennsylvania. He has been working with Biological Dynamics since 2013 in the capacity of Strategic Advisor and later, the Chairman of SAB, supports Biological Dynamics’ clinical, corporate and strategic developments. 


Dr. Adler founded and led San Diego Cancer Center for over 20 years. Under his leadership, the Center participated in numerous clinical drug trials, developing a national reputation for clinical excellence (Hope Award). Dr. Adler served as on-site PI for multi-center phase II and III studies; he is currently a co-investigator with the J. Craig Venter Institute for its flagship genomic-based clinical trial and continues to publish on developments at the vanguard of oncology. Presently a member of WebMD's Board of Directors, Dr. Adler continues to pursue his passion for genomics and molecular biology as Director of the San Diego Cancer Research Institute.


mitchel v hull bio lab symposium picture

Mitchel V. Hull

Mitchell Hull is currently a Principal Investigator and Head of the Automation Group at the California Institute for Biomedical Research (Calibr). He received his Bachelors of Science in Biochemistry from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1997.  After this, he joined Tularik Inc. working in Assay Development and Screening. In 2001 he left the biopharmaceutical industry to work as a web programmer.


He returned in 2005, joining GNF’s Advanced Automation Technology Team. There he worked not only with GNF’s screening technology, but also automated protein production and cell culture. He left GNF to join Calibr in 2012.



scott hammack lab symposium bio

Scott Hammack

Scott Hammack is a Senior Project Leader in the engineering group at the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF) in San Diego, California. He practices intrapreneurship at GNF, helping scientists address unmet medical needs by forging paths thru uncertainty while inventing and engineering innovative tools and systems for ultra-high throughput drug discovery research.


He holds a B.S. and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Kansas State University.


Pedro Cabrales, Ph.D.

Pedro Cabrales, Ph. D.

Dr. Cabrales received his B.S. Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, and his Ph.D. in Engineering from the University of Los Andes, Bogota, Columbia. He is currently an Associate Professor, at the Department of Bioengineering, University of California, at San Diego. Dr. Cabrales was awarded The Young Investigator Award by The Blood Substitutes Society, the Society for Artificial Internal Organs, the Microcirculatory Society, the Hellman Fellows Award, the Norman Edmund Inspiration Award, and the Bioengineering Dep. Teacher. He has published over 150 peer-reviewed articles.





Also confirmed to speak:

  • Marcus Wills, Commercial Director of Genomics, LGC Group
  • Thomas Frech, Product Manager at Xavo Systems AG



Friday, January 22, 2016


Registration is from

8:30am - 10:00am

Program begins at 10:00am



University of California -

San Diego

Atkinson Hall

9500 Gilman Dr.

La Jolla, CA 92093


Campus Map


Optional Transportation

Shuttle to UCSD - Atkinson Hall

Pickup: 8:00am & 9:00am

Location: Marriott Marquis & Marina at the Fountain


Dropoff: 9:00am & 10:00am

Location: UCSD - Atkinson Hall Engineers Lane La Jolla


Return Shuttle to Marriott Marquis & Marina

Pickup: 5:00pm & 7:30pm

Location: UCSD - Atkinson Hall Engineers Lane La Jolla


Dropoff: 6:00pm & 8:30pm

Location: Marriott Marquis & Marina at the Fountain



Please register by

January 21, 2016


Register Now


* Participation is free