August 21, 2014

A Q&A With Phil Lester, co-organizer of the HTPD Conference

The 3rd HTPD Conference will take place this October, in Siena, Italy. Process Development Forum spoke with Phil Lester, one of the principal organizers of the conference.

PDF: This is the third HTPD meeting. Can you tell us about the genesis of the conference?
Phil: Back in 2008 high throughput process development was an emerging technology and I could see it was going to be a game-changer. I thought it would be interesting to get out ahead of the curve—put together people from academics and the industry to discuss the potential of HTPD and how it could change the way we do business. I discussed the idea Karol Lacki, from GE Healthcare Life Sciences and the result was the first conference in 2010.

PDF: What makes this conference unique?
Phil: We keep it small—under 150 people, so everyone can discuss and debate and interact. All delegates participate in the conversation. In fact, the conversations at each event have a significant impact shaping the agenda for the following conference. It’s really building a community around an emerging technology. We’re all willing to share ideas and learn from one another.

PDF: Are there any stand-out programs on this year’s agenda?
Phil: Yes! The HTPD Olympiad. The concept grew out of a conversation at the conference two years ago. For the Olympiad, GE Healthcare Life Sciences created a kit containing a target protein in a crude feedstock along with a variety of chromatography media and suggested analytical methods. The goal is to purify the target protein to the highest purity and yield, using the most efficient workflows and fewest resources. We have six teams competing—they began work in January and will finish by the end of July. The winning team will be announced in September and the teams will present their results in October.

The Olympiad is really emblematic of this community—they hatched an idea and made it happen.

Read more Q&A's with Industry Leaders here.

Tags: olympiad, conference, HTPD, high-throughput-process-development