Louise Slaughter, Scientist and Congresswoman, Dies

Trained in microbiology, Slaughter championed science, women’s health, and consumer protections as a member of the US House of Representatives.

Mar 19, 2018
Kerry Grens

WIKIMEDIA, U.S. CONGRESSLouise Slaughter (D-NY), a longtime member of the US House of Representatives who trained as a microbiologist, died last week (March 16) at age 88. Among Slaughter’s accomplishments as a lawmaker, she composed the Genetic Information and Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), which provides protections for people with genetic mutations, and advocated against the overuse of antibiotics.

“She had just a wonderful understanding of the scientific process, of what science can create in terms of improving the health of the world,” Mark Taubman, CEO of the University of Rochester Medical Center, tells the Democrat & Chronicle. “And as such she was a great supporter of the NIH (National Institutes of Health), and a great supporter of increasing funding for science.”

Slaughter was born in Kentucky in 1929, and earned a bachelor’s degree in microbiology and a master’s in public health from the University of Kentucky. According to her website, she wrote her graduate thesis on antibiotic resistance.

In the 1970s and ‘80s, Slaughter served in various state government positions in New York before being elected to the US House in 1986. “Early in her congressional career, she successfully fought for the passage of legislation that guarantees women and minorities are included in all federal health trials, established the Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and allocated the first $500 million in federal funding for breast cancer research at the NIH,” according to her website.

The passage of GINA in 2008 was intended to ease patients’ fears of insurance or professional discrimination in an era of growing opportunities for clinical genetics. “We have truly lost a genomics champion,” Eric Green, Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, says in a statement. “Louise Slaughter had the vision that GINA was needed to ensure continued advances in genetics and genomics research, especially for clinical applications—and she was completely right. Our research community will remember her commitment to these important social and ethical issues.”

According to The Washington Post, she is survived by three daughters, seven grandchildren, and one great-grandson.

January 2019

Cannabis on Board

Research suggests ill effects of cannabinoids in the womb


Sponsored Product Updates

pIC50: The Advantages of Thinking Logarithmically
pIC50: The Advantages of Thinking Logarithmically
Watch this webinar from Collaborative Drug Discovery to learn about how using pIC50 helps you get a better sense of the relative potencies, calculate the correct mean of multiple values, and select better sampling doses.
WIN a VIAFLO 96/384 to supercharge your microplate pipetting!
WIN a VIAFLO 96/384 to supercharge your microplate pipetting!
INTEGRA Biosciences is offering labs the chance to win a VIAFLO 96/384 pipette. Designed to simplify plate replication, plate reformatting or reservoir-to-plate transfers, the VIAFLO 96/384 allows labs without the space or budget for an expensive pipetting robot to increase the speed and throughput of routine tasks.
FORMULATRIX® digital PCR technology to be acquired by QIAGEN
FORMULATRIX® digital PCR technology to be acquired by QIAGEN
FORMULATRIX has announced that their digital PCR assets, including the CONSTELLATION® series of instruments, is being acquired by QIAGEN N.V. (NYSE: QGEN, Frankfurt Stock Exchange: QIA) for up to $260 million ($125 million upfront payment and $135 million of milestones).  QIAGEN has announced plans for a global launch in 2020 of a new series of digital PCR platforms that utilize the advanced dPCR technology developed by FORMULATRIX combined with QIAGEN’s expertise in assay development and automation.
Application of CRISPR/Cas to the Generation of Genetically Engineered Mice
Application of CRISPR/Cas to the Generation of Genetically Engineered Mice
With this application note from Taconic, learn about the power that the CRISPR/Cas system has to revolutionize the field of custom mouse model generation!