Past Courses & Workshops

High-Throughput Cellular Screening Workshop

June 8, 2010
LOCATION: Cellular Screening Center (CSC), University of Chicago

Workshop Recap
High-Throughput Cellular Screening Workshop introduces Chicago research community to resources available at the Cellular Screening Center

May 30, 2009

The High-Throughput Cellular Screening Workshop organized by the Institute for Genomics & System Biology (IGBS) at the University of Chicago took place on June 8, 2010. Approximately 30 researchers attended the workshop that aimed to familiarize scientists with the high-throughput RNAi and chemical screening technologies available at the Cellular Screening Center (CSC). The CSC, opened in 2007 with support form the Chicago Biomedical Consortium and the University of Chicago Biological Science Division (BSD), facilitates drug discovery and development by defining the complex genetics underlying disease, isolating chemical compounds that affect specific cellular activities, and developing potential therapeutics to target disease pathways.

The morning events, held at the Knapp Center for Biomedical Discovery (KCBD), began with an overview of the technology and instrumentation available at the CSC presented by Sam Bettis, the Technical Director of the CSC. In his seminar, Sam discussed the screening reagents (RNAi and small compound libraries), screening guidelines, assay development, formatting assays for automation, and readout parameters. Subsequently, three current users of the CSC presented their research overviews:

  • Ruby Dhar: “Genome-wide RNAi screening to elucidate estrogen-receptor signaling in breast cancer”
  • John Barkinge: “A high throughput solution-phase strategy for quantifying thousands of protein-protein interactions”
  • Michael Thirman: “Screening for small molecule inhibitors for specific genetic subtypes of acute leukemia”

Following lunch, Sam Bettis led a tour of the CSC, which is located in the Gordon Center of Integrative Science at the UChicago campus. The CSC consists of a 900 square foot laboratory and includes three filtered air space rooms to reduce the number of air-borne particles and thus reduce the risk of contamination: certified 10,000 (anteroom), 1000 (storage and tissue culture room) and 100 (Tecan Freedom EVO 200 and Thermo F3 robotic arm system rooms). During the tour, workshop participants had an opportunity to observe the precise and complex maneuvers performed by the robotic arm on the CSC robotic deck during a mock run. The robotic arm is integrated with 3 readers allowing multiple different reads within a single screen. More information on CSC technology can be found here.

CSC-1   CSC-3   CSC-1

A group of workshop attendees at the Cellular Screening Center. MIDDLE AND RIGHT: Workshop participants observe the robotic arm during a mock run. (Photos: CBC)