CB 399: Assay automation and quantitation – from benchtop to HTS

NanoCourse Director: Jennifer Smith
Instructors: Caroline Shamu, Jennifer Smith, Marc Hafner, and Caitlin Mills
Curriculum Fellow: Ted Feldman

Description: Are you interested in drug discovery or pharmacology? Do you have a great cell or biochemical assay that you would like to run in higher throughput using automation? Do you want to learn about small molecule screening? Could you benefit from learning new strategies for dose-response assays? Would you like to learn more about approaches for quantitative analyses of assay results? This course will be an introduction to the design of high-throughput assays and small molecule screens as well as relevant data analysis methods.

Class Assignments: Working in groups, students will complete problem sets involving analysis of screening and dose-response data. Assignments will be provided during the first session and discussed during the last session.

Registration: Auditors (postdocs, faculty, or staff) do NOT need to enroll in this nanocourse to attend Sessions 1 and 2. Students interested in enrolling should log in to register.


Session 1
Date: Tuesday, March 28 (1:00 PM – 3:00 PM)
Location: TMEC 227

Topic: Optimized Experimental and Analytical Tools for Reproducible Drug-Response Studies
Caitlin Mills, Postdoctoral Fellow, Sorger Lab and Laboratory of Systems Pharmacology
Marc Hafner, Postdoctoral Fellow, Sorger Lab and Laboratory of Systems Pharmacology

This three-part lecture is open to the public and will instruct researchers in the state-of-the-art experimental and analytical tools available for conducting reproducible studies of drug sensitivity and resistance in tumor cells and other cultured cell types. These tools significantly improve upon conventional methodologies for dose-response studies by enabling researchers to account for the confounding effect of differences in cellular growth rate and to differentiate the cytotoxic and cytostatic effects of drug treatments across dose and time.

The topics covered will include: (1) automation technology for high-throughput screening; (2) experimental design strategies to ensure reproducibility and avoid common pitfalls in cultured cell dose-response studies; and (3) the theory and analytical implementation of improved dose-response metrics (PMID:27135972 and the LINCS GR Calculator).

Session 2
Date: Friday, March 31 (1:00 PM – 3:00 PM)
Location: TMEC 250

Topic: Assay automation and quantitation – from benchtop to HTS
Caroline Shamu, Director, ICCB-Longwood Screening Facility
Jennifer Smith, Deputy Director, ICCB-Longwood Screening Facility

  • Download a PDF of the Session 2 slides here: Lectures

Session 3
Date: Friday, April 7 (1:00 PM – 3:00 PM)
Location: TMEC 227

Topic: Student presentations and group discussion of the problem sets