This core specializes in small molecule screens to identify agonists/antagonist of biologically/pathologically interesting proteins, and sub- or genome-wide siRNA screens in cell-based functional assays. We provide support for any project that would benefit from automation of liquid handling workflows and microplate assay execution.

Core Description

The Core System: The High Throughput Screening Core (HTSC) supports medium and large format screens of siRNA and chemical libraries in cell-based, chemistry, and protein-based assays. Assays may be run in 96-well and 384-well plates with detection by high content microscopy imaging, fluorescence intensity or polarization, luminescence (flash and glow), BRET, FRET, absorbance, or other readouts. A wide variety of siRNA and chemical compound libraries, molecular imaging platforms, and expertise with assay development and data analysis are available. The clean-room environment and an on-line humidified, CO2 incubator provide ideal conditions for performing cell-based assays, while the rail system and random access ensures the uniform treatment of every well across the entire screen. High Content Screening: A Molecular Devices ImageXpress Micro XLS provides the platform for High Content fluorescent microscopic imaging of cells in almost any SBS format multiwell plate. A widefield camera, laser autofocus, and motorized stage enable the capture and analysis of up to thousands of images per hour with up to 4 fluorophores and/or transmitted light. The powerful MetaXpress analysis software has 10 dedicated assay-specific modules for automated detection, and the flexible Custom Module Editor for custom assay development. The instrumentation and software work together, automating recognition of changes at the cellular level for cell-based drug profiling, toxicological studies, and phenotypic assays to determine gene or compound function.


Service available to All entities, including for-profit organizations.

Priority service for No distinctions.


  • Experienced personnel work closely with researchers to develop microplate assays and perform screens with siRNA or small molecules at various scales.
  • Support for any research that may benefit from automation
  • Access to instrumentation, including liquid handlers, dispensers, plate washers, microplate readers, and high-content microscopes - individual instruments may be used offline for smaller studies
  • Access to a compound collection of >160,000 chemicals that include bioactive compounds, known FDA-approved drugs and diverse drug-like small molecules.


  • A Beckman-Coulter Core Integrated System comprises a SCARA robot that shuttles plates between incubators, liquid-handlers, and plate readers. Versatile software schedules and coordinates the function of all instrumentation for maximum efficiency and careful control of assay parameters
  • Biomek FX liquid handler, with both a multichannel 96/384 tip pod, and a Span-8 pod with 8 independent tips, is suitable for transferring and aliquoting microliter volumes to and from 96 or 384-well plates, reservoirs, tube racks, or individual micro-tubes, cherry-picking compounds, adding controls, or creating compound combinations from a file
  • The automated online humidified Cytomat incubator, with temperature and CO2 control, keeps cells at optimal condition until needed for processing
  • Bar code printing and reading stations allows plates and samples to be accurately tracked from start to readout
  • BioTek ELx405 Select plate washer has 4 solution choices, and is programmable for gentle cell washing
  • PerkinElmer EnVision plate reader with enhanced luminescence sensitivity
  • BMG FLUOstar Optima Plate Reader with injection capability for kinetic assays
  • Mol Dev ImageXpress Micro XLS automated scanning epifluorescence microscope for high-content screening
  • Molecular Devices Flexstation 3
  • Biotek Synergy


Please contact this core directly for pricing information.

Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences (ICTS)
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics
Center for Drug Discovery