High Throughput Screening

Yale University West Campus. Photo courtesy of Lisa Maloney

Earlier this past year, nearly fifty researchers congregated at Yale’s West Campus to learn about some of the newest and most powerful research tools provided by the Yale Center for High Throughput Cell Biology (CHTCB). At the “nanocourse” on high throughput screening, attendees listened to experts describe available technologies and their applications in ongoing research in biology and medicine.

High throughput screening is a technique that allows researchers to quickly conduct screening experiments using large libraries of molecules in the hopes of identifying important players in biological processes. Such screening has consequently played an important role in drug discovery and the illumination of complex biological processes.

Experts provided presentations on the design of cell-based and biochemical assays, microscopy for image analysis, and biostatistical tools for data analysis. The afternoon concluded with a testimonial by Alex Lipovsky, a graduate student working under Daniel DiMaio, Professor of Genetics and Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry; Lipovsky used RNA interference screening through the CHTCB to identify key human genes involved in human papilloma viral infection.

Even though screening is not always easy, it shows promising value. Mike Wyler, Director of Assay Development, noted, “High content assays are complex and return a wealth of data.” The “nanocourse” emphasized the optimization of experiments, data analysis, and the variety of resources that the center provides in an effort to help scientists here at Yale tap into that wealth of data.