Jeffrey Weidner, Ph.D., of QualSci Consulting, discusses robust and reproducible assays at a assay guidance workshop for high-throughput screening and lead discovery hosted by UNC Catalyst.
Jeffrey Weidner, Ph.D., of QualSci Consulting, discusses robust and reproducible assays at a assay guidance workshop for high-throughput screening and lead discovery hosted by UNC Catalyst.

The UNC Catalyst for Rare Diseases, together with Promega, sponsored an NIH/NCATS assay guidance workshop for high-throughput screening and lead discovery on Monday, October 23.

Forty-nine scientists from academia and the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries registered to attend. The workshop was held at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Carolina Club and was followed by an evening reception.

“The workshop proved to be an invaluable opportunity to learn about the current state of the art and best practices in the areas of assay development, high throughput screening and lead optimization,” said Dave Morris, Ph.D., interim director of UNC Catalyst. “Importantly, the attendees gained knowledge of the practical steps required to ensure high quality data generation.”

The full-day workshop covered a broad range of critical concepts underlying assay development for high-throughput screening and lead discovery

projects. The workshop featured presentations by several NCATS staff members who shared critical information about the implementation of robust assay methods. The content was particularly relevant for researchers developing bioassays for the discovery of drugs or chemical probes and for those wishing to learn about the latest assay concepts for high-throughput screening and lead optimization. Many of the workshop instructors had 20 to 30 years of experience in the field of drug discovery.

Forty-nine scientists from academia and industry attended the workshop.
Forty-nine scientists from academia and industry attended the workshop.

The following individuals presented at the workshop:

  • Nathan P. Coussens, Ph.D., NCATS/NIH “Robust or Go Bust: An Introduction to the Assay Guidance Manual
  • Steven D. Kahl, Eli Lilly and Company, “Statistical Design of Experiments for Assay Development”
  • Terry Riss, Ph.D., Promega Corporation, “Treating Cells as Reagents to Design Reproducible Screening Assays”
  • Joseph Trask, Jr., Ph.D., PerkinElmer, “Assay Development for High Content Screening”
  • William A. LaMarr, Ph.D., PureHoney Technologies, “High-throughput Mass Spectrometry Based Drug Discovery: Fast Answers to Complex Questions”
  • Douglas Auld, Ph.D., Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, “Assay Interpretation: Studies in Mechanisms and Methods in Assay Interferences”
  • Jayme L. Dahlin, M.D., Ph.D., Brigham and Women’s Hospital, “Assay Interference by Chemical Reactivity”
  • Thomas D.Y. Chung, Ph.D., “Basic Assay Statistics, Data Analysis and Rules of Thumb”
  • Devanarayan, Ph.D., Charles River Laboratories, Reproducibility and Differentiability of Compound Potency Results from Screening Assays in Drug Discovery
  • Jeffrey R. Weidner, Ph.D., QualSci Consulting, LLC, “Assay Operations: Keeping your Assays Robust and Reproducible”
  • Menghang Xia, Ph.D., NCATS/NIH, “In Vitro Toxicological Testing using a qHTS Platform”
  • Xin Xu, Ph.D., NCATS/NIH, “In Vitro Assessments of ADME Properties of Lead Compounds”
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