Event Details
Event Title NIH / NCATS Assay Guidance Workshop for High-Throughput Screening and Lead Discovery
Location Carolina Club
Sponsor UNC Catalyst for Rare Diseases
Date/Time 10/23/2017 8:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Event Price
For more information, contact the event administrator: Kim Swain kim.swain@unc.edu
Sorry, no sessions are available

This full-day workshop will cover a broad range of critical concepts underlying assay development for high-throughput screening (HTS) and lead discovery projects. Many of the methodologies implemented in successful projects have been "tribal knowledge" within the pharmaceutical industry and not readily found in a classroom or the literature. This "tribal knowledge" has been developed for decades into detailed chapters within the Assay Guidance Manual to facilitate reproducible assays that can identify promising compounds for the development of molecular probes or clinical candidates. An increasing number of researchers are actively developing well-validated phenotypic and biochemical assays for drug discovery and lead optimization. This workshop is designed to disseminate critical information about the implementation of robust assay and data analysis methods in order to benefit the entire drug discovery community. Many of the workshop instructors have 20-30 years of experience in the field of drug discovery.

Who Should Attend?

The target audience is individuals involved in bioassay development for drug discovery and development. Along with the Assay Guidance Manual, this workshop will be a valuable resource for academic, industrial, and government laboratory scientists who are developing test methods for low- or high-throughput screening that are amenable to automation using appropriate statistical and operational concepts. The workshop will also be beneficial to early career researchers and experienced investigators who wish to learn about the latest assay concepts for HTS and lead optimization.


The workshop will provide participants with a broad, practical perspective on assay development so that they can (1) improve drug discovery or molecular probe development projects, and know where to find further information, (2) identify reagents, instrumentation, and methods that are well-suited to robust assays, (3) be able to apply robust primary, orthogonal and counter assays to a particular biological target, and (4) understand critical data analysis concepts. Additionally, participants will have the opportunity to seek practical advice about individual research challenges.

Workshop Objectives

1.     Overview of the Assay Guidance Manual eBook as an important resource for detailed information about robust assay methods and best practices in quantitative biology.

2.     Practical approaches for developing robust assays for biochemical, cell-based, and high content screening, as well as the selection and development of optimal assay reagents.

3.     Overview on sources of assay artifacts and strategies to identify and mitigate artifacts through method selection and the implementation of counter assays.

4.     Discussion of important statistical and data analysis concepts with an emphasis on using these concepts to collect the best possible data and make go/no go decisions based on experimental results.

5.     Open discussions to share experiences and seek practical advice about individual research concerns. 

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