2014 Archived Content

Short Courses

Dinner Courses*

Tuesday, February 18, 6:00-9:00 pm

SC1: Introduction to High-Content Phenotypic Screening 

Instructor: Anthony M. Davies, Ph.D., Director, Irish National Center for High-Content Screening and Analysis (INCHSA)

The ever-increasing demand for improved productivity in research through the generation of robust analysis outputs has driven both the development and deployment of automated high-content analysis (HCA) and phenotypic cell-based approaches to drug discovery. In contrast to the more traditional cellular analysis and target-based approaches, here the researcher is able to evaluate the efficacy of potential therapeutics by monitoring the physiological state of cells through the simultaneous analysis of multiple cellular parameters in the context of an intact biological system. This course will cover the key features of HCS/A technologies and the best approaches to using these technologies for phenotypic cell-based screening.

Who should attend?
This course has been developed to introduce and facilitate scientists who are either moving into the field or who are interested in further developing new phenotypic discovery applications and tools for use with these technologies.

Course Structure
(i) An introduction to HCA technologies
(ii) Advanced cell-based models for use with HCA
(iii) Worked examples of the phenotypic screening approach and future directions
(iv) Group discussion and Q&A

Learning Outcomes
• Develop a familiarity of the basics of HCS/A technologies
• Gain an understanding of the capabilities of this technology
• Learn of the latest developments in cell-based models for use in this field
• Get a better understanding of the key principles of assay design and development for phenotypic screening

SC2: Dinner Expert ThinkTank: How to Meet the Need for Physiologically-Relevant Assays? 

Moderator: Lisa Minor, Ph.D., President, In Vitro Strategies, LLC

It used to be adequate to build target-specific and robust assays to drive lead optimization. These assays were relatively inexpensive and reliable and could be counted on to provide chemists with usable results. However, with time, it has become apparent that it is not enough to be robust and target specific. To build therapies for patients, we need to have assays that are more predictive of patient outcome. The current buzz words are “physiologically-relevant assays.” This session will explore the need for physiologically-relevant assays and explore the ways that we can achieve this endpoint.

Discussion topics include:

• What is the driver for more physiologically-relevant assays?
• What is the current state of the art?
• Advantages and shortcomings of the current technologies
• What is needed to build more physiologically-relevant assays? What are the requirements for cells, assay systems and budget?
• What are the compromises that can be allowed when building tools?
• What would be the ideal outcome and timelines?


• Geoffrey A. Bartholomeusz, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Director, siRNA Core Facility, Department of Experimental Therapeutics, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
• Jason Ekert, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist, Biotechnology Center of Excellence, Janssen Research & Development
• Donald C. Lo, Ph.D., Director and Associate Professor, Center for Drug Discovery and Department of Neurobiology, Duke University Medical Center
• Ray Mattingly, Ph.D., Professor, Pharmacology, Wayne State University
• Fredika M. Robertson, Ph.D., Professor and Executive Director, Clinical Research Service, Center for Clinical and Translational Research, Virginia Commonwealth University
• Lee Rubin, Ph.D., Professor, Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine, Harvard University; Director, Translational Medicine, Harvard Stem Cell Institute
• D. Lansing Taylor, Ph.D., Director, University of Pittsburgh Drug Discovery Institute & Allegheny Foundation Professor, Computational and Systems Biology, University of Pittsburgh

Wednesday, February 19, 6:00-9:00 pm 

SC3: High-Content Analysis for 3-Dimensional Cellular Models 

Instructor: Anthony M. Davies, Ph.D., Director, Irish National Center for High-Content Screening and Analysis (INCHSA)

High-content screening and analysis (HCS/A) technologies have over the last decade become widely adopted in both the academic and industrial research sectors. The acceptance of these technologies has largely been due to their demonstrable utility as both drug-discovery and basic research tools; indeed, these imaging technologies such as HCS/A have the capability of providing researchers with a ready means of performing both large-scale primary screens as well as permitting more detailed downstream analysis. Alongside the rapid uptake of these technologies, we have also seen a concomitant increase in the demand for more refined and flexible hardware and biologically-relevant cell-based assay approaches. Currently one of the biggest drivers in the field is the need to improve the relevance of the cell-based assays; to achieve these aims many are turning their attention to the use of primary 3-dimensional cellular assay models.

This workshop will provide an overview of the very latest 3-D cell-based assay and culture technologies and techniques for use in biomedical research and drug discovery and the key application areas for these technologies with a focus on HTS and HCS.

• An overview of the main application areas of 3-D assay and cell culture technologies
• An appraisal of all of the current technologies and their key advantages
• Presentation of research data from a few selected studies using 3-D assay technologies
• Q & A and group discussion

*Separate registration required