Monday, December 17, 2012

Screening Workshop in Hamburg

While, daylight and warm temperatures are in short supply in Hamburg Germany in December there was no lack of intensity during a 3-day Biochemical Assays for Screening Workshop. The workshop was provided by the European Screening Port, which is a contract research organization that works with academic and research institutes to provide a complete drug discovery screening service.  The workshop was organized by the European Pharmaceutical Review and had several industry partners, including GE Healthcare, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Cisbio, PerkinElmer, and BioTek that provided instrumentation, reagents, and scientific expertise.



Workshop attendees
Figure 1. Workshop attendees preparing reagents for assay characterization

Over 20 researchers from across Europe attended this event in order to further their knowledge in the area of large scale compound screening for new drug molecules. The workshop was a 50/50 mix of didactic lectures and hands on laboratory work. During the laboratory portion of the workshop the attendees worked in small groups to first characterize the kinetic activity of specific enzymes, determine Km values for substrates, as well as IC50 values for enzyme inhibitors. Once the assay parameters were identified they were used to run a small compound library screen. The data generated was then analyzed and potential hits identified.


HTS Instrumentation at the workshop

Figure 2. HTS Instrumentation at the workshop

During the laboratory exercise, the workshop attendees used a variety of assay reagent kits along with instrumentation from a number of different vendors. All of the work was performed in the newly renovated laboratory space at the European Screening Port facility. By getting hands-on experience with a number of different instrument and reagent platforms the hope is that the attendees can make informed choices as to how they want to proceed with their research.  



By: BioTek Instruments, Paul Held PhD, Laboratory Manager

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