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• What does HTS do?
The High-Throughput Screening Core (HTSC) in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania is a shared resource facility open to Penn and non-Penn scientists with a primary goal to support innovative research projects centered on discovery. Our mission is to provide the expertise in developing biochemical, cell-, and high-content based assays to microtiter plates for high-throughput chemical & functional genomic screens. Our ultimate goal is to discover genes and small molecules that enable scientists to further study the functions of poorly understood proteins, signaling pathways, and cells in complex biological process relevant to human physiology and disease.
• What areas of research could or do use the services offered by HTS?
The HTSC has the ability to accommodate a broad variety of investigator-developed assay types, ranging from biochemical assays to image based phenotypic microscopy assays, and diverse biological systems. We currently support projects in Precision Medicine, Cancer, Regenerative Medicine, Cardiovascular biology, Epigenetics, Orphan Diseases, Global Health Initiatives, and Cellular Based Immunotherapies.
• What do you wish investigators knew about HTS?
Although traditionally defined by the pharma model of screening millions of drug-like compounds or whole genomes against a target/phenotype, the UPENN HTSC is focused on helping investigators develop robust assays in high-density microtiter plates for both small scale screens (eg, screens of FDA approved drugs or user defined sets of drugs/genes) to full genome-scale screens. Many investigators are interested in specific subsets and screens designed to query smaller numbers of entities are easier to optimize and perform. Data generated from these small scale screens can be used to apply for funding as well as for screening larger libraries at PENN or elsewhere including pharma.
• Does HTS work with investigators external to Penn? How?
Yes, the HTSC is open to Penn investigators, non-Penn academic scientists, and commercial users. Interested individuals should contact David C. Schultz, Ph.D, Technical Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org, to learn more about the laboratory’s capabilities and the process to start a project with the HTSC
• Is there anything else the resource community should know about HTS?
In addition to developing assays for high-throughput screening, the core has acquired a comprehensive set of libraries, including shRNAs, siRNAs, cDNAs and CRISPRs. Penn scientists can purchase clones to individual gene targets, annotated gene families, or user defined gene sets. In addition, the core has negotiated pricing agreements with suppliers that investigators can use to purchase custom siRNA libraries.