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SLAS2018 Short Courses

Establishing Cell-Based Assays for Screening

This course will describe developing standard procedures for handling cultured cells to set up cell-based assays including cell line authentication as a component of assay reproducibility, techniques for measuring cell health and the pathways leading to cytotoxicity, validation of in vitro assays applied to 3D model systems, developing siRNA screening assays, using CRISPR technology as a validation step, and an overview of various GPCR screening methods.

Who Should Attend:

  • Assay development scientists interested in establishing and troubleshooting cell-based assays
  • Scientists seeking an overview of methods to confirm health and functionality of cells used in combination with other screening assays
  • Screeners interested in design and implementation of siRNA assays to identify novel targets
  • Screeners interested in an overview of state of the art methods for screening GPCR targets

Those interested in the following tracks:

How You Will Benefit From This Course:

  • Participants will receive an overview of potential pitfalls to consider during design of cell-based assays.
  • The advantages and disadvantages of HTS-compatible assays for measuring cell viability & apoptosis will be presented along with descriptions of multiplexing assays for measuring cell stress pathways.
  • Factors to consider when selecting off-the-shelf in vitro assays applied to 3D culture models.
  • Participants will receive copies of presentations and benefit from the opportunity to interact with experts in designing and implementing siRNA and GPCR screening assays.

Course Topics:

  • Cell culture techniques specific to characterizing high throughput screening assays
  • Overview of various cytotoxicity assays, methods for multiplexing as an internal control, and measuring cell stress responses with biochemical and genetic reporter assays
  • Description of techniques for design and implementation of siRNA screening assays
  • Overview of creating, miniaturizing, and detection methods used for GPCR assays


Terry Riss

Terry Riss
Promega Corporation (Lead Instructor)

Dr. Terry Riss started the Cell Biology program at Promega in 1990 and held several R&D and Project Management positions since. Dr. Riss managed development of cell viability, cytotoxicity, apoptosis, and protease assay systems and also lead efforts to identify and promote multiplexing of cell-based assays to determine the mechanism of cell death. Dr. Riss now serves as Global Strategic Manager, Cell Health involved in outreach educational training activities. Dr. Riss has participated in several NIH study sections reviewing HTS grants and is co-editor of the In Vitro Cell Based Assays section of the Assay Guidance Manual hosted by NIH.

Lisa Minor

Lisa Minor
In Vitro Strategies, LLC

Lisa Minor is President of In Vitro Strategies, LLC, a consulting firm involved in assay development and screening strategy, technology evaluation and development, and product marketability assessment. Prior to this position, she was a long term employee of J&J. She is experienced in drug discovery including target validation, assay development, high throughput and safety profiling. At J&J, she participated in several technology development and evaluation opportunities resulting in marketed products. Among these are the Seahorse Metabolic profiling instrument, Quantigene mRNA detection and collaborated with MDS Sciex and Corning to validate their cell-based label-free impedance systems for GPCRs. She is a past member of the board for the Society for Biomolecular Sciences (SBS now SLAS), a past member of the Board of Scientific Counsellors for the National Toxicology Program, and a Scientific Advisor for many meetings. She is well recognized in the field of HTS especially for cell-based assays and has published the book Handbook of Assay Development for Drug Discovery.

Geoffrey Bartholomeusz

Geoffrey Bartholomeusz
UT MD Anderson Cancer Center

Dr. Geoffrey Bartholomeusz (Ph.D.) is an associate professor and Director of the Target Identification and Validation Program at the UT M.D.Anderson cancer center, Houston Texas. Dr. Bartholomeusz research is focused on developing preclinical in-vitro 3D models for target identification and validation. These models include multicellular tumor spheroid models, 3D co-culture models and PDX tumor-derived ex-vivo tumor tissue models. These 3D models systems are used as platforms for high throughput siRNA and small molecular screens with a goal to improve our ability to identify novel targets for the development of effective therapies for cancer. CRISPR technology is applied as a validation step to confirm the role of the identified target in either cancer biology or as a potential target for drug development. Dr. Bartholomeusz is well published in the field of cancer biology and treatment.

Eric N. Johnson

Eric N. Johnson
WuXi AppTec

Eric Johnson has extensive experience in the fields of assay development and high-throughput screening. Having worked at GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, and currently WuXi AppTec, he has utilized a wide array of technologies to enable compound profiling and high throughput screening in 384-, 1536-, and 3456-well plate formats. Dr. Johnson acts as the lead biologist on a number of different projects advising both external clients and internal staff as to design and execution of projects. Dr. Johnson has co-authored more than 20 publications in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters and has taught courses and tutorials in the use of diverse technologies to study biological systems.

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