Shared Resource Spotlight: High Throughput Screening

April 24, 2020

The High Throughput Screening (HTS) shared resource serves as a collaborative core facility that supports both basic and translational research. This shared resource helps develop and implement high-throughput screening protocols tailored to the goals of researchers’ individual projects. Directed by Charles Karan, PhD, the HTS is equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation, robotic automation, and software for running high-throughput screens using a variety of assay technologies.

Researcher conducting tests in a lab

The facility, located on the third floor of the Lasker Biomedical Research Building, is highly flexible, making it possible to run assays of any size, using 96-, 384-, and 1536-well plates. The HTS shared resource maintains its competitive edge by adopting innovative technologies developed at Columbia University laboratories, getting them up to scale and available for wide use across the University and beyond. Users of the HTS facility receive consultation services that inform them about active services and new techniques and provide education and training support. Users also may have access to genomics, transcriptomics, and single-cell analyses.

The HTS shared resource has enabled several major research advances. It helped develop the automation to rapidly and accurately run PLATE-Seq, developed by the labs of Dr. Peter Sims and Andrea Califano, that has had a major impact on precision oncology. This development was highlighted in a recent paper published in Nature Genetics on neuroendocrine tumors.  The HTS shared resource team was also instrumental in work led by Dr. Gary Schwartz that examined the mechanisms of BETi drug resistance in uveal melanoma, attempting to identify combined targeted therapies that work better in patients with eye cancer. This research was recently published in the journal, Cancer Research.

In the works is to offer novel whole genome CRISPR technologies developed by labs in the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center (HICCC) and to also implement a new instrument designed to run PLATE-Seq at a higher (384-well) density. This technology will greatly expand the HTS’ ability to systematically profile drugs for the HICCC’s precision oncology initiative.

For more details about HTS, visit the shared resources page.