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Assay development in high throughput screening

Venue: Laboratories for Chemical Biology Karolinska Institutet

Date: 4-8 November 2013

Registration deadline: 20 October 2013

Contact and registration

Hanna Uvell PhD, Laboratories for Chemical Biology Umeå (LCBU),, Tel: +46 (0)90-786 63 52

Send an e-mail to Hanna Uvell to register for the course. The number of participants will be limited and you will be asked to submit a letter with you motivation for taking this course after registering.

Responsible department: Department of Chemistry


Advanced. The course gives a practical basis for assay development in high throughput screening. The course is given as a practical complement to the course “Introduction to high throughput screening”. High throughput screening (HTS) is a technique used to identify biologically active small organic molecules through screening of compound libraries with the help of robust test systems and advanced instrumentation. The course includes assay development on a given enzyme and its substrate, however, all aspects of assay development applicable to both target-based assays and to cell-based assays will be covered. The course covers which parameters that are of importance for optimization of an assay. These different parameters will be tested empirically in the laboratory and their significance calculated using Z´. During the course a small-scale screen will be executed. The students will thereby be given knowledge about the importance of good screening logistics and gain insight into the amount of data generated and handling thereof. Hits from the screen will be selected and the process of validation will be covered. During the course the students will be introduced to instrumentation commonly used in high throughput screening such as liquid handling instrumentation and plate readers.

Expected study results

After completion of the course students shall be able to – optimize a target-based assay, – calculate Z´during assay development, – understand the importance of good screening logistics, – understand the amount of data generated and handling thereof, – select and validate hit substances, – understand the importance of secondary screens to identify false positive hit substances.

The students will obtain hands on experience on instrumentation commonly used in HTS.


Bachelor degree (120 ECTS) in chemistry, molecular biology, pharmacology or equivalent. English knowledge corresponding to the Swedish upper secondary education English B.

The theoretical course: Introduction to high throughput screening

Course format

The course will be given from 12.00 4th of November until 12.00 8th of November. The course will be given at Laboratories for Chemical Biology Karolinska Institutet (LCBKI), Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm. The course is practical with explanatory lectures. Everyone should bring their own laptop and laboratory coat.


The course will end will an oral presentation which is mandatory.