Announce: HTS Automation Meeting

Laboratory Robotics Interest Group andy.zaayenga at
Thu Nov 12 23:00:11 EST 1998

The Laboratory Robotics Interest Group=20
December 1998 Meeting
High Throughput Screening

Date: Tuesday, December 8, 1998

Place: Raritan Valley Community College Advanced Technology
Communication Center, Somerville, NJ 08876

Social Period with Vendor Participation, Food & Refreshments and
Poster Session, Lobby -=A0 4:00 to 7:00 PM
Presentations and Discussion, Auditorium - 7:00 to 9:15 PM

Pre-Registration: Requested, not required. Registering will
allow us to more accurately gauge seating requirements and
refreshment needs. Indicate names of attendees and company
Email: andy.zaayenga at
Phone: (732)302-1038
Fax: (732)302-9080

Agenda:=A0 An exciting agenda is planned for this meeting centered
around High Throughput Screening.=A0 During the Social Period
which will feature food and refreshments, there will be a HTS
Vendor's Exhibition.=A0 Four presentations with discussion will
follow.=A0 Members interested in presenting a poster are
encouraged to do so.=A0 Open career positions at your company may
be announced or posted.=A0 There is no fee to attend the meeting.

Exhibiting Vendors:
Beckman Coulter
Bio-Tek Instruments
CCS/Packard Instruments
CRS Robotics
EG&G Wallac
EMAX Solution Partners
GeneVac Ltd./BioVac
Gilson Inc.
Hudson Control Group
Leap Technologies
LJL Biosystems
Marsh Biomedical Products
Matrix Technologies
Millipore Corporation
Molecular Devices
Nalge Nunc Int'
PE Biosystems - Tropix
Pierce Chemical
Polyfiltronics / Whatman Inc.
Robbins Scientific
Scitec Inc.
The Automation Partnership
TekCel Corporation
Titertek Instruments
Torcon Instruments Inc.
Zymark Corporation

Presentation:=A0 Automation of the assay development phase of drug
Damien Dunnington (1), Anthony Lozada (1), Hsiu-Yu Tseng (1),
Paul Taylor (2) and Frances Stewart (2)
1. Hoechst Marion Roussel, Route 202-206, Bridgewater NJ 08807
2. SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals, 709 Swedeland Road, King
of Prussia PA 19406

The early phase of drug discovery, beginning with information
and ending with lead compounds, has been re-engineered in recent
years to accommodate advances in combinatorial chemistry and
genomics. However, the reengineering has not been uniform and a
disproportionate effort has been devoted to the screening phase,
with relatively little attention to the assay development and
hit follow-up stages where substantial bottlenecks persist. As
new technologies such as miniaturization and fluorescence are
introduced, the gap between an assay conceived by a disease
group and the requirements for automated high throughput
screening is becoming ever wider. The assay development and
reformatting bottleneck has inspired an automated approach
toward streamlining and ultimately eliminating this problem.
This approach combines established design-of-experiments
techniques with robotics and interfacing software, with the
ultimate goal of assay configuration in a virtual lab
environment and direct interfacing with robotics for execution.
Examples will be presented to illustrate the impact of these
approaches on assay configuration, robustness and hit detection,
and progress toward a fully automated process will be discussed.

Presentation:=A0 A Fully Automated Processing System for
Fractionating Natural Products
Robert Corr
Scientist, Natural Products Discovery
Pfizer Central Research

We have designed, built, and integrated a fully automated
robotic system that processes crude plant extracts. This system
includes bar-coding and weighing, solvent addition and
homogenizing, solid phase extraction, evaporation, reweighing,
pipetting, and a track robot to move samples through the system.

Presentation:=A0 HTS and Lead Optimization Using FLIPR=20
Joseph Gunnet, Ph.D.
Principal Scientist, Endocrine Therapeutics
The R.W. Johnson Pharmaceutical Research Institute, Rt. 202,
Raritan, NJ 08869

The identification of functional agonists and antagonists for
some G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) can be done by
monitoring intracellular calcium mobilization. FLIPR
(Fluorometric Imaging Plate Reader; Molecular Devices Corp.)
allows GPCR-induced calcium responses to be accurately and
reliably quantitated in an entire 96 well plate. With its CCD
camera, FLIPR collects data at rate sufficient to follow the
magnitude and time course of GPCR activation in each well. The
large amount of information gathered from each well may be
analyzed to simply identify hits in HTS or may be analyzed in
more detail to optimize leads and ensure receptor-mediated
activity. While most of the varibles in using FLIPR are the same
as for any 96 well liquid handling system and fluorescent-based
assay, performing HTS with FLIPR poses some unique issues and
opportunities. We have worked through some of these biological,
mechanical and data analysis issues and have successfully run
HTS with FLIPR. Improvements in FLIPR hardware and data
processing will soon be available and will expand the utility of
an already useful instrument.

Presentation:=A0 Validation of Engineered Cell-Based Screens for G
Protein-Coupled Receptors
E. William Radany, Ph.D.=20
Business Manager
G protein-coupled receptors and receptor tyrosine kinases are
important targets for drug discovery. High throughput screening
(HTS) assays based on ligand binding to these targets may yield
biased results depending on the cellular environment in which
the cloned receptor resides. The use of engineered cell lines of
defined signalling properties with specific receptors provides
new tools for HTS assays and the the study of orphan receptors.
This presentation will focus on the development of discovery
platforms based on reporter gene technology utilizing cells with
specific signalling pathways.

Group Update:=A0 There were over 500 attendees to our June Vendors
Night! =A0 Ope Odusan from Wyeth-Ayerst Research won the business
card drawing and received a handsome rosewood LRIG pen desk
set.=A0 We hold a similar drawing at every meeting. =A0 John Wetzel
from Synaptic Pharmaceuticals won a Pyrex storage set in the
Corning Costar drawing.=A0 Joe Kwasnoski from 3-Dimensional
Pharmaceuticals won a Corelle Thermoserver, also from Corning
Costar. =A0 The winner of the CD player in the EMAX drawing was
Guy Schiehser from Wyeth-Ayerst Research.

The Society for Biomolecular Screening hosted us from September
20-24 at their 4th Annual Conference and Exhibition in
Baltimore, MD. =A0 We had a very successful week with hundreds of
visitors and 138 new member signups!  Valuable input came in
from interested parties across the U.S. and overseas. =A0 There is
a lot of interest in forming chapters in Massachusetts,
California, North Carolina, and Europe.=A0 If you can help us by
being a local representative, please step up.=A0 We held business
card drawings every day.=A0 Janet Hartman Johnson (Boehringer
Ingelheim), Mojgan Abousleiman (R.W. Johnson PRI), and Howard
Miller (Pharmacia & Upjohn) all won rosewood LRIG pen desk
sets.=A0 Thank you, SBS!

The Discussion Mailing List debuted on October 12. =A0 It became
an immediate hit and now has over 300 subscribers and many
interesting dialogues on hardware, software, and methodology.=A0
More information may be found at:

ISLAR graciously provided us with a table during the conference
October 19-21.=A0 We welcome 211 new members.=A0 Jennifer McMackin
(Merck) and Dr. Dave Tapolczay (Cambridge Combinatorial) won
rosewood pen sets in the business card drawings.=A0 We identified
prospective board members for the Boston, San Francisco, and RTP
chapters.=A0 Thank you, Zymark!

We are actively forming the Boston and Bay Area LRIG Chapters.=A0
Research Triangle Park and Europe are potential candidates.=A0 If
you are interested in helping form these chapters by serving on
the local board or energizing your peers, please contact us.

We are moving to an email-only meeting notification system.=A0 If
you are receiving this mailer in paper form, please send your
email address to andy.zaayenga at

Mailing Sponsor:=A0 LJL BioSystems=A0 is a proud sponsor of LRIG
activities. LJL BioSystems ( designs, produces,
and markets instrumentation, reagents, microplates and services
that accelerate and enhance the drug discovery process. Our
flagship product, Analyst HTS Assay Detection System, is a
four-mode analyzer specifically designed for the HTS

Food & Refreshment Sponsor:=A0 IGEN International Inc. develops
detection platforms utilizing ORIGEN=AE technology,
electrochemiluminescence.=A0 Flexible formats allow quantification
of specific interactions between two molecules (including:
quantitation of analytes, mRNA, Kp's of receptor-ligand pairs,
enzyme-substrate activities, interaction of DNA binding-proteins
with DNA).=A0 Combining its homogeneous format with a flow cell
approach improves sensitivity and precision, while streamlining
assay automation.

For more information contact:

Executive Chair:
Dennis France=20
dennis.france at
(908) 277-5328
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation

Andy Zaayenga=20
andy.zaayenga at
(732) 302-1038
TekCel Corporation

Analytical Chemistry Chair and Treasurer:
William Haller=20
bhaller at
(908) 218-6341

High Throughput Screening Chair:
John Babiak, Ph.D.=20
babiakj at
(732) 274-4788
Wyeth-Ayerst Research

Agricultural Applications Chair:
Sharon Reed=20
reeds at
(609) 716-2905
American Cyanamid

Data Management Chair:
Steve Fillers, Ph.D.=20
steve_fillers at
(617) 679-2657
Biogen Inc.

The Raritan Valley Community College campus lies at the
crossroads of Central New Jersey, with Routes 22, 202 and 206
and Interstates 287 and 78 just minutes away. The College is
situated on the north side of Route 28 in North Branch.=20

On line directions and hotel information at:

Visit the Laboratory Robotics Interest Group homepage at:

Andy Zaayenga
Secretary, The Laboratory Robotics Interest Group
1730 West Circle Drive
Martinsville, NJ  08836-2147
voice: (732)302-1038
fax:   (732)302-9080
mailto:andy.zaayenga at
web site:

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