Announce: Laboratory Robotics Meeting 10/7/99

Andy Zaayenga andy.zaayenga at bigfoot.com
Fri Oct 1 23:18:25 EST 1999

The Laboratory Robotics Interest Group Mid Atlantic Chapter
October 1999 Meeting

High Throughput Screening: Special Topics

Date:        Thursday, October 7, 1999
Place:       Forsgate Country Club, Forsgate Drive, Jamesburg, NJ  08831
                  Phone: (732)521-0070
Itinerary:  Social Period - 3:30 - 6:00 PM
                  Presentations - 6:15 to 8:30 PM

Member Pre-Registration: 
Requested, not required.  Pre-registering will allow us to more accurately
gauge seating requirements and refreshment needs.  Indicate names of
attendees and company affiliation.  Pre-register by email with
<mailto:andy.zaayenga at lab-robotics.org> or by phone at (732)302-1038.  In
order to speed sign-in at the meeting, please bring a business card to drop
into the registration box.  There will be a business card drawing for one of
our beautiful LRIG rosewood pens.

The theme of the evening is High-Throughput Screening: Special Topics. After
the extended social period from 3:30 to 6:00, the talks will commence
leading off with Dr. Sheri Miraglia talking about an exciting new
development in scanning laser imaging for high-throughput screening
applications. Secondly, we will hear Dr. Susan Bassett talk about the
problems of interpreting the voluminous data that we get from HTS and some
possible software solutions addressing this problem. Finally, Dr. Dale
Christensen will talk about a novel approach in finding small molecules that
interact with receptors for which ligands are not necessarily known. Taken
together these speakers, who are coming far and wide from California, New
Mexico, and North Carolina, will ensure a stimulating evening. As always,
there is no registration fee or dues, and food and refreshments will be
served throughout the social period. Registration is encouraged for us to
accurately gauge the size of the meeting.

There are hotels nearby for attendees who wish to stay overnight.

There will be a Job posting board at the social. Please encourage your
recruiters to give you material to post and distribute.  Openings may also
be posted at http://www.lab-robotics.org/careers.htm

Members interested in presenting a scientific poster are encouraged to do
so.  Please contact us to arrange for poster space.  

There is no fee to attend the meeting.

Presentation:  High-Throughput Screening Applications of a Novel Scanning
Laser Imaging Technology 
Sheri Miraglia, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, PE Biosystems 

The increasing number of compounds available for screening in drug
development has driven the requirement for higher throughput screening
technologies, as well as unique technologies that address a broader
application portfolio. Our laboratory has been involved in the development
of multiplexed mix-and-read assays using Fluorometric Microvolume Assay
Technology (FMAT). FMAT is a fluorescence based assay system that
incorporates a laser scanner and optical detection system that provides a
direct measurement of cellular or bead-based fluorescence on a well-to-well
and on an individual cell/bead basis. This design is ideal for the
homogenous identification of hits in primary screening, as well as for lead
optimization in the form of IC50 determinations, and for assessment of lead
compound cytotoxicity. Fluorescent beads of various sizes can be
distinguished from one another, allowing the multiplexing of two or more
targets present on different sized beads in the same well. In addition, the
digitized image data is compiled from two PMTs permitting the development of
multiplexed assays based on dye color. A variety of different mix and read
applications for FMAT will be described, including peptide-receptor ligand
interactions, and multiplexed bead based immunocapture assays. The results
of a novel high-throughput screen performed in collaboration with a major
Pharma oncology group will also be discussed. Employing a simple
mix-and-read Annexin V binding assay, a variety of purified natural products
were identified that are potent inducers of apoptosis in tumor cells. Taken
together, the data to be presented will demonstrate the versatility and
feasibility of fluorescence-based homogeneous and multiplexed assays for a
variety of cell-based and molecular targeted screens used in drug discovery.

Presentation:  Harnessing the Power of Computational Intelligence to
Identify Leads in HTS 
Susan I. Bassett, Ph.D., Executive Vice-President, Global Technology
Operations, Bioreason, Inc. 

With high-throughput screening systems in place and beginning to produce
data reliably, the data analysis and interpretation becomes a bottleneck in
the process of moving more high-quality leads to the clinic. The
decision-making processes that go into lead discovery, evaluation, and
development are quite complex, and can benefit from judicious use of
appropriate computational intelligence techniques. Knowledge-based reasoning
systems that capture the decision process of a pharmaceutical chemist during
lead identification and development and aid in decision support will be
presented in this talk. Bioreason's HTS data interpretation systems are an
example of an automated solution aimed at helping identify top quality lead
candidates while minimizing costly mistakes. The fundamental aspects of
technology for combining computational intelligence techniques with
knowledge discovery from data mining to this end will be presented.

Presentation:  Molecular Braille: A Novel Technology for Identification and
Characterization of Compounds that Modulate Receptor Function
Dale J. Christensen, PhD., Senior Scientist
Novalon Pharmaceutical Corp., 4222 Emperor Blvd., Suite 560 Durham, NC
27703-8466, Ph 919-474-8888 x34, Fax 919-474-0103, dchristensen at novalon.com

Many receptor proteins in cellular signaling pathways undergo significant
conformational changes in response to a signal molecule. Nuclear hormone
receptors are ligand-dependent transcription factors. Ligand binding to
these receptors results in conformational changes that expose binding sites
for coactivator or corepresser proteins. The estrogen and androgen receptor
are well validated drug targets that have a significant clinical utility
while orphan nuclear receptors such as PPAR are beginning to play an
important role in modern drug discovery. Molecular Braille has been
developed to identify and characterize compounds that modulate the
conformation of these receptors. Using a series of conformation-sensitive
probes, the conformation that the receptor adopts in response to ligand
binding can be evaluated using an in vitro time-resolved fluorescence assay
and an in vivo luminescence assay. This technology can be used to identify
new ligands, distinguish between classes of ligands, and guide lead

For more information, contact one of the LRIG Mid Atlantic officers:

Dennis S. France
Executive Chair, LRIG Home and Mid Atlantic Chapter
The Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research
tel:  (908) 277-5328
fax: (908) 277-4374
email: dennis.france at pharma.novartis.com

John Babiak, Ph.D.
High Throughput Screening Chair, Mid Atlantic Chapter
tel:  (609) 452-3795
fax: (732) 821-2037
email: jbabiak at pharmacop.com

William Haller
Analytical Chemistry Chair, Mid Atlantic Chapter
Treasurer, LRIG Home and Mid Atlantic Chapter
Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical
tel:  (908) 218-6341
fax: (908) 218-0524
email: bill.haller at lab-robotics.org

Sharon Reed
Event Coordinator, Mid Atlantic Chapter
Coelacanth Corporation
tel:  (609) 448-8200 ext 2044
email: sharon.reed at lab-robotics.org

M. Elizabeth Miller
Agricultural Applications Chair, Mid Atlantic Chapter
Rohm & Haas Company
tel:  (215) 641-7285
fax: (215) 619-1617
email: rsaumm at rohmhaas.com

Jinzi Wu, Ph.D.
Assay Development Chair, Mid Atlantic Chapter
The Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research
email: jinzi.wu at pharma.novartis.com

Andy Zaayenga
Automation Technologies Chair, Mid Atlantic Chapter
Secretary, LRIG Home and Mid Atlantic Chapter
TekCel Corporation
tel:  (732) 302-1038
fax: (732) 302-9080, eFax: (630) 604-2935
email: andy.zaayenga at tekcel.com


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