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This Screening Instrumentation program is focused on development of innovative instrumentation for high throughput screening of synthetic chemical and natural product libraries such as the ones that will be registered and housed in the NIH-sponsored Molecular Libraries Screening Center Network. High throughput molecular screening (HTS) is the automated, rapid testing of thousands of distinct small molecules or probes in cellular models of biological mechanisms or disease, or in biochemical or pharmacological assays. Active compounds identified through HTS can provide powerful research tools to elucidate biological processes through chemical genetic approaches, or can form the basis of therapeutics or imaging agent development programs. HTS has experienced revolutionary changes in technology since the advent of molecular biology and combinatorial chemistry, and the incorporation of modern information management systems. Current HTS instrumentation allows screening of hundreds of thousands of compounds in a single day at a rate orders of magnitude greater than was possible a decade ago. However, there are still bottlenecks which currently limit HTS capacity, such as (a) compound collection maintenance, tracking, and disbursement, and (b) rapidity, accuracy, and content of assay instrumentation. This program sought proposals to develop HTS instrumentation that is not only faster and more efficient than currently available systems, but also substantially more sensitive with high levels of specificity, reproducibility, and accuracy. Eight R01 grants were awarded in 2005.

Funding Opportunities

For information about the current Instrumentation (R01) RFA, see RFA-RM-08-020 or contact one of the following:

Ajay, Ph.D
Division of Extramural Research
National Human Genome Research Institute
5635 Fishers Lane
Suite 4076, MSC 9305
Rockville, MD 20892-9305 (regular mail)
Rockville, MD 20852 (courier mail)
Telephone: (301) 496-7531

Brenda Korte, Ph.D
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering
Co-Leader, MLI Instrumentation Project Team