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NIH Seeking Assays for High-Throughput Screening of Chemical Probes

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Institutes of Health wants scientists to leverage new high-throughput screening-based technologies for discovering small molecule probes, and it will fund two new grant programs to fund collaborative research with HTS facilities aimed at translating these advances into assays for disease studies.

Several NIH institutes will support new projects to discover and develop small molecules for studies of diseases relevant to the institutes' missions and for discovery or validation of biological targets that will inform studies of disease mechanisms.

The funding level for the three-year R01 grants is not specifically limited and the R21 program will provide up to $275,000 over two years.

The awards are aimed at providing funding for investigators who will form a collaboration with an academic, nonprofit, or commercial high-throughput screening facility that has the expertise to implement an HTS-ready assay for the discovery and development of small molecule chemical probes. The facility should have the capability to optimize and automate biochemical, cellular, or whole-organism-based assays for screening a large library of compounds.

When the screening projects are completed, samples of initial hits will be picked for further confirmation by investigators who will implement secondary assays to remove false positive results. Additional follow-up assays also may be conducted to characterize the mode and mechanism of action of the validated hits.

Several NIH institutes will participate in the HTS program, including the National Institute of General Medical Sciences and the National Cancer Institute.

NIGMS is seeking assays that are relevant to basic research in genetics, cell biology, pharmacology, developmental biology, and other broad areas.

NCI will welcome high-throughput screens that are relevant to cancer including biochemical, cellular, or model-organism-based screens, and which may be used to develop strategies for cancer prevention or treatment or for clinical monitoring.

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