This course focuses on the use of laboratory automation and high throughput technologies in small molecule drug discovery, biomarker discovery, and basic research. Relevant to drug discovery, we will discuss high throughput as well as high content (i.e. cell-based) methods for compound library screening, systematic optimization of high throughput screening assays using the statistical method Design of Experiments. The trend towards personalized medicine has encouraged the pharmaceutical and diagnostics industries to partner more closely in recent years. Biomarkers discovery and validation is of central importance in advancing personalized medicine. In this context, we will cover methods for discovery and validation of protein and cell biomarkers, using flow cytometry, mass spectrometry and other proteomics methods. Relevant to nucleic acid biomarkers, we will discuss microarray and solution based methods for gene expression analysis, SNP discovery and validation, and micro-RNA analysis, as well as novel methods for DNA sequencing. The course consists of lectures supplemented by assigned readings and computer exercises, in addition to student presentations.
After completion of this course, students should: