Assay Development and Screening

Assay Development

To enable collaboration and scientific advancement, CDoT provides assay development services and capabilities to the wider Broad community and its affiliates. Working alongside the CDoT Discovery Science and Translational Pharmacology groups, the team can help investigators brainstorm, develop and/or optimize their assay, in both stand-alone or automated fashion, leveraging our industry-grade equipment and capabilities. Whether the goal is to reduce assay variability, increase throughput or generate consistent, high quality data, the team is here to help. Equipment and capabilities include:

  • 3 fully integrated and 1 enclosed BL2 robotic systems, feeding data to CDoT's laboratory information management system (LIMS) for downstream quality assessment and analysis
  • Liquid handling systems (bulk dispensers, single-well dispensers, and array transfer tools)
  • Real-time qPCR
  • FACS
  • multi mode plate readers (able to detect most of the different types of signals generated by HTS assays, e.g., cell viability, receptor or ion channel activity, gene expression)
  • fluorescence imaging plate reader (FLIPR)
  • and more

Inquiries about Assay Development can be made by emailing

High-Throughput Screening (HTS)

High throughput screening (HTS) is the massively parallel testing of biological activity or perturbations to an assay system, typically carried out in multi-well titer plates (MTPs.)  With CDoT’s 4 fully-integrated automated systems, the team can quickly screen 100s to 1,000s of compound plates per day. Working alongside the compound management and informatics group, the team can help screen, track and analyze experiments against diverse libraries selected from the Broad’s 800,000+ compounds (including the repurposing library set). 

Inquiries about HTS can be made by emailing

High Content Imaging (HCI)

The High Content Imaging (HCI) facility within CDoT works with Broad’s principal investigators (PI) and their collaborators providing access to state-of-the-art imaging capabilities and scientific expertise to develop and execute HCI related assays to achieve scientific insight into cellular phenotypic fingerprints and complex disease models.

Currently, the platform includes two fully automated, state-of-the-art imaging systems that offer a wide range of applications which include:

  • high-speed, high-resolution confocal / widefield image acquisition
  • scheduled plate delivery from incubator (either 10C for fixed samples or 37C for live samples) to imaging instrument
  • live cell time course fluorescently dyed or dye-free imaging
  • tissue section imaging
  • staining protocols including immunofluorescence and Cell Painting

In addition to the high-content image offering, the team offers comprehensive image analysis capabilities, including:

  • 2D and 3D cytometry for any microscopic sample, based on extraction of hundreds of parameters for intensity, morphology and texture
  • PhenoLOGIC machine learning for image recognition and classification
  • data storage, delivery and reporting
  • further guidance on follow up assays and downstream experiments

Inquiries about HCI can be made by emailing