CDoT's high-throughput automation capabilities provide unique technology solutions to accelerate scientific research across the Broad Institute and its affiliates.
Managed by the CDoT Automation team, the goal is to provide scientists with a wide range of ready-access automation solutions that address critical research needs, from walk-up instrument usage to semi-integrated assay development systems to fully automated screening and imaging platforms. CDoT’s automation systems are similar to those found in the pharmaceutical industry, capable of handling hundreds of plates per day in 96, 384 (most common), or 1536 well formats. The team aims to apply automation and robotics in new and innovative ways to support diverse applications and collaboration efforts.
Inquiries about Automation can be made by emailing
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
- 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
With extensive knowledge in the field of laboratory automation and engineering, the CDoT Automation team can help improve and optimize Investigator’s protocols and workflow. We can help automate on-bench protocol to improve data quality and increase throughput.
CDoT’s engineers can also assist in generating custom 3D CAD models and/or manufacturing of laboratory components or widgets through rapid prototyping and CNC machining. Working together, the team can recommend and/ or develop solutions that fit an Investigator’s needs.
Inquiries about Process Engineering can be made by emailing
High Content Imaging (HCI)
The HCI center within CDoT provides state-of-the-art imaging capabilities suitable for all high-throughput phenotypic screens and assays involving complex disease models. The team provides a complete, fully integrated high content imaging system with automated incubators (hot & cold), plate handling and informatic supports.
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
- multiple plate delivery from incubator 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
Inquiries about HCI can be made by emailing