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Calibrating human adipocyte assays for T2D target validation: a collaboration between the Broad Institute and Merck Research Labs

The development of cellular high-throughput compound screening assays that are highly predictive of a therapeutic's possible clinical success remains a critical challenge in target validation and discovery. This collaborative project will build and validate high-throughput assays relevant to type 2 diabetes (T2D) in human adipocytes. These assays will be calibrated by integrating evidence from genetic studies of human T2D. The goals of the collaboration are to:

  1. Build assays that read out T2D-relevant functions in human adipocytes.
  2. Deploy these assays to identify genes critical to these functions.
  3. Integrate the resulting data with clinical sequencing databases to identify mutations that protect individuals from T2D.

The ultimate purpose of this program is to identify new drug targets for T2D.