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GEN Presents An Educational And Informative Webinar

High-Content Screening and Analysis in Cell-Based Assays for Drug Toxicity and Genotoxicity Testing

  • Broadcast Date: Wednesday, June 11, 2014
  • Time: 10:00 am ET, 7:00 am PT, 4:00 pm CEST



High-content analysis (HCA) and high-content screening (HCS) enable imaging of large numbers of cellular samples for a variety of life science applications. Using automated high-resolution microscopy coupled with analytical software to visualize and quantify phenotypic responses in cells, HCS determines how compounds such as small molecule drugs, antibodies, or siRNA, affect cell morphology in a rapid, quantitative, high-throughput manner, providing meaningful functional readouts of cellular activity.

Adverse effects and toxicity are still major reasons why drugs fail in clinical trials. As a result, enabling drug candidates to fail early in development by uncovering potential toxicity is one way of improving the efficiency of the drug discovery process. HCS enables in vitro tests on relevant biological systems at high throughput and on organ specific cell models (e.g., hepatocytes, neurons) to uncover toxic liabilities of lead compounds, either as part of a functional assay or with assays dedicated to specific toxicity risks.

In this webinar, presenters will discuss two different approaches for using HCA to detect potential toxicities from cell models. Dr. Heather Martin from the bioscreening technology group at the University of Leeds, U.K. will discuss the use of novel phenotypic assays that can be used as a counter-screen to identify compounds with a broad range of adverse cellular effects. This assay, developed using a Human Bone Osteosarcoma Epithelial cell line (U2OS cells), provides early information about undesired cell responses to drug candidates.

Dr. Giuseppe Astori of the department of hematology and cellular therapy at Vicenza Hospital will describe studies using an HCS micronucleus assay in the Chinese Hamster Ovarian K1 (CHO-K1) rodent mammalian cell line to identify genotoxic effects of different media. The study results suggest that growth stimulus induced by the use of platelet lysate did not significantly increase micronucleus formation in CHO-K1 cells compared to a negative control. This study demonstrates that genotoxicity assessments using micronucleus testing in conjunction with HCS could represent a valuable tool to evaluate the safety of ancillary materials used in the production of cell-based medicinal products.

Who Should Attend

  • Drug discovery scientists
  • Cell biologists
  • Toxicologists using cell-based assays
  • Stem cell biologists
  • Geneticists

You Will Learn

  • How relatively inexpensive and rapid cell-based HCS assays can be designed for early identification of compounds with adverse effects
  • How HCS cell-based assays can potentially reduce compound rejection due to toxicity in subsequent in vitro and in vivo assays
  • How micronucleus testing using HCS could provide a valuable tool to evaluate genotoxic effects

A live Q&A session will follow the presentations, offering you a chance to pose questions to our expert panelists.



  • Dr. Giuseppe Astori,
  • Advance Cellular Therapy Laboratory
  • Department of Hematology and Cellular Therapy
  • Vicenza Hospital
  • Dr. Heather Martin,
  • Research Fellow
  • Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine
  • University of Leeds


  • John Sterling
  • Editor in Chief
  • Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

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