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Hosting Legal Entity
Leibniz Association
Helmholtz Association
Robert-Rössle-Str. 10, Berlin, PO: 13125, Berlin (Germany)
Type Of RI
Coordinating Country
Current Status:
Operational since 1992
Scientific Description
The Screening Unit Berlin-Buch offers open access to sophisticated High Throughput Screening (HTS) technology that is used for early hit and drug discovery in the field of chemical biology and genomics. The identification of biologically active substances in compound libraries (involving the storage and testing of more than 60,000 compounds) and genome-wide RNA interference with up to 70.000 oligonucleotides requires a precisely-defined workflow consisting of library design, development and miniaturisation of assay systems, compound management, quality control, automated data analysis, hit identification and validation, all in terms of the compounds’ pharmacological and biophysical profiles. The technology platform is complemented by a working group for medicinal chemistry. The systematic processing performed within the platform makes possible new insights into biological pathways inhibited, activated or modified by small molecules. The users of the platform are mainly academic research groups but also include small biotech companies. Completely new approaches are offered for basic research and a plethora of previously unknown disease-related targets will be identified for further investigation. The interdisciplinary team members of our infrastructure – consisting of chemists, cell biologists, engineers, computational drug designers and scientists of different backgrounds – work together closely to evaluate new screening technologies and thereby increase the value chain of innovation in the areas of drug discovery and genomics.

RI Keywords
Kinetic measurements, Chemical biology, Automated data evaluation, High content analysis, Impedance cell based assays, Development of new screening techniques, Cell-based assays, Automation of compound storage, Protein-protein interaction assays, High Throughput Screening (HTS), Machine learning routines
RI Category
Chemical Libraries and Screening Facilities
Scientific Domain
Biological and Medical Sciences
Chemistry and Material Sciences
ESFRI Domain
Health and Food
User Training

The service offered to projects contains the detailed information about the screening technologies established in the Unit to potential users, including the requirements of the HTS-testsystems with the appropriate assay conditions. In an application form the project responsibilities (PI, contact details), rules in accordance to Genetic Engineering Act as well as conditions for the support of the project are defined. In the first phase the visiting scientists transfer their tests to the Screening Unit Berlin-Buch. This phase will be finished if the quality of the assay meets the requirements of the HTS acceptance test. In the second phase the HTS compound screening and the genome-wide RNA interference with oligonucleotides is conducted in the laboratory of the Screening Unit. By means of state-of-the-art automation 35.000 single experiments per day can be carried out in 384 well plate format with complex robotic systems. Several routine assay controls are established for monitoring assay robustness and quality during the screen as well as in the final analysis and identification of bioactive molecules (small compounds and RNA-oligonucleotides). A maximum of 352 compounds will be selected and evaluated in dose dependent measurements (IC50-determination). Additionally, the integrity and purity of each hit are determined via LC-MS quality controls. A limited capacity of medicinal chemistry support is available for selected projects in order to re-synthesize the initial hit or a focussed library. Until 2015 the Screening Unit Berlin-Buch has supported over 200 Screening projects and aims to opitmize its workflows even further.

Kinase Screening Instrument

Caliper LabChip3000.

Microplate Readers

5 Tecan Safire Reader (spectroscopy).

Beckmann Robot for 384 Well Plates.
Impedance Measurement Instruments


Liquid Handling Stations

4 Tecan liquid handling stations.

Storage of Compounds

Liconic Kiwi Store; REMP SSS Store.

siRNA Screening Platform

RNA interference.

High content microscopes

For cell-based tests.

Surface Plasmon Resonance Instrument

Biacore T200

AlphaScreen Technology
Automated LC-MS Control System

Agilent TOF.

Microarray Technology
Cell Incubators for Cell Based Assays

4 incubators.

Helmholtz Alliance Drug Research
European Infrastructure of Open Screening Platforms for Chemical Biology
A Resource Network Supporting Academic Chemical Biology Research
Date of last update: 07/08/2017
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