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High-Throughput Small Molecule Screening, Spring 2021

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The Stanford Innovative Medicines Accelerator (IMA) aims to accelerate the translation of scientific discoveries at Stanford University into new therapeutics that impact human health. Adaptation of laboratory-grade assays to high-throughput screening formats is a key bottleneck in this process. IMA is accepting proposals for assay development projects to create and optimize miniaturized assays in 384-well microplate format for use in high-throughput, small-molecule screens. Competitive projects will have a strong, novel therapeutic hypothesis and aim to identify small molecule leads for a molecular target or cellular phenotype. Projects that aim to develop an assay that is not highly scalable to screen a few thousand compound clinical collection will also be considered. More than one-half of the projects selected by this program last fall have successfully miniaturized their assays and are on track to run a high-throughput screen.

Support Provided: Selected projects will receive access to the IMA High-Throughput Screening Knowledge Center (HTSKC) facility, which includes instrumentation fees, associated consumables, and expert training and advice in assay development for high-throughput screens (384-well microplate format).

Faculty must provide a student, postdoctoral fellow, staff scientist, or research associate with dedicated time for the project, which s/he will pursue in the HTSKC under the mentorship of the Center’s staff. Salary support is not provided.

It is anticipated that most selected projects will receive in-kind support for ~6 months with critical go/no-go decision points defined for this project period. The specific level of support will vary by project need. Projects with successful outcomes will be eligible for continued support from the HTSKC for a high-throughput screen.

Deadline: All LOIs must be received by 5pm, May 24,2021.

Eligibility: All Stanford faculty with PI eligibility are welcome to apply.

Application Instructions: LOIs should be submitted as single PDF files containing the following materials in the order indicated below. All documents should be single-spaced, Arial 11-point font with 1-inch margins. 

  1. Title page (1 page): Project title; Investigator name(s), department, address, phone number, email address, a project summary for a lay audience (150 words max).
  2. Letter of Intent (3 pages maximum) – Briefly describe the therapeutic hypothesis and the case for the biological target of the anticipated high-throughput assay development effort. Provide a technical summary of the assay you wish to miniaturize as well as potential secondary assays. Include details on availability of protein structure and access to materials required for the assay (cells lines, purified proteins etc).
  3. NIH-format biosketch for each investigator

LOIs should be submitted directly through the SlideRoom portal found at: Stanford ChEM-H SlideRoom Portal

You do not need to submit your applications to your Research Process Manager (RPM) in RMG or through your Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) Contract and Grant officer (CGO) for their approval at this time.

Selection Process & Timeline: Proposals will be reviewed by a faculty panel knowledgeable in translational research and evaluated according to the following criteria:

  1. Novelty of the therapeutic hypothesis
  2. Strength of the evidence for the therapeutic hypothesis
  3. Availability of needed materials
  4. Feasibility of assay using technologies available in the HTSKC
  5. Druggability of the molecular target or mechanism (based on available evidence)

PIs whose project ideas are selected will be invited to submit full proposals (including budgets) with the help of an IMA technical staff member. Final decisions on full proposals will be made by the end of August 2021.

Contact: For questions about High-Throughput Small Molecule Screening module of IMA, please contact: Bruce Koch Ph.D.,

For questions about the funding opportunity, please contact: Sachin Jadhav, Ph.D.,