Vanderbilt University
Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology
High Throughput Screening Facility

About Us

The goal of the High-Throughput Screening (HTS) facility is to provide screening-based services to aide research investigators in the identification and investigation of new compounds for basic research and pharmacological discovery. We have developed a highly dynamic environment that utilizes industry standard practices and novel technologies for biological screening.

The HTS facility is equipped to guide investigators through the drug discovery process from assay conception to lead compound identification. At the HTS facility, we serve the basic research needs of scientific investigators by providing walk-up or full-service access to state-of-the-art instrumentation, distribution of compound libraries, and informatics solutions.


Our Team


Paige Vinson
David Weaver
Scientific Director
Lisa Wright
CORE Manager


Assay Development and High-Throughput Screening

The assay development and HTS team is a group of expert staff responsible for developing and automating biological assays as well as conducting biochemical and cell-based high-throughput screens to identify new lead compounds that benefit both mechanistic studies and drug discovery/development. Working closely with research investigators, the HTS team strives to provide rapid, cost-effective assay development and chemical library screening. The team aids in instrument training/assistance, assay optimization, pilot screening, automation, data capture and analysis, compound distribution, full library screening, and screen validation.

Joshua Bauer, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor
Emily Days
Drug Discovery Scientist I
Rey Redha
Drug Discovery Scientist I
Debbie Mi, Ph.D.
Drug Discovery Scientist I



The HTS Informatics team is responsible for integrating automation and instrumentation with downstream data handling and reporting. This group maintains the laboratory technology infrastructure, including maintaining and troubleshooting instrumentation, robotic integration, network security, performing data backups, and managing data access.  The team is also responsible for database management and information processing, including management of the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS).  They perform systems analysis and programming as needed for instrument interfaces and integration, as well as extracting, reformatting, uploading, aggregating and/or analyzing data gathered in the course of HTS experiments.  In addition, the group assists laboratory and scientific personnel with all their informatics needs, including overseeing data exchanges with research investigators.

Chris Farmer
Software Architect
David Baughman
Bioinformatics System Engineer I


Compound Management

The HTS facility houses a state-of-the-art automated compound management system (Nexus Biosystems) that provides environmentally controlled storage and on-demand access to the library compounds. The chemical library collection consists of commercially purchased libraries as well as compounds synthesized by collaborating investigators to give a diverse array of chemical material for biological testing. Processes such as compound registration, storage, and handling all meet or exceed industry standards. Compounds can be dispensed into a variety of tube and plate formats (6-well to 384-well) to accommodate the research investigator’s needs.

Kristen Nailor
Chemical Management Specialist
Sherrell reaves
Research Assistant I


Michael mccaughey
Research Assistant Professor
Lab Engineer

Internal Advisory Board

The Scientific Advisory Board for the Vanderbilt HTS Facility is an association of research investigators and leaders with proven track records in academic and industrial research programs. Together they oversee the intermediate and long-term goals of the facility; by advising on growth and diversification strategies, by assessing and prioritizing proposed projects that enter the facility, by critiquing success metrics, and by providing financial oversight and funding leadership. Members of the Internal Advisory Board are:

Larry Marnett
David Wright
Stephen Fesik
William Pao
Gary Sulikowski
Scott Heibert
Roger Cone
Susan Meyn


Other resources

The HTS facility is part of The Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology. The VICB has some of the most comprehensive and state-of-the-art support core facilities in the nation. To learn more visit:

The Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology
Small Molecule NMR Core
Antibody and Protein Resource Core
Chemical Synthesis Core
VUMC Core Facilities


Contact Information

Vanderbilt High-Throughput Screening Facility
Robinson Research Building, Room 824
2200 Pierce Avenue
Nashville, TN 37232
Lab phone: 3-3651

HTS Information:
Lisa Wright
(615) 936-7098

High-Throughput Screening Core Facility brochure





What about the availability of compounds?
Our HTS facility has a small-molecule library of over 160,000 selected 'drug-like' compounds, primarily from ChemBridge and ChemDiv. We are working to increase our library through the efforts of the Chemical Synthesis Core, as well as other collaborators. Along with the Vanderbilt library, we also house a 100,000 compound library through the Molecular Libraries Screening Center Network (MLSCN).

What instrumentation is available?
Our instrumentation incorporates the leading edge of biomechanical technology. For a complete list, please see the instrumentation list in our technology section. The crux of our lab technology is comprised of the following: Hamamatsu FDSS, Blueshift Isocyte, Perkin Elmer Envision 2100, Labcyte Echo 550, Genetix Aliquot, Thermo Electron Multidrop, Bio-Tek Fill, Velocity 11 VPrep, TekCel TekBench, TekCel Plate Store, TekCel Plate Server.

Who is eligible to use the facilities?
Users that pass criteria for assay design (reviewed by an internal advisory board), proof of funding support, necessary training, and user/password eligibility. Research projects specific to the MLSCN must be approved by a peer review system at NIH. Please see the services section for examples offered thus far.

What types of experiments can be performed?
Our facility specializes in cellular-based assays, particularly G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) and ion channels. However, we are able to handle a wide variety of experimental setups, including cytotoxicity, enzyme reactions, and immunochemistry. For a further discussion please reference Assays/Targets and Assay Design.





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Vanderbilt High-Throughput Screening Facility Robinson Research Building, Room 824, 2200 Pierce Avenue, Nashville, TN 37232 (615) 936-7098
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