Louis Stancato - Articles and news items

High content imaging subpopulation analysis for phenotypic drug discovery

Issue 3 2008, Past issues / 19 June 2008 /

Phenotypic drug discovery (PDD) has come of age – again. Using a microscope to observe a cell, one of the oldest techniques available to a cellular biologist dates back to the 17th century studies of Antony van Leeuwenhoek and his characterisation of ‘animalcules’. These early analyses, which simply described the appearance of a cell or group of cells, are the basis for today’s phenotypic assays. Although this early work might seem irrelevant when compared to the powerful array of tools that modern science brings to bear on a problem, the use of cellular phenotype as a method of scientific investigation evolved over time into the primary method of drug discovery up through the 1970s. Cellular phenotypes and the phenotypic changes induced upon compound treatment were commonly followed in both basic science and drug discovery[1-3] and even led to the development of early forms of automated data acquisition and analysis[4].

A perspective from Eli Lilly and Co.

Issue 3 2006, Past issues / 23 May 2006 / Aidas Kriauciunas and William Roell, Department of Integrative Biology, Shaoyou Chu, Karen Cox and Jonathan A. Lee, Department of Lead Generation Biology and Lead Optimization Biology, Ann Goodspeed, Discovery Informatics, Louis Stancato, Cancer Growth and Translational Genetics, Mark Uhlik, Tumor Microenvironment Biology, Lilly Research Laboratory, Eli Lilly and Company

Advances in optical imaging methods, personal computer power and cell/molecular biology methodology have merged to form the field of ‘Cellomics’1 also referred to as High Content Cellular Imaging (HCCI). HCCI is a powerful and flexible cell-based assay platform that has the potential to shorten cycle times by broadly impacting the Drug Discovery process from Target Validation/Lead Generation through in vitro support of Clinical Candidates. This article provides an overview of HCCI, contrasts it with conventional cell based assay modalities, and provides general examples of the technology’s effects on the Drug Discovery process at Eli Lilly and Company.


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