Assay Guidance Workshop for High-Throughput Screening and Lead Discovery

Tue Oct 18, 10:00 AM - Wed Oct 19, 5:30 PM, 2022 (EDT)
NIH Main Campus, Building 35A  

Video of this event is available from the NIH VideoCast site:

Assay Guidance Workshop for High-Throughput Screening and Lead Discovery - Day 1 Video

Assay Guidance Workshop for High-Throughput Screening and Lead Discovery - Day 2 Video

About the Workshop

The NCATS Assay Guidance Manual (AGM) program is hosting a two-day workshop that will cover a broad range of critical concepts underlying assay development and implementation for high-throughput screening and lead discovery projects. This workshop is designed to disseminate critical information about the implementation of robust assay methods and is particularly relevant for researchers developing molecular probes or clinical candidates. Many of the instructors have 20 to 30 years of experience in the field of drug discovery and will share information not readily found in a classroom or published material outside of the AGM. The workshop also will cover emerging technologies and modalities in drug discovery, including the use of DNA-encoded libraries and 3-D tissue models in drug discovery.

Goals and Objectives

This workshop will provide participants with a broad, practical perspective on assay development and data analysis so they can improve research projects involving drug discovery and know where to find further information; identify reagents, methods and instrumentation that are well suited to robust assays; and develop robust assays and the required counter and secondary assays for targets of interest. In addition, the workshop will provide participants with broad overviews and practical perspectives on new and emerging modalities in drug discovery.

Specific learning goals and objectives of this workshop include:

  • Gain an overview of the Assay Guidance Manual ebook as an important resource for detailed information about robust assay methods and best practices in quantitative biology.
  • Identify practical approaches for developing robust assays for biochemical, cell-based and high content screening as well as the selection and development of optimal assay reagents.
  • Discuss sources of assay artifacts and strategies to identify artifacts through the development and implementation of counter assays.
  • Interpret important statistical and data analysis concepts with an emphasis on using these concepts to collect the best possible data and make go/no go decisions based on experimental results.
  • Dissect case studies on how to build translatable biochemical and cell-based assays for drug development.
  • Share experiences and seek practical advice about individual research concerns.


Download the Agenda

Digital Badges

We are pleased to announce that we are offering a digital badge for participating in the Assay Guidance Workshop for High-Throughput Screening and Lead Discovery. Digital badges can be used in email signatures or digital resumes, and on social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. This digital image contains verified metadata that describes your qualifications and the process required to earn them. To earn this badge, you will need to participate in the Assay Guidance Workshop for High-Throughput Screening and Lead Discovery and complete a follow up exercise. Information about the badge and earning criteria is available here.

About the Assay Guidance Manual

The Assay Guidance Manual (AGM) is a free, best-practices online resource devoted to the successful development of robust, early-stage drug discovery assays.

The manual was originally developed to provide step-by-step guidance based on experiential knowledge from drug developers for planning and executing projects in high-throughput screening, lead optimization and early phases of drug development. The AGM has now been expanded into a unique, user-friendly collection of over 50 chapters of well-tested knowledge, much of which is being documented for the first time. Methods outlined in the manual address appropriate statistical ways to analyze assay results and accommodate minor changes to assay protocols to ensure robustness.

Investigators worldwide can use the manual to design biologically and pharmacologically relevant assays for high-throughput screening and lead optimization to evaluate collections of molecules that modulate the activity of biological targets, pathways and cellular phenotypes.

The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) manages the content of the manual with input from industry, academia and government experts. More than 100 authors from around the world have contributed content to this free resource, which is updated regularly and housed by the National Library of Medicine. The chapters have PubMed citations for the contributing authors.

Workshop Organizing Committee

Kyle Brimacombe, NCATS

Abigail Grossman, NCATS

Matthew D. Hall, NCATS

Sarine Markossian, NCATS


National Institutes of Health
Porter Neuroscience Building
35 Convent Drive
Building 35
Bethesda, MD 20892

The workshop will be held in Building 35, the Porter Neuroscience Building. We recommend visitors come through the NIH Visitor Gateway Center (see below) and either walk to Building 35 (approx. 15 minutes, 0.75 miles) or take the internal NIH shuttle bus to the building.

Once in Building 35, proceed to the conference rooms on the ground floor.


NIH Campus Access and Security

Visitor Gateway Center Map

NIH Campus Map

Campus Dining Services


Douglas Auld

Sr. Investigator I, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research

Joe Trask

Product Line Leader & Senior Application Scientist, Cellular Imaging and Analysis, Americas PerkinElmer

Lane Milde

Senior Scientist, Compound Management & Distribution, Pfizer

Madhu Lal Nag

Director, Translational Research, Day One Biopharmaceuticals

Marc Ferrer

Director, 3D Tissue Bioprinting Laboratory, NCATS

Michelle Arkin

Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of California, San Francisco

Nathan P. Coussens, Ph.D.

Director, Molecular Pharmacology Branch Laboratories, Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research

Sam Hoare

Founder Pharmechanics, LLC

Samarjit Patnaik

Group Leader, NCATS

Sarine Markossian

Editor-in-Chief, Assay Guidance Manual; Lead, Translational Science Resources Program, NCATS

Terry Riss

Scientific Ambassador, Cell Health Promega Corporation

Thomas D.Y. Chung

Director, Translational Programs Outreach, Conrad Prebys Center for Chemical Genomics at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute

Timothy L. Foley

Primary Pharmacology Group & DNA-Encoded Library Selection, Pfizer

Travis Mathewson

Compound Management & Distribution, Pfizer

Viswanath Devanarayan

Senior Statistics Director, GlaxoSmithKline

Xin Xu

Senior Scientist, NCATS

Zsofia Lengyel-Zhand

Senior Scientist, Pfizer Inc.
  • Abigail Grossman
NIH Main Campus, Building 35A