UMASS-Chemical Screening Initiative (UMASS-CSI)

Solicitation of Assays for the UMASS-Chemical Screening Initiative

Purpose of the Program

The UMASS-Chemical Screening Initiative (UMASS-CSI) provides investigators access to experienced professional and state-of-the-art technological resources at the Small Molecule Screening Facility (SMSF) for the discovery of exceptional chemical probes, potential diagnostic and therapeutic candidates of high-impact, as well as research tools. The program is funded by the UMass Office of the President’s Science and Technology Fund.

Executive Summary

  • To permit the discovery of high-impact chemical compounds with therapeutic benefits in the academic setting
  • To provide drug screening and development support for meritorious projects from across the UMass system
  • Facilitate external funding
  • Facilitate industry-academia collaborations by demonstrating ‘drug-ability’ of biological targets
  • Generate intellectual property for UMass

Objective of this Call for Proposals

The objective of this announcement is to invite applicants with a well-developed assay used in basic research and therapeutic development programs suitable for HTS to submit the assay for consideration by the UMASS-CSI to identify hits and probes from the SMSF compound library.

Tier 1 projects encompassing pilot experiments would be awarded $7,250 each for screening any library of choice, up to a total of 5,000 compounds (e.g., a partial Diversity set and/or a combination of the LOPAC and international drug collection to name a few).

Tier 2 projects would involve comprehensive screening of the entire 58,000 compound library. Tier 2 projects would be awarded $22,500 each.

In both cases, the awards would cover all costs involved. These awards would cover not only assay development and high throughput screening costs but also secondary and counter screening, hit validation, compound picking, and consultation with medicinal chemists at UMass Amherst (Dr. Sergey Savinov) and the Structure-based Drug Design core at the UMass Medical School for further developing these compounds into potential therapeutics (see the screening cascade in Figure 1).

Sangram S. Parelkar, PhD, who is the manager of the SMSF and has broad expertise in drug discovery and development, would be responsible for assay development and all aspects of screening. Paul Thompson, PhD, the SMSF Core Director, will also provide input into assay design and compound prioritization.

Please see the UMass-CSI RFA for complete information and instructions for application.

Thank you for your interest in the UMASS-Chemical Screening Initiative. We look forward to your ideas.