The Cell Screening Center, (CSC), at the Department of Cell Biology of the UMC Utrecht, is a well-established center for high-throughput screening. The Center has an automated high-throughput cell screening system in use since 2009. This platform is designed to allow biomedical researchers to screen a variety of siRNA and compound libraries in 96- and 384-well plates. Research has concentrated to a great extent on the use of high content screens that utilize automated microscopy, thus leveraging the extensive experience in fluorescence light microscopy present within the department in the form of the Cell Microscopy Center. The various projects run at the CSC address important biomedical research areas including cancer, neurological diseases, childhood diseases and stem cell biology, which are defined focus areas, (‘speerpunten’) within the UMC Utrecht.
The Center operates on a ‘technology hotel’ model. We provide the technology, laboratory facilities, informatics infrastructure that project teams require to successfully run high throughput screens. Assay development and validation is carried out by the project team in consultation with the CSC. The CSC will further through the development and validation of automation protocols. The screen will then be run by the project team with the appropriate level of oversight and assistance from the CSC staff.
The Center is open to academic research groups from throughout the Netherlands. Project teams are expected to cover the costs of consumables and will be charged for equipment and facility usage that are required to cover maintenance costs. The Center does not aim to profit from any academic research projects. The Center is open to inquiries from commercial entities with regard to collaborations or fee-for-service projects but the focus of the Center is primarily on academic projects.