Platform for Next Generation Screening in Quantitative Biology & Drug Discovery (NEXTGEBQBIO)
In this proposal we outline a state-of-the-art platform that would be among the first in Europe to combine the best in automated microscopy with advanced cell culture robotics capable of automated isolation, expansion and differentiation of mammalian and human cells, including iPSC. The platform will be unique in Flanders and will allow running quantitative image-based screens as well as screens for disease phenotypes using conventional cell lines but more importantly also on human stem cells, which provide the closest mimic of human pathology currently available. Not only will this prove to be a powerful facilitator of scientific research, it will also enable translating insights from complex biological systems into early drug discovery programs. In combination with modern genome editing technologies the platform will also allow the identification of specific target molecules in a given diseased patient on a scale and rate that is currently not available, rendering the platform a powerful facilitator of scientific quantitative biology research and early drug discovery.