Over the past year the VCFG has established a high throughput 3D screening platform using either 96 or 384 well plate format. This platform enables researchers to study cell lines, patient- or PDX-derived material to understand kinetics of structure growth and formation, alongside responses to standard of care clinical treatment regimens as well as large scale drug discovery. Critically important is the capacity to co-culture structures with other cell types that are normally part of the cellular microenvironment, such as immune signalling subtypes and CAR-T cells. Using high content imaging as a predominant readout, the VCFG has shown the inherent value in capturing all the cellular information and has developed very sophisticated and customised analysis pipelines. The VCFG make use of both label free and fluorescence labelled imaging scenarios to complete their large-scale screening projects, heavily utilising the Cytation 5 and Cellomic CX7-LZR platforms.
‘ We have continued to support screening projects throughout the COVID lockdown in Melbourne, albeit at a slower pace. During this time we have developed our automated 3D screening platform using cell lines, patient derived organoids and PDX material. We have created sophisticated high content imaging and analysis pipelines for measuring 3D structure growth over time and in response to treatment with compounds, singularly or in combination to measure synergy. Taking advantage of COVID, we have updated and written an extensive suite of SOPs, technology, instrument and operational user guides. Importantly, we have implemented a comprehensive project management portal to future proof projects for today until publication.’
Phenomics Australia Functional Genomics and High Throughput Screening operates as a partnership between the Victorian Centre for Functional Genomics (VCFG) at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research (Perkins), and newly through ANU Centre for Therapeutic Discovery (ACDT, The John Curtin School of Medical Research, ANU), Monash University, and the University of Adelaide (in partnership with SAHMRI) to perform genome-scale cell-based CRISPR, RNAi (directed to protein coding genes, miRNAs and long-non-coding RNAs) and compound screening using sophisticated liquid handling automation and underpinned by high content imaging in both 2D and 3D settings.