Drug Discovery MakerSpace


Lab automation plays an increasing role in academic and biotech/pharma laboratories and hands-on experience is sought after in job applicants. High-Throughput Screening (HTS) is an approach to drug discovery that leverages experimental screening of large chemical libraries for activity against biological targets, enabled by automation, miniaturized assays and large-scale data analysis. Using robotics, data processing and control software, liquid handling devices, and sensitive detectors, high-throughput screening allows a researcher to quickly conduct millions of chemical, genetic, or pharmacological tests. The UCB Drug Discovery Center offers a 5-day condensed Drug discovery / Lab Automation Bootcamp . The goal of this course is to introduce students to large-scale drug discovery and provide hands-on training on state-of-the-art robotic infrastructure, automated liquid handling, troubleshooting and HTS data analysis.


The Drug discovery / Lab Automation Bootcamp is limited to 12 participants . Undergraduates have priority due to funding source restrictions, but graduate students, postdocs and staff will be admitted as space permits. Students must be available for a full five-day session. This is not a for credit course and there is no cost to participate. All participants will get a certificate of completion.


• Dates of the program: August 14-18, 2023
• Application closed: August 6th, 2023 at Midnight


The schedule below shows an approximation of what is covered in the course. Morning sessions will be dedicated to lecture/discussion/self-directed learning/lab demonstration in full group. Afternoon sessions will be dedicated to hands-on training in the lab in smaller groups (4-6 students).

  • 10am - 12am

  • 10am - 11am: Lecture: "introduction of the project"
    11am - 12am: Lecture/ Reading: Drug Discovery overview, introductions and understanding student learning goals. Formation of teams.

  • 1pm - 3pm
  • Lab walk-through, introduction of automation and tools, demonstration of assays screening technology.

  • 10am - 12am
  • Lecture / Reading: Physics and limitations of liquid handling; validation: when and how; troubleshooting; Introduction to screening libraries and sample management: compound acquisition, sample management, structural file information and computational tools; Storage, barcoding and plate sealing technologies.

  • 1pm - 3pm
  • Each team conducts a liquid handler validation using dyes, determines statistical accuracy and precision of measurement, computational data analysis.

  • 10am - 12am
  • Lecture / Reading: Assay Development and potential readouts.

  • 1pm - 3pm
  • Developing proof-of-concept plate for a screening assay, determine statistical parameters to evaluate suitability for screening. Stamping compound plates for screening using liquid handling robot.

  • 10am - 12am

  • 10am - 11am: Lecture/ Reading: How to prioritize compounds for follow-up, quality control measures.
    11am - 12am: Lecture: High-throughput/High-content Screening and Image Analysis with an Automated Microscope Platform.

  • 1pm - 3pm
  • Hands-on primary screening and analysis, basic liquid handling scripting.

  • 10am - 12am
  • Lecture / Reading: Screening progression and cutoff selection, quality control measures.

  • 1pm - 3pm
  • Generation and screening of confirmation/dose-response plates.


    If you are interested, please complete the following application form.
    Please email if you would like to be added to the bootcamp mailing list.
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