CCG Newsletter
News from the CCG:

July 2012
In This Issue
Accelerate Your Biology
Staff Highlight
Funding Opportunities

Accelerate Your Biology   

By Martha Larsen, HTS Lab Director, CCG and Tonia Buchholz, Director of Emerging Technologies & External Collaborations, CCG

    In trying to answer increasingly complex biological questions, you may need access to progressively larger scaled experiments and/or emerging technologies. In the CCG, we work at the place where automation meets classic cellular biology and biochemistry. When you think of the CCG you may just think of screening thousands of chemicals but we can do a lot more than that. To help you speed up your biology, we combine approaches from a variety of scientific disciplines to: test biology focused libraries of a few hundred compounds, perform microscopy studies in 96- or 384-well plates, and facilitate automated, parallel sample preparation.  We selectively use high-throughput techniques to hasten hypothesis-driven research that could lead to the discovery of human therapeutics.

   The move toward getting more data faster has been driven, in part, by the idea that the complexity of biology might best be understood by analyzing more data. Using cell-based and biochemical assays for high-throughput compound profiling and comparing across a panel of different assay types and target categories, it may be possible to obtain a broader view of a compound's potential.  [Click here for the rest of the article].

Staff Highlight
Steven Swaney, RNAi and High-Content Screening Specialist
Swaney head shot


How long have you worked at U-M?  I have worked at the CCG for 3-1/2 years.

What do you do?

I assist researchers at the University of Michigan to develop and perform RNA interference (RNAi) screening projects. I also specialize in small molecule mammalian cell-based and High Content Analysis assays. I've worked with a diverse set of biology such as yeast, zebrafish, C. elegans, virus, parasites, primary cells but also more common cell lines as well. It has been interesting and educational assisting in the development of screens for so many different organisms . 

What are some of the most interesting things you've learned while working here? When I was hired to be the point contact for HCS and RNAi screening I had little experience with RNAi screening. This position has allowed me to meet and learn about RNAi from some of the world leaders in the technology. I have gained a wealth of knowledge and understanding of this new tool that I can now share with U-M researchers.  RNAi is a powerful tool for target development and understanding biological pathways.

What did you do before joining U-M?

Before I came to the University of Michigan I worked in the pharmaceutical industry for 16 years in drug discovery and target

development. I was privileged to be a member of teams at The Upjohn Company that resulted in three drugs brought to market. In my early career I worked on HIV reverse transcriptase inhibitors with a team that included Tom McQuade (also at CCG). We helped bring to market Rescriptor and also Delaviridine, the first non-peptide based HIV protease inhibitor. I then moved to target development in the antimicrobials department. There I helped identify the mechanism of action for Zyvox. Zyvox was the first novel structure to be approved as an antibacterial drug in 30 years.  After Zyvox entered the market we discovered the mechanism of toxicity in long-term dosing so I got experience in ADME (Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism and Excretion) while at Pfizer in Ann Arbor.


I know my experiences and training in the pharmaceutical industry and at the CCG can bring added value to the U-M research community.
Funding Opportunities

due date is October 16

Michigan Diabetes Research Training CenterFunds are available for members of the MDRTC for small molecule- and RNAi-screening.  For more information,  click here.


CCG Logo
The Center for Chemical Genomics (CCG) assists researchers in carrying out high-throughput screens of chemical and siRNA libraries to identify new tools for biological research.  The CCG also provides access to MScreen, an open-source, high-throughput (HTS) data storage and analysis system.

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In the News
Benita Sjogren, Postdoctoral Fellow in Rick Neubig's Lab (CCG Co-Director and Professor of Pharmacology), identifies a novel mechanism of digoxin which may protect against high blood pressure and heart failure.

[Link to press release and publication].
CCG-Related Publications
From Gabby Rudenko's Lab:  Wang Yun, et al. Small molecule screening identifies regulators of the transcription factor DeltaFosB. ACS Chemical Neuroscience, Epub.  

From Sylvie Garneau-Tsodikova's Lab:  Green, KD, et a. (2012) Identification and characterization of inhibitors of the aminoglycoside resistance acetyltransferase Eis from Mycobacterium tuberculosis (PubMed Link)

More CCG-related pubs  
CCG-Related Grants
Sylvie Garneau-Tsodikova, NIH R01: "Chemoenzymatic studies of aminoglycoside-resistance enzymes towards new drugs"
Upcoming Events  

Grant Forums on NIH screening opportunities 


Monday, September 10 at 11:00-12:00 noon in 3405 LSI (Library)


 Thursday, September 13 at 1:00-2:00 p.m. in 2817 and 2813 Medical Science II   



Come to CCG's table at Researchpalooza on Wednesday, August 22  at 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.  



 Look for future announcements  about CCG User Forums on the following instrumentation:


Epic: Label-free (Corning)


FLIPR: Ca+ and Ion Channel Detection (Molecular Devices)


Cellometer Vision: Image-Based Cell Counting (Nexcelom) 


 Questions?  Contact the Program Manager

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