CCG Newsletter
News from the CCG:

September 2012
In This Issue
Acquistion of Fragment Library
Staff Highlight
1536 Technology
Other Funding Opportunities
Acquisition of Fragment Library
The field of Fragment-Based Drug Discovery (FBDD) is emerging as a useful technique that uses small (<300 MW) compounds to screen targets. It employs NMR, SPR, Thermal shift and or X-ray approaches to detect binding of these low affinity ligands in biochemical assays. An adaptation of HTS approaches, thousands of these diverse, soluble, chemically inert compounds are tested at high concentration either individually or multiplexed in assays to obtain structural information about tough-to-screen targets. The  CCG received support from OVPR and CDNM to obtain a 3000 compound fragment library from Asinex Biofragments. This resource is available to researchers with an interest in structure-based drug design (SBDD) or for defined targets in probe discovery. After screening using biophysical measures, fragment-linking and fragment-growing strategies are used to improve affinity and selectivity. Please contact Rick Neubig for more information about screening the Fragment Library.
Staff Highlight
Renju Jacob, Systems Analyst, MScreen
In late August, MScreen reached 10 million datapoints representing 7 years of assay and compound discovery by UM researchers.
In this newsletter we feature the programmer and systems Renju Jacob head shotanalyst at the CCG:
How long have you worked at U-M?  

I have worked at UM with the CCG since its inception in 2004 but prior to that I was a graduate student at UM School of Information.

What do you do? I am an Application Systems Analyst at the CCG.  I design, develop and maintain a high throughput screening (HTS) information system MScreen that can be used by the researchers across and outside campus to visualize and analyze their data. I have built MScreen on a web-based platform and so my main responsibility is to maintain its primary components - back-end database and the web application environment. As the CCG collection has grown over time, my role has also grown to manage the data and develop tools for siRNA and Natural Products screening. I also serve as the data manager for an International Cooperative Biodiversity Group (ICBG) that screens natural products here at UM and at Harvard  

What did you do before joining U-M? Before coming to UM, I used to work in the merchant navy as a marine engineer. Not a whole lot in common with what I do now except that some natural product biologists still think that I could be a helping hand on-board their next field trip!  With an undergraduate degree in engineering, I was convinced that the fastest way to travel the world was to become a marine engineer: 25 countries, 5 continents within 27 months including crossing the Suez once and Panama twice was not such a bad deal after all.   What are some of the most interesting things you've learned while working here? I think that the focus on research and collaboration in CCG is, in itself, a learning experience. That has shaped how and why I do my job. In a non-academic environment (like pharma), I couldn't help others implement a database like MScreennor publish a paper on our solutions to data storage. The CCG also presents a unique opportunity for developing user-centered tools that can help both the CCG and its clients in their research efforts. And of course, it is always cool when you know that you are making a difference in the quality of probe and drug discovery efforts not just here at UM, but across the academic community.     

If you hadn't become a Programmer/System Analyst, what do you think you'd be doing instead? Watch cricket, play more badminton and travel to places that are still on my list of places to go! 
1536 Technology


The CCG announces its expansion into screening capabilities to include 1536-well assay plate formats.  The HTS Lab has started screening in 1536-well formats and wants to remind researchers of the technology. Many grant applications for screening at national centers require this compressed high-density format and cost savings can be realized if your assay is amenable. Contact Martha Larsen for more information.
Other 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. Click here for more information.


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.

If you are receiving this email from another source and would like to be added to the mailing list, please contact the Program Manager.

In the News
The University of Michigan launches the virtual
Center for the Discovery of New Medicines (CDNM) with Rick Neubig, Director.

October 1 deadline for
Pilot Grants for Advancing Drug Discovery. Application information can be found on the CDNM website.

October 4 deadline for Innovative Cancer Research Projects Ultilizing the High-Throughput Core Facility.
Application forms are available
on the Cancer Center website:
Upcoming Events  

CDNM Lecture Series


October 5, 2012  

Andrea Cochran, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Early Discovery Biochemistry, Genentech


"A common mechanism of Wnt signaling inhibition by Sclerostin and Dickkopf proteins"   


9:00-10:00 a.m., Forum Hall, Palmer Commons

Host:  Rick Neubig  


October 23, 2012

Christopher P. Austin, M.D., Director, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, NIH


"Translational Therapeutics Development at NIH"


12:00 - 1:00 p.m. in Forum Hall, Palmer Commons


Co-sponsored with Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR) 


Additional information about the CDNM Lecture Series can be found on its website: 

CCG User Forums on instrumentation:


November 6, 2012

LSI Library, Room #3040

11:00 a.m. 

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


November 27, 2012
LSI Library, Room #3040

11:00 a.m.  

Epic: Label-free (Corning)


December 4, 2012 

LSI Library, Room #3040

11:00 a.m. 



 Questions?  Contact the Program Manager

CCG-Related Publications
Renju Jacob publishes his first article about MScreen:   MScreen: An Integrated Compound Management and High-Throughput Screening Data Storage and Analysis System, J Biomol Screen, 2012 Sep;17(8):1080-7. Epub 2012 Jun 15.

From the Gestwicki Lab:  A screen for modulators of large T antigen's ATPase activity uncovers novel inhibitors of Simian Virus 40 and BK virus replication in Antiviral Res. 2012 Aug 7;96(1):70-81 [Epub ahead of print]

More CCG-related pubs  
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