About Us

UT Southwestern's High Throughput Screening Core (HTS) was founded by Steven McKnight, Ph.D., in 2002. The Core supports the early, pre-clinical discovery and development of new small molecule therapeutics, and assists in identifying and characterizing novel biological targets and pathways for therapeutic intervention. Therapeutic areas include, but are not limited to, cancer, neurodegeneration, metabolic diseases, antivirals, and parasitic infections.

The first goal is addressed through full-file and subset screening of our compound library (+330,000 compounds) and by supporting confirmation, dose-response studies, and secondary activity profiling of selected hit compounds as well as synthesized and purchased synthetic analogs. Advanced project support for hit-to-lead optimization is also provided by the HTS Core and encompasses structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies, bioassay-guided fractionation of natural products, computational chemistry, cheminformatics, and bioinformatics support, and data storage and integration via our Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS).

Our second principal goal, the discovery of novel therapeutic targets and biological pathways, is accomplished by screening genome-wide siRNA libraries and supporting confirmation and characterization of genes and pathways identified as points of therapeutic intervention. We also offer an arrayed CRISPR library to further studies where a full knockout of a given gene is desired over a knockdown, which is typically achieved with siRNA’s.

We are highly valued collaborators for UTSW principal investigators and members of the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center. The HTS Core is supported through funding from the Simmons Cancer Center (an NCI-designated Cancer Center), National Cancer Institute, and UT Southwestern Medical Center.