Frequently Asked Questions

What services does ChemCORE provide?

  • High throughput screens against targets of interest, assay development and HTS implementation
  • Provide selected compound collections for your experiments
  • Large scale liquid handling services, e.g., compound, nucleic acid, and cell strain re-formatting
  • Cell line generation and assay development
  • Follow-up analyses such as affinity measurements, counter screens and toxicity profiling screens
  • Data analyses (such as high content image processing, SAR, etc)

What hardware capabilities and throughput does ChemCORE have?

Why should I choose your facility (vs. doing myself)?

  • State-of-the-art robotics for Low cost and better data quality
  • Our diverse compound library with annotated database
  • High throughput robotics and detection capability
  • Know-how in high throughput assay development and implement

What about intellectual property and data ownership?

  • Your screen evaluated and/or performed by ChemCORE is privileged information and will be kept in strict confidence.
  • For all fee-for-service transactions, ChemCORE does not participate your intellectual property ownership.

Will ChemCORE serve non-Hopkins laboratories?

  • Yes.  We have performed screens for other research institutions/universities and major pharmaceutical companies. The costs will be different to reflect the university-sponsorship.  (see Service Cost )
  • ChemCORE performs assays, per customer's request, according to Assay Guidance Manual.


What background does ChemCORE staff have?

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy
  • Informatics
  • Automation

What compound library collection does ChemCORE have?

  • We have approximately 200,000 compounds on site for both diverse and focused screens. See Compound collection

Can you help develop my assay?

  • Yes. Among more than 50% of screens performed in ChemCORE, we actively involved in assay development and optimization to increase the throughput and data quality.  As results, it decreases the overall cost and reagent requirement.

What do I need to provide and how do I proceed?

  • an assay amenable for HTS (or a target for HTS assay development)
  • any special reagents such as cell lines, constructs, purified proteins, positive controls etc
  • an internal JHU budget number or purchase order number for invoices.

What kind of sample does ChemCORE need, how much (protein/cell line)?

  • This will be determined after initial consultation

Can ChemCORE help prepare my sample (protein/cell line)?

  • Yes.  ChemCORE has a list of cell lines available for not-for-profit research purposes.  See Cell Line Collections.  If your targets are not among those listed, we are happy to discuss developing a cell line suitable for your screen.

What plate format does ChemCORE use?

  • Most of assays are in 96 or 384-well format.  Our robotics is capable of more 1536 format.

How much do I expect in terms of my own involvement?

  • It depends on the assay. If your assay is well-developed and relatively routine, we expect little involvement after the initial reagent transfer and validation.  If your assay requires special attention, for instance, high content image analyses, it is of special benefit for you or someone in your staff to participate data acquisition and analyses.

What is the work flow for a typical screen?

  • Complete Customer Information Sheet
  • Provide Assay Information, screening library and scale
  • Initial project meeting to determine feasibility and action items
  • Estimate plan, schedule and schedule for assay validation and robotic implementation
  • Receive your approval
  • Complete the validation and implementation, optimization as needed
  • Generate standard operation procedure (SOP) for your screen
  • Please cost and time estimate
  • Receive your approval
  • Screening, data acquisition, analyses and report preparation
  • Data delivery
  • Invoice and billing

How long will my screen take?

  • After initial project meeting, the action item will detail how long it will take for assay adaptation and automation (Assay Implementation).
  • Upon completing Assay implementation, the SOP (Standard Operation Procedure) will detail specific time/schedule of data acquisition and report delivery.

How does ChemCORE estimate cost?

  • A typical screen consists of three types of costs: (1) personnel, (2) supplies/reagents and (3) equipment usage.  As discussed above, all cost will be pre-approved by customers prior to action.
    • During assay development/implementation stage: ChemCORE charges $35/hr/FTE (personnel) and $35/hr for any one or a combination of equipment usage time.  The reagents and supplies are charged based on the cost. See Service Costs.
    • During screen, ChemCORE charges $75/hr/FTE and $75/hr for any one or a combination of equipment usage time.  The reagents and supplies are charged based on the cost. See Service Costs.
  • For all screens performed so far, the cost performed in ChemCORE is similar to or lower than what would cost if the assays were performed manually by customer labs.  The special benefits for robotics-aided screen are better throughput, data quality and cost saving.

How would I receive the data and in what format?

  • You will be able to view screening progress online by accessing your data folder via a secure internet connection
  • We will deliver reports in electronic files via FTP or in CDs.
  • Other output form Oracle Database.  You can also analyze your data using one of ChemCORE analysis terminals and informatics software.

How can I evaluate the validity of the hits?

We keep all the data including quality control data to facilitate evaluation.

  • Validate assay with selected library
  • Quality control in whole process
  • Data mining method
  • Biological and biochemical research

Will ChemCORE perform virtual screens?

ChemCORE has a collaborative agreement with SIPBS and SIDR of University of Strathclyde to perform virtual screen service.  Please contact us at with a proposal to enter collaboration with Strathclyde.


I have other questions?

Please contact us at  Your questions will be answered promptly.


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