Integrating Environmentally Friendly Tactics into a High-Throughput Screening Setting
Recorded On: 02/06/2018
Throughout everyday life there are many considerations and practices in place when it comes to recycling, minimizing waste, cleaner energy and reuse to cut down on the impact to our planet’s ecosystem, with millions of individuals around the world making the choice to conserve keeping these principles in mind. However, this mindset and conscientiousness to conserve is not on the radar when it comes to the world of high-throughput screening and science in general, where the term ‘consumable’ is ubiquitous and pipette tips, petri dishes, microplates, solvents and an extensive list of materials are disposed of after one use every day, with most of this waste needing to be handled as chemical or biohazardous, further increasing the negative environmental impact. Luckily this mentality is changing, with the availability of new technologies and the use of experimental data proving its effectiveness NCATS has been able to implement and adopt several methods into many aspects of their high-throughput screening processes which are friendlier to our environment than the traditional equivalents. In many cases these eco conscious practices yield higher quality, cleaner data as well as even eliminating the need for automated assays having to be repeated by catching detrimental issues in real time. Here the focus will be about the integration of equipment onto peripheral devices of the robotic screening platforms, processes and supporting modular operations with the overall goal of conservation. Not only will the use of these concepts be demonstrated but more importantly the successful adaptation will be shown with supporting data. Spanning the last 7 years NCATS has not only been mindful but has been continuously advancing and developing tactics in order to minimize waste without sacrificing high quality data. This ultimately proves that science including high-throughput screening specifically can evolve to incorporate environmentally friendly techniques while continuously advancing the field.
Carleen Klumpp-Thomas currently leads the Automation Group at the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NIH/NCATS) in Rockville MD. Carleen manages and runs all of the automated screening platforms for NCATS Research Services Section (RSS). RSS’ multi-disciplinary capabilities enables the ongoing operation of all of NCATS’ research activities. These automated platforms perform a wide variety of experiment types ranging from biochemical, cell based, RNAi and other existing and novel assay technologies. Carleen’s automation and engineering expertise has been critical for projects ranging from cancer to Ebola to Parkinson’s disease. The advanced instrumentation, protocols and methods are necessary to keep NCATS at the leading edge of scientific research and Carleen manages these requirements with ease, all while staying in constant communication with all researchers. Carleen earned her B.S. degree in Bioengineering from Syracuse University and her M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from NYU Tandon School of Engineering.