Plate Reader versus High Content RNAi Screens. Who's Right?
Conference Recording Oct 01, 2013
About the SpeakerDr. Stephen Brown completed his PhD (1996) at the University of Nottingham studying "Co-suppression in transgenic tomato plants." Stephen became interested in genetic networks and starting working work on the model organism, Drosophila melanogaster, investigating changes in embryonic tissue formation. After this 6 year spell in the Department of Zoology at the University of Cambridge, where he identified the Drosophila JAK/STAT receptor and characterised a novel level of signalling control, he moved to the Department of Pathology working on JAK/STAT signalling with a mammary gland/breast cancer group. In 2004 he received a Medical Research Council Fellowship at the University of Manchester working on JAK/STAT signalling in development. In 2008, he moved to the University of Sheffield setting up and managing the Sheffield RNAi Screening Facility, a national screening resource for Drosophila. More recently, he has been working with Human siRNA screens. As well as performing a service for screeners, Stephen has continued his work with JAK/STAT signalling, as well as other collaborative projects.
There are few research areas that have expanded as quickly and spectacularly as the field of RNA interference (RNAi). RNAi based research is now maturing into a multi-billion pound industry. The notion that we can systematically switch off every gene in the genome and screen for important biological processes has become both practical and routine. Marrying this technology with High Content Microscopy we are capable of asking important phenotypic questions in a systematic way. The Sheffield RNAi Screening Facility was born from the fundamentals of the initially highly successful Drosophila melanogaster screening platform and now we operate both the Fruit Fly and Human systems. Due to the ability to compare two screens from different organisms for the first time, results will be presented from a high content siRNA screen in a Human cell line, comparing results to previously intensive screens from 3 genome-wide Drosophila screens completed using a plate reader platform. We will present the benefits and difficulties of both cellular platforms. While presenting the results, we will discuss issues such as the complexities of the type of screening approach adopted.