NPSC is a collaborative centre of excellence in phenotypic screening applied to human, animal and plant health.

We focus on developing and executing assays that move away from traditional target-based techniques, embrace the complexity of biology, and better reflect patho-physiology. Our high-content screening platform exploits cutting edge technologies such as patient and iPS technologies, precision genome engineering, big-data analytics, chemoinformatics and annotated compound libraries.

We can help tackle diseases affecting humans, animals and plants by studying, modelling and affecting complex physiological conditions.

We provide a trusted platform where the translation of cutting-edge academic biological research is carried out to industry standards. This allows us to catalyse collaborations and build consortia that bridge the gap between academia and industry to translate and exploit cutting-edge phenotypic screening research and innovation. We also help the life sciences and clinical communities access our facilities and expertise through direct funding or collaborative grant proposals. This means that we are constantly seeking the best phenotypic assay ideas, or disease models to be selected for screening in our facility.

Latest news from NPSC

Come and meet with us

29th and 30th March
ELRIG Research and Innovation 2017

Homerton College Cambridge -

10th and 11th April
ELRIG Advances in Cell Based Screening

Gothenburgh -

25th and 26th April
European Lead Factory - General Assembly

London -

8th to 10th May

London -

12th and 13th June
Oxford Global 18th Annual Drug Discovery Summit

Berlin -

28th June
Cryodata 2017. The cryoanalytics Symposium & Cytomining hackathon

London -

14th to 16th September
Global RPPA meeting

Dublin  - Information to follow

3rd and 4th October
ELRIG Drug Discovery 2017 - Advances in Imaging

Liverpool -

5th to 8th November 20th to 22nd October
NCRI Cancer Conference. "The changing tide of cancer drug discovery – phenotypic screening and patient derived cellular models"

Liverpool -

6th to 8th November

Berlin -

14th to 16th November

Philadelphia -

We aim to change the culture of drug discovery and applied life sciences by "bringing technology to the biology" rather than vice versa. This new ideology allows life scientists who collaborate with NPSC to prosecute assays that are physiologically relevant, and hence more likely to translate into research with impact.

Submit your phenotypic assay

We are always looking for screen-ready assays or interesting assay ideas to prosecute - whether cellular, complex multicellular or organoid.

Please contact us if you think you have something interesting and we may be able to fund it - from assay development all the way through to screening.

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Begin a collaboration with us

We are keen to build new research collaborations that make use of our state-of-the-art high content phenotypic screening capabilities and unique compound libraries.

We are also looking for technology ideas and partners that add something new to the centre. In particular we are seeking interdisciplinary collaborations that can enhance the quality and throughput of phenotypic screening.

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Support Us

There are many ways of supporting our facility, scientists and researchers.

Please get in touch so that you can contribute to our new revolution – ”Bringing technology to the biology!”

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Why Phenotypic Screening?

Why Phenotypic Screening?

The development of new drugs is very costly and time consuming. The vast majority of drug candidates that fail to make it to market, do so during clinical development in phases two and three, due to poor safety and lack of efficacy. It is thought that this may be due to the prevailing emphasis on finding drugs in target-based methods, which exploit biochemical assays on an isolated target molecule.

Phenotypic screening takes a more holistic approach, by embracing and working with the complexity of whole organisms, patient tissues and cells. Phenotypic assays should be more representative of the in vivo situation, and therefore should reduce failure in phases two and three due to poor safety and low efficacy. It was the way most drugs were discovered before the molecular biology revolution.

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Who Benefits?

Who Benefits?

Phenotypic screening holds the promise of delivering drug candidates that are more effective and safer. Some complex diseases (e.g. neurodegenerative diseases) require phenotypic approaches because target-based approaches have failed to deliver progress towards new treatments.

NPSC provides the early-stage research and development for innovations derived from phenotypic screening that attract interest and investment from public funders, industry and charities.

This means that NPSC catalyses activities that can benefit stakeholders from many different sectors. This could be pharmaceutical companies looking for novel biology, academics wanting to translate their disease-relevant assay ideas, charities looking to drive new approaches to therapies for the patient groups they represent.

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NPSC is a facility run and operated by the Universities of Dundee, Edinburgh and Oxford, which are registered UK-based charities. 

Copyright © 2016.