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Bioactivity Screening

The Bioactivity Screening Group develops novel bioassays and establishes screening programs for bioactivity evaluation of diverse library samples, by introducing miniaturization and automation into the process. Our facilities enable versatile method development for applications ranging from simple biochemical assays to complex, functional cell-based assays for a variety of targets. We are currently focused on high throughput screening technologies used in screening for antiviral and antibacterial activities. Samples can be screened and lead compounds generated by using our unique natural product library. Through partnerships, we can also perform screening of compounds developed from combinatorial and solid-phase synthesis, or from commercial sources. Particular emphasis has been placed on natural product drug discovery as a source of chemical diversity. This approach further necessitates knowledge on the special characteristics of natural products and on technologies related to the process, from library generation to bioactivity-guided isolation. Close collaboration within CDR enables scaling of projects from simple library screen development to larger projects encompassing multiple aspects of antimicrobial drug development including: developing drug delivery/targeting systems, developing predictive ADME tools, assessing pharmacology and drug metabolism, QSAR/QSPR computational modeling, and in vivo PK studies using real-time SPECT/CT imaging.

The Bioactivity Screening group actively participates in the Drug Discovery and Chemical Biology (DDCB) consortium within Biocenter Finland (BF), a national infrastructure for drug discovery and chemical biology research in Finland. They provide contract services and expertise in assay development, low- and medium-throughput screening, and maintenance of chemical libraries. For more information or to inquire about contract services in these areas, please contact CDR.

  • Main instrumentation:

Liquid handling

Biomek FX (BeckmanCoulter)

  • Dual bridge system with 96-channel and Span-8 pods
  • Designed especially for cell-based applications - equipped with shakers, heating blocks, etc.

Nano-Plotter NP 2.1 (GeSiM)

  • Piezoelectric pipetting instrument for sub-microliter dispensing and arraying applications


Varioskan Flash (Thermo Fisher Scientific)

  • Fluorometry, time-resolved fluorometry, photometry, luminometry
  • Variable multi-well plate handling (6 to 1536-well plates)
  • Scanning option, dispensers on board

Victor 2 (PerkinElmer)

  • Fluorometry, time-resolved fluorometry, photometry, luminometry
  • 6 to 1536-well plates
  • 40-plate stackers


Päivi Tammela, Ph.D., Group Leader

Dr. Tammela has served has served as University Researcher and Group Leader at the Centre for Drug Research (CDR) since 2008 where she currently leads the Bioactivity Screening Group.

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