Dr. Diego Medina, Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine (TIGEM), Pozzuoli, Italy

The Telethon Foundation supports high level research focused on rare genetic diseases in Italy. The mission of the organization is to develop effective treatments for rare diseases that are neglected by major public and private investment.

One of the research institutes managed by Telethon is TIGEM - The Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine - based in Pozzuoli (Naples, Italy). It was founded in 1994 and currently hosts 200 staff members, including 14 research groups and several core facilities, including the High Content Screening Facility (HCSF).

The HCSF is led by Dr. Diego Medina and during the last 5 years it has been significantly upgraded with a screening system configuration that integrates two PerkinElmer high-content systems (Opera® and Operetta®) with a robotic plate-handler, a liquid handling station (Zephyr®) and various 96- and 384- multi-well plate dispenser and washer stations.

The HCSF conducts research focused on the discovery of new 'druggable' targets and the development of pharmacological strategies to treat rare genetic diseases by using cell biology approaches and high-content imaging technology.

The main activities of the HCSF are:

  • Identification of correctors of disease phenotype (small-molecule based screening)
  • Identification of drug targets and molecular pathways controlling specific cell functions (siRNA-based screening)

Describing their experience with the integrated screening system, Dr. Medina says, “We are using cell biology approaches to identify small molecules and new druggable targets in rare genetic disease cellular models. Thus, the accuracy of the image analysis and its subsequent quantification is an essential part of our workflow. We have found that the integration of two high-content imaging systems, Opera and Operetta, together with the Columbus™ Image Data Storage and Analysis System, meets this challenge well. I also found the Columbus system extremely easy to learn. This is particularly useful to teach new people in my lab”.

Learn more about the HCSF at TIGEM.

For Research Use Only. Not for Use in Diagnostic Procedures.