The HTS Facility

The High-Throughput Screening Facility is a core facility within the Life Sciences Complex, facilitating the development of chemical biology programs in academic labs by supporting high throughput screens of various natures through shared infrastructure, materials and expertise.

We aim to create an open and interactive environment to stimulate both drug discovery and basic research from different fields and institutions and to provide a training ground for HTS for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows.


Integrated Screening Platform

Our integrated screening platform is designed to give maximum flexibility offering a number of possibilities for both in vitro and cell-based screening campaigns.   All liquid handling components are enclosed under a single level II Biological Safety Cabinet maintaining sample sterility while protecting the user.  The platform core is a Biomek FXP automated workstation with both 96-multiwell and span 8 pipetting modules. 

NuAire Mini Room Biological Safety Cabinet

The NuAire Mini Room Biological Safety Cabinet provides Class II protection for applications involving robotic systems, cell sorters, ultra-centrifuges, and any laboratory equipment requiring Class II protection from harmful aerosols and airborne particles.

GE IN Cell Analyzer 2200

IN Cell Analyzer systems are designed to deliver the throughput and performance you need for both High-Content Analysis (HCA) and High-Content Screening (HCS) of fixed and live cells. This cutting edge technology gives you amazing depth and breadth of investigation, allowing you to simultaneously analyze morphological parameters, as well as multiple markers, within the same cell. With IN Cell Analyzer, analyze interactions as they happen and gain deeper insights into complex cellular mechanisms.


The ImageXpress® Micro XLS System is a widefield automated microscope capable of fluorescent, transmitted light, and phase-contrast imaging of fixed- or live-cell assays, tissues and small organisms. Speed, flexibility, and high quality data are assured with a large field-of-view, industry-leading stage and autofocus control, the broadest range of research-grade objective lenses (1x-100x) available, and multiple filter options. Combined with our suite of MetaXpress® Software tools, our complete solution will help you interpret your images and explore new ideas. 


Using its liquid handling robot, QPatch can continuously prepare fresh batches of cells for several hours of unattended patch clamp recordings in parallel with all other liquid handling tasks. Jobs, assay protocols, data inspection and analysis can be defined and submitted from your desktop computer. QPatch has been provided with a third generation of multi-gain amplifiers allowing QPatch to perform experiments with both single-hole and multi-hole patch clamping. The amplifiers enable both voltage clamp and current clamp applications.


The scientific aim of the McGill HTS Facility is to facilitate the development of chemical biology programs by supporting assay development and HTS of various natures through shared infrastructure, materials and expertise on a fee-for-service basis. 

Services offered

  • HTS assay development – optimization and validation
  • Primary and secondary screening
  • Chemical compound libraries from commercial source
  • Access to shRNA libraries for genome-scale screening for human or mouse (only offered to McGill’s researchers)
  • Access to Liquid-handling workstation and fully integrated robotic system
  • Access to Plate readers for various applications
  • Access to a cell culture room
  • Training and assistance


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