History and Support

The project of making automated robotic cell and protein screening technology available to support the research efforts of life science researchers at SFU and the region in 2012 was initiated in by Dr. Vocadlo. The objective was to create a resource platform that could accelerate and advance fundamental research aiming to identify new chemical probe molecules and cell regulatory pathways. Initial funding from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation in 2013 (JELF, Grant Number 229233) and the British Columbia Knowledge Development Foundation (Grant Number 562-804994) along with a donation of equipment from Merck allowed acquisition of core components required to start building the platform.

With support from the SFU Dean of Science, SFU Life Science Departments, and the Management Committee, the HTCB was formally founded as a Faculty of Science Research Centre in 2015 with approval of the SFU Senate. Funding to support development of the fully automated and integrated HTCB screening platform has been generously provided by the Faculty of Science (SFU), the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (Innovation Fund Grant Number 33097, JELF Grant Number 36766, and JELF Grant Number 37241), the British Columbia Knowledge Development Foundation (Grant Numbers 662-805223 and 862-805636), the Department of Chemistry (SFU), and a generous donation to support acquisition of robotics from the YP Heung Foundation. Compound libraries were generously provided by the Canadian Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) and secured through grants from NSERC (RGPIN/-2015-05426) and GlycoNet. Showcase space for the facility was secured in 2016 by the Faculty of Science and championed by Dean of Science Claire Cupples. The integrated platform was designed by Drs. David Vocadlo and Roger Linington, working with Thermo-CRS, who performed installation and integration of all core platform equipment. The public opening of the HTCB is February 27, 2018.