Lead and Probe Discovery Services

A gradient of orange and red test tubes

The Lead and Probe Discovery Core is a full-service combinatorial chemistry group that specializes in the optimization of compounds that are confirmed as active hits from high throughput screening. The process of optimization employed by the LPD features a cycle of design, synthesis, purification, and assay.

The LPD uses the tools of cheminformatics and the principles of medicinal chemistry to design arrays of follow up compounds based on the structures of the confirmed actives. These arrays help the medicinal chemists in the LPD develop structure-activity and structure-physical property relationships (SAR, SPR) between analogs of the confirmed hits. These arrays are synthesized using the parallel chemistry equipment available in the LPD. Compounds are purified in our high throughput purification group and are made available in plates for screening. Assay results in the form of SAR and SPR guide subsequent iterations of the optimization cycle, allowing the effective and rapid follow up of multiple active series.

Core Capabilities

  • Design, synthesis, purification, and analysis of novel chemical libraries of 24-200 compounds on a 5-100 mg scale
  • Technology-enhanced medicinal chemistry
  • Automated and semi-automated solid- and solution-phase parallel synthesis 
  • Rapid high throughput compound library analysis (analytical QA/QC) using a Waters UPLC outfitted with reverse-phase columns and having PDA (photodiode array), ELS (evaporative light-scattering), and MS detectors 
  • Preparative separations employing a Waters Autopurify system equipped with a Waters 2767 Sample Manager, PDA, and MS detectors. Mass-guided fractionation facilitates rapid array purification. 
  • Sample preparation and weighing using a BioMicroLab XL100 robotic balance/liquid handling robot.
  • CDD Vault: compound management, tracking, and record-keeping
  • Pipeline Pilot (Accelrys): product enumeration, in silico property prediction, lead-hopping
  • DataWarrior: visualization of data, multi-parametric compound optimization
  • 4,750 sq ft of laboratory and office space


Shameem Sultana Syeda, Ph.D.
Director, Lead and Probe Discovery Core
Telephone: 612-626-6864
[email protected]