An Automated Approach to Efficiently Reformat a Large Collection of Compounds

Jimmy Cui#, Sergio C Chai#, Anang A Shelat, R. Kiplin Guy, Taosheng Chen*
Department of Chemical Biology and Therapeutics, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105, USA

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© Cui et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105 3678, USA; Tel.: +1-901-595-5937; Fax: +1-901-595- 5715; E-mail:
# Both Authors contributed equally to the completion of this manuscript.


Large-scale screening of small organic compounds has become a standard and essential practice in the early discovery of chemical entities with potential therapeutic use. To effectively support high-throughput screening campaigns, compound collections have to be in suitable formats, which requires a process known as compound reformatting. Here we report our approach to reformat the newly-established chemical repository of a large-scale screening facility at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which comprises more than half a million compounds, mostly from commercial sources. We highlight the timeline for a reformatting process, the importance of standardizing the operational procedures, and the advantages and disadvantages of using automation. The end result of our reformatting process is the concurrent generation of copies for long-term storage, screening, and “cherry-picking”; all of which facilitate compound management and high-throughput screening.

Keywords: Automation, compound, dynamic, high throughput screening, library, reformat.