Zebrafish Platform Austria for Preclinical Drug Screening (ZANDR)

St. Anna Children’s Cancer Research Institute

Wien | Website

Spatial research infrastructure

Short Description

The „Zebrafish platform Austria for precliNical DRug screening“ (ZANDR), situated at St. Anna Kinderkrebsforschung / Children’s Cancer Research Institute (CCRI) in Vienna, offers automated small compound screening on zebrafish disease models.
Zebrafish (Danio rerio) is an alternative model organism to study biological processes and diseases in vertebrates. The zebrafish model offers two main advantages: live imaging at cellular and subcellular resolution and cost-effective drug screening.
The CCRI has recently established ZANDR to take full advantage of small compound screening possibilities in zebrafish. Through close collaboration with the „Platform Austria for ChEmical BiOlogy“ (PLACEBO) at the neighboring Center for Molecular Medicine, the CCRI has access to roughly 90.000 small compounds. These compounds can be tested on various wildtype and transgenic zebrafish strains, zebrafish disease models and zebrafish xenograft models to investigate molecular mechanisms driving development and disease and to identify potential therapeutic compounds.
Available equipment at ZANDR includes:
1) microinjection setup for DNA/RNA injection/xenotransplantation into zebrafish embryos.
2) automated zebrafish sorter
3) automated medium-throughput imaging system
4) automated high content imaging system
5) automated image analysis

Contact Person

Martin Distel, PhD

Research Services

The „Zebrafish platform Austria for preclinical drug screening“ (ZANDR) at CCRI offers phenotypic screening of small compound libraries using the zebrafish model.

ZANDR equipment at CCRI includes:
- iSpawn for mass-production of synchronized zebrafish embryos
- 2 microinjection stations for DNA/RNA or tumor cell injection
- COPAS zebrafish sorter for sorting fluorescent protein expressing zebrafish into 96 well plates or other formats.
- LP Sampler for automated transfer of zebrafish embryos/larvae from 96 well plates to VAST imager and back into 96 well format
- VAST imaging system mounted on a Leica DM6B microscope for precise orientation and automated image acquisition
- Operetta CLS high content imager for high-throughput automated image acquisition
- Harmony software for automated analysis of images

We have access to >90.000 small compounds through collaboration with the "Platform Austria for chemical biolgy" (PLACEBO) headed by Stefan Kubicek at the Center for Molecular Medicine. Screening of compounds and libraries provided by the customer is also possible.

ZANDR is scheduled to be open to the community in early 2019. For inquiries, please contact us at: martin.distel(at)ccri.at

Methods & Expertise for Research Infrastructure

CCRI pioneered the use of zebrafish in cancer modeling in Austria and also has expertise in rare pediatric disease modeling in zebrafish. A state-of-the-art zebrafish facility and an excellent imaging unit are available at CCRI.
For generating pediatric cancer models in zebrafish, we follow two different strategies:
- transfer of disease causing genetic alterations in genetically engineered zebrafish models (GEZMS) or
- transfer of human tumor cells in xenograft models.
In both models, live imaging can be applied to study tumor cell behavior and to test drugs for anti-tumor activity. In addition, interactions with cells within the environment like endothelial cells or immune cells can be monitored by live imaging taking advantage of available cell type specific zebrafish reporter strains.
Our ZANDR platform is offering automated zebrafish transfer, image acquisition and image analysis within the small compound screening process.
The „Zebrafish platform Austria for preclinical drug screening“ (ZANDR) offers phenotypic screening of small compound libraries using the zebrafish model.

Strategically located in close proximity to the major Austrian pediatric and adult patient treating institutions, the "Zebrafish platform Austria for preclinical drug screening" (ZANDR) offers automated phenotypic small compound screening using the zebrafish model. Such screens will help to better understand mechanisms driving development or disease and to identify potential therapeutic compounds.
Martin Distel, PhD
Innovative Cancer Models
+43 1 404704010‬
The drug screening platform is still under development, therefore there are currently no terms of use available.
Platform Austria for chemical biology (PLACEBO) at the Center for Molecular Medicine, Comprehensive Cancer Center at the Medical University of Vienna, the Institute of Neurology, the Veterinary Medical University and the University of Vienna