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About PhenoVista

PhenoVista was founded in 2014 by scientists from MIT and UCSD.  We are privately owned, based in San Diego, and support clients around the world.  

With PhenoVista, you get access to a world-class team with an unmatched combination of imaging expertise, assay development experience and with the latest technologies and data analysis capabilities.

Our expertise is broad and deep, flexible and versatile.  We have experience with a diverse set of assay formats, cell types and applications and can get your project underway quickly and efficiently.

As a 100% service-based business, we work with biopharm clients of all sizes, from start-ups to established, global organizations, developing and implementing high-content imaging-based, phenotypic cell assays for:

  • Lead optimization, both method development and screening
  • Mechanism of action studies, including mechanism of cytotoxicity
  • Target validation for preclinical models, including patient samples and cross-species comparisons

Our expertise includes

  • Custom imaging-based cell assays
  • Automated fluorescence confocal imaging
  • Human primary cells, iPS-derived neurons and co-cultures
  • Time-resolved kinetic analyses
  • Single-cell and subpopulation analyses
  • Uptake and intracellular targeting assays
  • Deliver high quality presentation-ready, actionable data

Additional assays supported through our partner network

  • ELISAs or other plate reader-based assays
  • Flow cytometry-based assays
  • Western blot-based assays
  • qPCR-based assays
  • In-vivo studies

Why PhenoVista?

We know the choice of a partner to develop and implement imaging-based assays is mission critical to your success.  

Choose PhenoVista and you’ll get access to the smartest thinking, the most innovative technologies and leading-edge data science, all of which combine to deliver the information you need for more confident decision-making.

We also know that all biology is different and the questions you need to answer are unique.  It only makes sense then, that your assay should be tailored to meet your specific needs. Unlike large CROs who force-fit all of their clients’ biology into a proprietary cell line, we are agnostic to the cell model and can customize every project.

At PhenoVista, you’ll find a passionate, specialist team of creative problem solvers ready to tackle everything from straightforward assays when your in-house capacity is overflowing, to the most complex, high risk projects.


We combine the best automated confocal imaging with scalable liquid handling and insightful informatics to create and implement custom, high content imaging-based phenotypic assays.

We operate a 8,000 square foot facility with multiple BL2 biosafety hoods and CO2 incubators.  Our team consists of industry-experienced PhD-level staff with backgrounds in stem cell biology and quantitative imaging.

Imaging & Assay Capabilities

Automated microscopy including the latest confocal systems with integrated image analysis provides the backbone to our services. We use imaging backed up by statistics to give you unparalleled insight into the biological systems you study.

Our imaging platforms include:

  • Thermo Cellomics CX7LED [large screens]
  • Yokogawa CQ1 [3D imaging, screens]
  • GE InCell 6500HS [Organoid + 3D imaging]
  • Thermo Cellomics CX7LZR [organoids + live-cell support]
  • Thermo Cellomics VTi [live cell support]
  • Echo labs Revolve fluorescence research microscope [routine imaging]
  • Sartorius IncuCyte [Live-cell, in-incubator imaging and analysis]

Additional assay capabilities include:

  • Partner and Preferred Cell Model Access: FUJIFILM Cellular Dynamics, Inc.
  • 3D Cell Culture [including organoids, spheroids, tumor fragments and scaffolded systems]
  • Yamaha Motors Cell Handler [spheroid and organoid handling]
  • Microfluidic and Organ-Chip Systems


We use state-of-the-art liquid handling automation and house our liquid handling in BL2 cabinets so that long-term cultures can be achieved routinely while minimizing the risk of contamination.

We use the following sterile liquid handling automation platforms:

  • Two Apricot 384-tip liquid handling robots
  • Tecan D300 digital dispenser for small molecule dispensing 
  • Opentrons OT2 liquid handling for compound library management

Analysis & Computation

Phenotypic screening can generate large and complex datasets rife with image analysis jargon. We handle that for you. As biologists with industry experience, we have a good idea of what is relevant and what is not. We’ll make the data palatable to the audience you are presenting to whether it be colleagues in your own department, members of the medicinal chemistry team or executive management.

We offer:

  • Dedicated multi-Gb network and multi-TB cloud-based compute environment
  • Machine-learning and image deconvolution
  • Professionally-managed IT environment with data backup and disaster recovery