Beginning of COVID-19 testing at the Institute of Molecular Genetics of the Czech Academy of Sciences

  • published: 26. 3. 2020

Robotic HTS (”high-throughput screening‘‘) station

The Institute of Molecular Genetics of the Czech Academy of Sciences received permission from the National Institute of Public Health and will start testing samples for the SARS-CoV-2 presence soon.

IMG will join other academic institutions included into the Coronatest-hackathon initiative. This platform was created to gather knowledge and experts from various academic institutions in order to offer its capabilities to the emergency committee and to accelerate testing the presence of coronavirus in the population. The participating institutes intensively collaborate on the development of methods that would enable testing automation and increase the testing potential.

The team led by dr. Bartůněk will be able to test up to 1,000 samples per day. This goal will be achieved mainly thanks to the integrated robotic station, which is part of the equipment of research infrastructure CZ-OPENSCREEN focused on identification of new molecular probes and tools for research and validation of compounds suitable for the development of new drugs. Employment of this robot in the Coronatest-hackathon thus fulfils the mission of the infrastructure itself – open access to the general scientific community. “It should be noted that the laboratories at IMG will not be a collection point, and therefore no samples should be brought to this place. The robotic station will only analyse inactivated (decontaminated) anonymised samples taken at official sampling sites”, explains IMG Director Petr Dráber.

Finally, dr. Bartůněk adds: “All this can only be accomplished thanks to the self-sacrificing work of all those involved in academic testing, who devote all their time to this mission and will continue to do so. They are people not only from IMG, but also from other academic institutions on the Krč campus. We must think primarily about them and fully support them. And I thank them for that.”

Author: Jan Martinek




Petr Bartůněk, Ph.D.,
phone: +420 774 798 152, e-mail:,
web: |


Šárka Šímová, Ph.D.,
phone: +420 773 257 949, e-mail:,


Press release as PDF.