Mary Walter, Ph.D.
The Core for Clinical Laboratory Services collaborates with investigators from across NIDDK’s intramural research program to provide sensitive, inexpensive, and reproducible analyses, as well as to develop new assays, supporting a wide range of clinical studies in the fields of endocrinology, hepatology, nephrology, and metabolism. These analyses include the measurement of gut hormones, adipokines, oxidative stress markers, cytokines, and other biomarkers in biologic fluids to support diabetes, endocrine, and metabolic research efforts. New hormone assays have been added to reflect current research trends, and employing Luminex technology has greatly expanded the lab’s analytical capabilities.
The lab extensively validates all assays before conducting routine sample analyses of clinical specimens. Once assays have been validated, the lab coordinates with clinical investigators to support the ongoing, routine analysis of specimens. Additionally, the lab works to reduce assay costs by centralizing the purchase of commonly used supplies. Finally, assays are uniquely tailored to meet the needs of investigators, reducing the volume of required samples and increasing cost-effectiveness.
The core also provides a service that allows for simple access to human-sample acquisition, processing, tracking, and storage in accordance with current Federal legislation. The acquisition process involves preparing blood-draw tubes to achieve the lowest possible levels of degradation. Samples are processed within an hour of blood collection to ensure thermal preservation. The lab’s sophisticated online, customizable specimen-tracking database provides quick, reliable, and accurate accounting for stored clinical specimens.