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Setting up a Molecular Lab in a Developing Country

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Presentation on theme: "Setting up a Molecular Lab in a Developing Country"— Presentation transcript:

1 Setting up a Molecular Lab in a Developing Country
Dr. Azhar Hussain Research Associate Molecular Oncology Unit. King Fahad National Center for Children’s Cancer and Research. King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research center. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

2 Translational Research
Since the emergence of Translational Research (TR), the term, “from bench to bedside” has taken a new meaning in the management of cancer Translational research (TR) involves both, the development of novel diagnostics and therapeutics.

3 Translational Research Novel Diagnostics
Results achieved in research laboratories have direct implications on clinical diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of cancer today Monitoring of patients for minimal residual disease during and after treatment using molecular markers Detection of chromosomal abnormalities using PCR techniques

4 Translational Research Novel Therapeutics
New Drug Discovery Gleevic (STI571) for the treatment of CML Radio labeled Monoclonal antibodies for metastatic medullary thyroid cancer Trastuzumab (Herceptin) for the treatment of HER- 2’ (ErbB-2)-over-expressing metastatic breast cancer

5 Translational Research Novel Therapeutics
On-going trials with drugs or naturally occurring compounds. PI3’-kinase pathway inhibitor (LY294002) Jak-Stat pathway inhibitor (Ag490) Curcumin (PI3’-kinase and Jak-Stat pathway inhibitor)

6 Why is a Molecular biology lab needed in a developing country?
Advances in the understanding of the biology of cancer have increased the cure rate of selected cancers in developed countries. Developing countries continue to lack far behind. Better understanding of the biology of cancers is needed A functional molecular biology laboratory is vital in developing countries to ensure accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

7 Three essential components for establishing a molecular biology lab.
1: Adequate and well organized laboratory space 2: Essential and specialized lab equipment with proper storage capacity 3: Well-trained staff including lab chief, supervisors, post-docs and technicians

8 Adequate and well organized laboratory space
Long hallways can be utilized for storage as well as for work benches for different procedures and experiments The flow of a lab should ALWAYS be in one direction

9 One way road. No U-turn allowed!!!
Pre-PCR area Template area PCR area

10 One way road. No U-turn allowed!!!
Pre-PCR area PCR area Template area Gel running area

11 Sample processing area

12 Tissue culture facility
Class 2-Type2 Tissue culture Hood CO2 Incubators Microscope

13 Individual work benches

14 Essential lab equipment
Table top centrifuges and microwave oven Water purification system Microfuge Thermal cyclers Miscellaneous

15 Specialized lab equipment
Real-time light cycler (PCR) Photo documentation system Affimetrix gene chip arrayer ABI genetic analyzer

16 Storage facility 40 to –200 refrigerators and freezers
-700 to –800 freezers

17 SO NOW WHAT?????

18 Machines cannot replace the human mind.
Machines and instruments do not run on their own Machines and instruments do not run researchers and scientists Researchers and scientists run these machines

19 Molecular biology lab in a developing country
The same Quality of work can be achieved with essential lab equipment in a developing country Proper planning Clear goals Expertise in the molecular biology field Adequate funding Dedication of lab personnel

20 All that glitters is not Gold!!!
Third and most important component of establishing a good molecular biology lab Well-trained staff Head of the lab Supervisors post-docs technicians.

21 Head of the Lab Should be an experienced scientist (MD or PhD)
Up to date in molecular techniques and latest scientific literature Has a strong track record for funding and publications Has creative ideas for research Diplomatic and patient Has good rapport with the staff

22 Supervisor and lab manager
Responsible for standardization of molecular biology techniques and protocols Conforms to international standards for all techniques e.g. DNA isolation, RNA isolation and protein extraction Sets up projects for post-docs and technicians Supervises staff Orders reagents and consumables for the lab May have an independent project of his/her own

23 Post-docs Manage and execute independent projects in the lab with minimal supervision Take care of the daily bench work running experiments collecting data Search relevant scientific literature Write abstracts and papers on results achieved in the lab

24 Technicians Help the post-docs and scientists in different projects and experiments Responsible for all the standard work in the lab such DNA, RNA and protein isolation Can also be trained to run more involved experiments e.g. western blots, PCR Help in collecting data that is generated by these experiments

25 Training Requirements for all lab personnel
Universal precautions Lab safety course Radiation safety course Molecular biology updates Human subject training

26 Conclusions Should a Molecular lab be established in a developing country? Yes How? private and governmental funding International, national and regional collaborations Dedicated and qualified personnel Basic lab equipment COMMITMENT TO RESEARCH!

27 King Fahad National Center for Children’s Cancer & Research

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