Laboratory Resources and Committees

Laboratory

The ACTG Laboratory Center (LC) is led by Robert Coombs, M.D., Ph.D. (University of Washington) and comprises Core Laboratories and site and regional laboratories. The work of the laboratories is overseen and coordinated by the Laboratory Steering Committee, chaired by Dr. Coombs. The Core Laboratories include Genomics (Director, Dr. David Haas, Vanderbilt University), Immunology (Director, Dr. Michael Lederman, Case Western Reserve University), Mycobacteriology (Director, Dr. Andreas Diacon, Stellenbosch, South Africa), Pharmacology (Director, Dr. Gene Morse, University of Buffalo), and Virology (Director, Dr. John Mellors, University of Pittsburgh) as well as site and regional laboratories responsible for routine clinical and safety laboratory testing for ACTG protocols.

Each of the Core Laboratories consists of outstanding academic Specialty Laboratories (SLs) with demonstrated productivity and expertise in the science and laboratory monitoring of HIV/AIDS clinical trials. These SLs bring a unique composite of talents to provide protocol-specific laboratory testing and translational research that contribute to the ACTG scientific agenda. Representatives of the SLs sit on the scientific committees and the SASC to ensure close coordination of the clinical research and laboratory research agendas.

The site and regional laboratories provide routine clinical laboratory services including serum chemistry and hematology tests, CD4 counts, plasma HIV-1 RNA, etc. These laboratories also perform diagnostic testing for tuberculosis, HPV and HCV and provide pathology services as needed. In addition, the site laboratories perform all protocol-specified specimen processing and ship samples to the specimen repository at BRI in Rockville, MD. A human DNA repository is maintained as a component of the genomics core at Vanderbilt University. The Laboratory Technologists Committee, whose membership is constituted jointly by ACTG and IMPAACT technologists, coordinates the work of the site laboratories.

The ACTG Laboratory Science Group (LSG) at the Network Coordinating Center (NCC) coordinates laboratory operations, including total quality management, laboratory evaluation, and educational and training programs in laboratory-based immunology, pharmacology, virology and tuberculosis; and where appropriate, transfer specific laboratory technology to centralized laboratories and international regional laboratories that support ACTG Network protocols; harmonize specific laboratory testing and standardized operating procedures across Networks; and support the laboratory training of new technologists and investigators domestically and internationally.