ARDL’s Utility to Minnesota Presents a New Model for Lab Operations

Almost one year ago, as most communities enacted stay-at-home orders and hospitals rushed to action, an unsettling quiet plagued the halls of academic research labs that, unless they went to battle against COVID-19, needed to temporarily close up shop.

One of those labs at the University of Minnesota Medical School began to notice a swift drop in arriving samples. The Advanced Research and Diagnostic Laboratory (ARDL), which for 30 years has been one of a handful in the U.S. to offer clinical laboratory testing services to researchers, quickly realized the value of the slow-down in their 21,000-square-foot facility.

“We normally get thousands of samples from all sorts of research institutions that are recruiting across the country, and then they send all of the samples to us to do testing at one facility,” says Amy Karger, MD, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology and director of COVID-19 testing at ARDL. “A lot of our activities were actually slowing down or stopped because research studies across the country were put on pause. That created this unique situation where we had a laboratory facility and highly trained staff who weren’t doing their usual job of research testing and were then available to work on COVID-19 testing and get that up and running in ARDL."

Full story here.