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The "Masai Hut Door," is a metaphor for the constraints faced by our laboratory colleagues in resource limited settings. The analogy with security (a locked door) and space constraints (a small hut with inadequate ventilation, a windowless room, dirt floor and a grass roof) underscores the environmental hazards faced by laboratory personnel who handle infectious material under less than ideal laboratory containment conditions. Laboratory training conducted by the UW/FHCRC CFAR Clinical Retrovirology Core emphasizes good clinical laboratory practices (GCLP) and validation of simple/rapid testing platforms for the resource limited setting.
The Clinical Retrovirology Core provides laboratory testing for HIV markers.
The advanced virology services and support offered by the Core allow CFAR investigators to monitor key indicators of HIV pathogenesis, transmission risk, disease progression, drug susceptibility, and post-treatment regression. Core faculty apply the most appropriate methods for preparing specimens and select the best current technology and protocols for quantifying proteins or nucleic acids. Core faculty can assist with design, methods, quality assurance, and data interpretation in clinical studies of AIDS/HIV. They can partner with CFAR researchers to develop novel laboratory methods for determining viral loads in various compartments and correlating these HIV markers with clinical outcomes.
To help researchers incorporate or adapt the latest laboratory tools into their study planning and design, the Core provides training, education, and workshops for CFAR investigators. In their own research, the Core faculty also evaluate new technologies and compare alternative laboratory methods using good clinical laboratory practice methods.
Bob Coombs, MD, PhD, Core Director
Tuofu Zhu, MD, PhD, Co-DIrector
Joan Dragavon, MLS, Core Manager