The Department of Laboratory Medicine is internationally recognized as a center for clinical and basic science research. The Department's faculty, staff, and trainees are involved in research and development activities that include developing the latest laboratory tests, creating new vaccines, inventing and patenting cutting edge technology, and elucidating basic cellular processes in health and disease. Nearly all of the faculty have active research and development programs, and the environment for scientific training is world class. Please see the separate faculty listing for specific research interests.
Research Testing Service
The University of Washington (UW) CLIA‑licensed and CAP‑accredited Clinical Laboratories are housed within the Department of Laboratory Medicine and provide state‑of‑the‑art diagnostic test results to medical providers. As a service to the academic community, the Department of Laboratory Medicine also provides phlebotomy, specimen processing, and clinical and research testing at special research rates to University of Washington‑affiliated investigators* through the Research Testing Service (RTS).
Investigators outside of the University of Washington and affiliated institutions can access our testing services through a Laboratory Services Agreement. Please contact Kim van Leuven (firstname.lastname@example.org) to inquire about this possibility.
NOTE: All human research studies with clinical test results to be included in the patient medical record must go through UW Medicine Clinical Research Budget and Billing (CRBB) (http://www.uwmedicine.org/research/research‑trials/crbb). In addition, any research studies requiring clinical turnaround times for test results will likely need to utilize this pathway.
*University of Washington‑affiliated investigators include individuals with appointments at the University of Washington Medical Center, Harborview Medical Center, Seattle Children's Hospital, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Bloodworks Northwest, and the VA Puget Sound Health Care System.
Research Testing Service Offerings
- Clinical Laboratory tests (CLIA‑licensed testing)
- Tests listed in the UW Lab Medicine Online Test Guide (OLTG)
- Note: some tests listed in the OLTG (which are conducted at external reference laboratories) may not be available through RTS. Please inquire.
- Research tests not listed in the Online Test Guide (not CLIA‑licensed)
- Upon request, must be arranged individually.
- Processing and (limited) storage
- Combinations of the above services
- Investigator submits Pricing Inquiry Form electronically (via email) to obtain test or service costs.
- RTS provides pricing information to Investigator (typically within 1‑2 weeks).
- Investigator obtains funding for testing/service.
- Investigator submits RTS Application Form electronically (via email).
- RTS sets up an account that will enable appropriate tracking of the service and billing. (Allow 4‑6 weeks, may be longer for more complex studies).
- RTS provides paper Requisition Forms that must accompany all samples delivered to the Dept. of Laboratory Medicine for phlebotomy/processing/testing.
- Service commences.
- Paper copies of individual test results mailed to Investigator within 1 week of test completion. NOTE: STAT processing or testing is not available through RTS.
- Investigator's budget is billed monthly.
For batch sample testing, during the preparation of the RTS Application Form, the Investigator will arrange with RTS: 1) the number of samples to be delivered at one time (batch size) to the Laboratory, 2) the logistics of sample drop‑off, 3) the frequency of testing/resulting, and 4) the delivery mode of test results.
- How do I get the costs of tests I want performed for my research study?
- Will test costs originally quoted to me remain stable for the duration of my study?
The cost for conducting tests are periodically reviewed and updated. If one or more of your requested tests is updated during the course of your study, the cost could change.
- Will test methodology/reference ranges remain stable for the duration of my study?
Individual laboratories may decide to make instrumentation, vendor and/or other technical changes that could affect the results reported to you. These changes could also affect the cost of the testing.
- How do I find out what types of tubes and blood volumes will be necessary for the tests that I want done?
The UW Department of Laboratory Medicine maintains an Online Test Guide (http://menu.labmed.washington.edu/) that includes all of the relevant information for clinical laboratory tests conducted by our Laboratory. Special processing and other research testing is available upon request; queries about these topics should be sent to email@example.com.
- What do I do if I have questions about or changes to my RTS Application Form?
Please contact RTS staff at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions about the application form. It is important for your application to be correct when it is submitted. Once the form is submitted to RTS, changes or modifications to an existing application will require additional processing time, and will not be prioritized over new applications. Essentially, your application will be attended to in order of all requests made.
- Can you test animal samples?
Yes, but the ability of UW Clinical Laboratories to provide useful results is likely to depend upon the specific test requested. Please consult with RTS staff by emailing them at email@example.com.
- What is the typical turn around time for RTS sample testing?
When samples are tested through RTS, they are considered to be research samples, and therefore do not have the same priority as clinical samples (ordered by medical providers for clinical management). RTS samples are included in clinical "runs" on a space‑available basis or run in extra batches. Batched samples may require special arrangements with the testing laboratory because extra "runs" that would not otherwise be conducted may be necessary to produce the results requested. In this case, a specific time frame for producing the results will be agreed upon between the Investigator and the Laboratory.
- How soon can I get my results after the testing is done?
The current process typically involves the generation of paper copies of RTS results the day after test results are finalized. These paper copies are then mailed to Investigators via campus mail. As noted above, RTS test results will not be entered into the patient electronic medical record, and will not be available in the same time frame as clinical patient results.
- How do I get a copy of your CAP certificates and/or CLIA licenses?
Please use this link to obtain copies: http://depts.washington.edu/labweb/AboutLM/Accred/.
- What is your standard blood processing procedure?
Please refer to the details of the Standard Operating Procedure found here. If you have a special request that deviates from this procedure, you will need to consult with RTS staff to determine whether the Laboratory will be able to provide this service for you.
- Can RTS or UW Clinical Laboratories ship my samples to another lab/site for me?
No, unfortunately UW Clinical Laboratories are unable to ship your blood tubes or aliquoted material to other institutions or laboratories. UW Clinical Laboratories will hold samples for pick‑up for up to 2 weeks. Research study personnel are responsible for any subsequent shipping.
- Where can my research study subjects (outpatients) get their blood drawn? Is there a charge for phlebotomy services?
Research study subjects may have their blood drawn at UWMC and Harborview outpatient blood draw locations. In instances where subjects are concurrently having blood drawn for clinical testing at UW Clinical Laboratories, there is no additional fee for drawing extra tubes of blood. However, if only research study blood is being drawn at any visit, a phlebotomy fee will apply. In either case, a special RTS requisition form will be needed to have study blood tubes drawn.
- My research study subjects are hospitalized inpatients. Can study blood draws be performed at the bedside by phlebotomy?
Tubes of blood for research studies can only be obtained from hospitalized inpatients if these inpatients are concurrently undergoing a blood draw for clinical laboratory testing (to be conducted at UW Clinical Laboratories). Phlebotomists are not permitted to perform research‑only blood draws on inpatients.
- I have an urgent problem related to my research study. How do I get help?
Please contact RTS staff at (206) 616‑8979, and we will do our best to respond to your phone call/voicemail within the same or next business day. Please indicate in your voicemail if it is an urgent matter. If you have a question that can wait, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You should get an email response within 2 business days. Please do not visit the lab in person to try to identify lab staff to answer your questions or perform specific tasks urgently. The Clinical Laboratory is a busy and complex organization; laboratory staff perform their work using standardized processes that are necessary to meet clinically mandated deadlines. Special/urgent research requests can be disruptive and deleterious to our primary mission of providing timely, high‑quality clinical test results.
RTS Contact Information
Chihiro Morishima MD, Director, RTS
Jacqueline Chee, MT (ASCP), MLS1
Kim van Leuven, MT (ASCP), MLS2
Irina Ivanov, Fiscal Specialist
Last updated: 04/17/2018