A new era for molecular pathology

14 Jun, 2018

Professor Michael Patton discusses the new molecular unit on level 5 of The Halo

Advances in molecular techniques have put pathology at the heart of cutting-edge medicine. From rapid diagnostics to tailored treatments, molecular pathology is paving the way for a more personalised approach to medicine. Numerous molecular techniques have already found their way into routine practice, improving outcomes for many patients. But it is a rapidly evolving field, and as our understanding of disease at a molecular level continues to advance, so too will the methods we use to analyse it.

Consolidating molecular services

It was with this in mind that we decided to create a dedicated molecular unit on level 5 of our new flagship laboratory, The Halo. This unique space brings together molecular and genetic testing platforms for a number of different specialities, including haematology, microbiology, virology, parasitology, oncology and genetics.

Sharing the same equipment encourages greater interaction between formerly distinct disciplines, concentrating a huge amount of expertise and bringing together scientists, doctors and molecular biologists to work side-by-side on routine work and new diagnostic developments.

Opportunities for collaboration

The fact that the same molecular technologies are used across a whole range of disciplines means the opportunities for our staff to work collaboratively has never been greater. This has created a rich environment for research and innovation. Some of the projects currently underway include research into new molecular diagnostic tests for Zika virus and the use of cell-free DNA for cancer diagnosis.

A catalyst for innovation

Change is a catalyst for innovation, and moving into the Halo presented us a fantastic opportunity to create a pioneering molecular pathology unit. It’s a model that I believe other laboratories will adopt in the future. Consolidating our molecular services has brought many benefits: not only has it pulled together a vast amount of expertise into one space, it’s also carried significant efficiency savings, allowing us to invest in the latest technologies and newest equipment while running a 24/7 service.

Most importantly, as more and more molecular techniques find their way into routine practice, we are confident that we will be able to keep up with the pace of change and continue to deliver a fast, efficient diagnostic service.

HSL is a partnership between The Doctors Laboratory, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust (the Royal Free London) and University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH)

Health Services Laboratories
Health Services Laboratories
Health Services Laboratories