ETC Bio Repository Lab and ACTSI Receive Microsoft Innovation Award

July 2010

The Emory Transplant Center Biorepository Lab and the Atlanta Clinical and Translational Science Institute (ACTSI) have successfully deployed a new clinical research specimen tracking system, the Thermo Scientific Nautilus LIMS. As a result of this technological advance, Emory was one of only two Universities to be awarded a Microsoft Life Sciences Innovation Award For 2010.

The Microsoft Life Sciences Innovation Award honors companies that are on the cutting edge of integrating life sciences and information technology to advance research and benefit patients around the world. Submissions for this year's awards came from global life sciences corporations and research universities. Those companies that demonstrated benefits and metrics as a result of their technology implementation were recognized. In addition to Emory, the four 2010 awardees included Merck, Pfizer, and Stanford University Medical Center.

The ETC Biorepository processes, stores, distributes and clinically correlates blood, tissue and fluid samples critical for the evaluation of new clinical therapies; is a robust library of all conditions that lead to organ failure; and greatly facilitates research studies and proteomic and genomic surveys. The Atlanta Clinical and Translational Science Institute (ACTSI), a partnership of Emory, Morehouse and GA Tech, is one of 46 medical research institutes working to enhance translational research in the United States by concentrating basic, translational, and clinical investigators, community clinicians, professional societies, and industry collaborators in dynamic clinical and translational research projects.

ACTSI assisted the Biorepository Lab in implementing Thermo Scientific Nautilus LIMS to enhance workflow, foster collaboration and effectively manage samples. The system offers state of the art flexibility and ease-of-use as well as increased automation and throughput of sample analysis. By incorporating automated complex plate-handling functionality and patented graphical utilities to facilitate data tracking and management, users can map and track processes with ease. Manual and error-prone activities are eliminated, while throughput, productivity and accuracy are enhanced.

"With this effort," says Dr. Allan Kirk, scientific director of the ETC, "we were able to achieve a level of standardization of our informatics infrastructure that can be easily replicated across other research institutes. Deployments are now being planned in multiple ACTSI Clinical Interaction Network (CIN) laboratories across Atlanta as well as Winship's Biomarker's Core."