The UAB OB/GYN Research and Diagnostic Laboratory is an independent CLIA- compliant laboratory, CLIA ID # 01D0641549.  It also functions as a research laboratory.

Clinical Laboratory Capabilities

As a clinical lab, the lab performs between around 70,000 patient tests per year. The lists of tests and the instrument used are outlined in the table below.

Table 1. Clinical Laboratory Tests Offered and Instrument Utilized

Beckman Coulter DxI

Inhibin A

AFP (serum and amniotic fluid)

HCG (quantitative and diluted)




Testosterone (total)

Sex hormone binding globulin


Beckman Coulter Access 2 Immunoassay Chemiluminescence


Free T4





Rubella IgG

Bio-Rad Evolis EIA

Syphilis EIA

HCV Antibody

HIV Ab/Ag combination screen



Roche Amplicor COBAS 4800

Chlamydia PCR

Gonococcus (GC) PCR

Meridian Illumigene

Group B Streptococcus PCR*

*susceptibilities by Kirby Bauer method on Mueller Hinton plates

Cardinal Health SP Card

RPR (qualitative and quantitative)

Maternal Serum Biorepository

The largest volume of testing performed at the UAB OB/GYN Research and Diagnostic Laboratory is from our obstetric patients. Over 4000 women deliver at UAB annually and the vast majority are cared for in 4 distinct prenatal care clinical sites: Maternal-Fetal Medicine Clinic (10th floor Women and Infant’s Center [WIC]), the UAB OB/GYN Division (9th floor WIC), the Obstetric Complications Clinic (OBCC), and the regional health departments. A prenatal screening database (IRB050502013) has been established to main any remnant maternal serum (maternal serum remnants from routine prenatal laboratory testing) for a total of 5 years. This biorepository contains over 45,000 maternal serum specimens – with specimens usually preserved from patients in all three trimesters of pregnancy. Serum is stored in one or more aliquots with on average 1.5cc of remnant serum. This maternal serum biorepository’s primary use is in research with recent studies from serum including analysis of microbial DNA from women with and without preterm birth and design of an assay to test for fetal sickle cell disease using cell-free DNA.

Research Lab

The UAB Department of OB/GYN has a rich history in perinatal research. A list of samples stores as part of the research biorepository is outline below in Table 2.

Table 2. Stored specimens available for analysis by study and specimen type

Study (PI)

Specimen type collected (sample number)

Prenatal Diagnosis (Subramaniam)

*See biorepository above

Maternal serum AFP (8000)

Amniotic fluid (12000)

Maternal serum (45,000)

IGP -Evaluation of population level risk factors for growth restriction (Goldenberg)

Maternal serum (5139)

Neonatal cord blood (916)

PERC1-2 – Evaluation of population level risk factors including infection and preterm birth (Goldenberg)

Periodontal crevicular fluid (3249)

Cercovaginal fluid (4057)

PERC4 – Observation study of preterm infants (Andrews)

Cord blood culture (343)

Cord blood IL-6 (309)

Amniotic fluid (177)

Placental membrane culture (429)

Placental tissue culture (443)

Placental swab culture (421)

Buffy coat (216)

FLORA – Longitudinal study of vaginal flora (Andrews, Schwebke)

Vaginal swabs at each of 5 visits (total of 13653 visits)

PREPARE-M – Evlaution of microbiome changes to preterm birth (Edwards/Subramaniam)

Maternal vaginal samples (545)

Maternal rectal samples (544)

Neonatal oral samples (246)

Neonatal rectal samples (246)

Chlorhexidine – Evaluation of chlorhexidine vaginal irrigation to prevent peripartal infections in nulliparas (Rouse)

Placental cultures (176)

Valtrex – Valacylclovir therapy to reduce recurrent genital herpes in pregnant women (Andrews/Kimberlin)

Perineal and cervical specimens (112)

Cerclage - RCT of cerclage for prevention of preterm birth (Owen)

Maternal blood (1141)

Cervicovaginal samples (1216)

C/SOAP – RCT of adjunctive azithromycin for cesarean prophylaxis to reduce puerperal infection (Tita)

Maternal whole blood and serum (2013)

Mixed cord blood (~2013)

Amniotic fluid at delivery (~2013)

Placental biopsy/chorioamnion swabs (623)

EGGO – evaluation of early screening for gestational diabetes (Harper)

Maternal blood (720)

In addition, current efforts include acting as the biorepository for the multi-center CHAP study (evaluation of optimal treatment of hypertension) and as one of the testing site for the Gestvision Gestassured study.

Equipment available for include:

  1. MagPix (Luminex Corporation, Austin, TX) system features an innovative design based on CCD fluorescent imaging technology. MagPix is a versatile multiplexing platform capable of performing qualitative and quantitative analysis of proteins and nucleic acids in a variety of sample matrices, and can perform up to 50 tests in a single reaction volume. It has xPONENT (Luminex Corporation, Austin, TX) software package  that allows the user to acquire samples, perform analysis, and run system maintenance routines and remote web monitoring.
  2. Applied Biosystems 7500 Sequence Detection System for real-time quantitative PCR has been used to complete several genotyping projects involving polymorphisms in cytokine and other inflammatory mediator genes including toll-like receptors.

The laboratory also has Applied Biosystems 9700 GeneAmp thermal cycler, water baths, electrophoresis systems, a refrigerated microcentrifuge, one standard refrigerated centrifuge, two fume hoods, computers, printers, and other basic laboratory equipment.

Research and Diagnostic Laboratory Director

Akila SubramaniamAkila Subramaniam, M.D.
Associate Professor

UAB Department of OB/GYN
1700 6th Ave South
Women & Infants Center Rm 10270
Birmingham, AL 35233