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IMG 21361Dezhi Wang, M.D., MBA, HTL, QIHC, Lab Manager, loading slides to the new automated IHC system-BOND Rx from LeicaAfter years of planning and discussion, and months of packing and moving, the Pathology Core Research Lab (PCRL), located in the basement of the Lyons Harrison Research Building since the 1960s and under the purview of the Department of Pathology since 2014, made its permanent move to the fourth floor of the Ziegler Building, next door. This research lab, managed by Dezhi Wang, M.D., MBA, HTL, QIHC, and directed by Gene Siegal, M.D., Ph.D., UAB Distinguished Professor, now enjoys spreading out across the fourth floor of the Zeigler Research Building in a space that includes wet and dry labs and office space.

“We’ve moved to a much more modern lab space that will allow us to better serve our users from all over the world,” Wang says.

The PCRL (previously orthopedic research lab/Center for Metabolic Bone Disease) provides state-of-the-art histology and histomorphometric analysis of variousIMG 20965Mouse bones embedded in resin tissue types, including soft tissues, bones, teeth and engineered tissues. The lab performs general and complex histological services, including paraffin, frozen and plastic section histology, immunohistochemistry, Tissue MicroArray (TMA), and histomorphometry using the Bioquant Imaging Analysis System. The services are provided on a fee-for-service basis to all researchers in the institution, and to their collaborators, both intramural and extramural. Lab staff also provide consultation on antibody selection, tissue preparation and histomorphometric analysis.

“I started my UAB career in the LHRB basement 18 years ago,” Wang says. “I thought I would retire from that basement. It’s a bittersweet feeling now that we are actually moved out. We are enjoying the new lab—with windows!—but good memories of the Lister Hill basement will stay with us forever.”

“The lab activity was started in the late 1960s as a component of the Endowed Chair held by Kurt Niemann,” says Jack Lemons, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, who worked with the original lab’s two employees from the outset of his tenure at UAB, when he started his NIH fellowship in 1970.

Wang says the new lab provides additional space to organize and store reagents and has greatly improved layout and design. In addition, the location is more centrally located for the lab’s clients in Ziegler, Shelby, and other research labs. She says they hope to expand toward working with more advanced assays at the molecular level in the near future.

The PCRL is one of the only groups in the Southeast providing plastic service, embedding specimens with implants in resin, and providing image and data analysis of those specimens. A recent collaboration with the Bronx Veteran’s Administration has the PCRL setting mouse bones into resin blocks, and then analyze the specimens for the VA.

PCRL TeamPCRL TeamLab staff work with the UAB Animal Resources Program, the UAB Tissue Biorepository and others on campus to provide services to groups that include the departments of Nutrition Science, Pathology, Microbiology, Gerontology, Hematology/Oncology, Biomedical Engineering, Orthopaedics, Neuropathology, Neuroscience, Rheumatology, Dental Biomaterials, Cell Biology and Physics. The PCRL now shares the fourth floor of the Zeigler Research Building with the Tissue Biorepository lab, co-directed by UpenderManne, Ph.D., and Sameer Al Diffalha, M.D. This new setting will facilitate collaboration between the PCRL and TBR on routine and advanced technical preparations for morphological analysis of cell, tissue, and organ preparations, enhancing efficiency for researchers.