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Students/Faculty News September 08, 2015

CLS Sim LabInside the CLS Sim LabUntil recently, the cotinine assay performed on all University Hospital patients prior to surgery used a blood serum sample. That changed last month, thanks to a partnership between SHP’s Clinical Laboratory Sciences program (CLS) and the UAB Hospital Laboratory.

“Our CLS students have contributed significant data needed to make a policy change in sample collection and handling for cotinine assays,” says Janelle Chiasera, Ph.D., Chair of the UAB Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences (CDS). Through their research, the CLS students concluded that a urine cotinine assay would produce the same results as the serum test, use a less invasive sample, and enhance turnaround time in getting results back to the physician. And faster results mean faster treatment for patients.

As a result of the students’ research, University Hospital switched to the urine cotinine assay on July 14, 2015. And SHP’s community involvement doesn’t stop there. Right now, another group of CLS students is conducting a project to inform clinical practice by changing sample handling for lactic acid assays.

Chiasera predicts that the cotinine assay study will impact hospitals beyond UAB.

“This is an excellent example of how our students not only focus on theoretical knowledge obtained in a classroom, but they take it to the next level by applying that knowledge to a real world problem,” she says. “Furthermore, this is yet another example of how our faculty, staff, and students are committed to creating innovative solutions to real world problems in an effort to teach, discover, and translate those discoveries to the world around us.”

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