Weiqiang (John) Zhao, MD, PhD, FCAP serves as the director of the PCF. The lab is a CLIA approved, CAP certified laboratory performing many basic and advanced services. Five laboratories comprise the Pathology Core Facility (PCF) including histology, fluorescent (FISH)/in situ hybridization (ISH), immunohistochemistry (IHC), molecular, and research and development. The PCF provides a wide array of histology based research and clinical services with qualified, well-trained clinical technologists and research assistants maintaining a cohesive and seamless infrastructure ensuring consistent results and quick turn around times.
Aside from functioning as a histology based research service to investigators, the PCF provides laboratory services to the ALLIANCE for Clinical Trials and Oncology which is one of the multidisciplinary cooperative cancer treatment groups funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The PCF’s role in this group is to prepare stained and unstained tissue sections, isolate nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) from paraffin embedded tissue samples as well as construct tissue microarrays for further testing and data collection. The goal of this program is to seek improved methods of cancer therapy and prevention.
The laboratory also serves as the tissue repository for the Adenoma Polyp Tissue Bank (APTB) national clinical cancer treatment group, whose focus is to study the efficacy and safety of the drug celecoxib in preventing the occurrence of new adenomatous polyps, which put people at increased risk for colorectal cancers.