Our Division, based in the James Cancer Hospital and OSUMC Department of Pathology, provides clinical molecular diagnostics for a wide range of cancers and other heritable disorders. Our mission is to provide cutting edge, clinically responsible and cost-effective diagnostics for the patients of Ohio and beyond. Testing is performed at the Polaris Innovation Center (cancer assays) and at the Ackerman campus (inherited disorders).
Molecular Pathology is a medical specialty that seeks to integrate microscopic findings with the genetic changes associated with diseases such as cancer and inflammatory conditions. Goals of this work in cancer patients include more precise diagnostic classification, improved early detection of cancer and providing help in selecting therapies. Another important goal for Molecular Pathology in some cancers is more sensitive detection of low levels of disease to help guide when to continue or restart treatments to help lower the rates of relapse.
The Molecular Pathology Laboratory located on the OSU Ackerman Campus is a major academic DNA testing center for inherited disorders. The Laboratory has specific expertises in the genetics of neuromuscular disorders, in clinical applications and mutation detection. Over the years the Molecular Pathology Laboratory has also been involved in several research projects and clinical trials including: Muscular Dystrophy Cooperative Research Center (funded by the NIH), several projects funded by the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Clinical Trials for Pediatric Spinal Muscular Atrophy Project (funded by the NIH), Incidence and Molecular Screening for Hereditary Cancer (funded by the NIH), and Project Cure: SMN2 Copy Number Assay (funded by the Families of SMA). The Molecular Pathology Laboratory located on the OSU Polaris Campus specializes in cancer testing, including multi-gene next-generation sequencing panels. The Polaris lab, in addition to routine clinical testing, has played a major role in translational research for the Alliance for Cancer Trials in Oncology (formerly CALGB) and the Ohio Colorectal Cancer Prevention Initiative (OCCPI). The laboratory also performs research molecular testing.
New technologies and instrument development have an important role in Molecular Pathology. Our laboratories use advanced DNA sequencing, including the Ion Torrent and Illumina methodologies, automation and droplet PCR among other new methods. The Division’s technology development has been generously supported by Celebration for Life.
The ongoing challenge of Molecular Pathology is to speed the practical application of genomics knowledge emerging from research labs and national initiatives to clinical decision-making in each patient. This involves computer-assisted analysis of sequence data and new methods to display results of genetic tests in the medical record. The Division has initiated a research program to develop new methods for sequence annotation.