The Colorado Molecular Correlates Laboratory Puts Quality First
By: Colorado BioScience Association Date: 02/26/2021
The Colorado Molecular Correlates Laboratory is dedicated to the development and implementation of predictive, prognostic and diagnostic molecular biomarker testing that will permit selection of cancer treatments with targeted therapy allowing for the best in personalized medicine. Focusing on quality is key to the lab’s success and work to save lives.
CBSA President & CEO, Jennifer Jones Paton, asked Dara Aiser, MD, Ph.D, Colorado Molecular Correlates Laboratory’s Director, CBSA’s Key Questions for Life Sciences Innovators.
Q: Tell us about your company or organization.
A: The Colorado Molecular Correlates Laboratory (CMOCO) is a state-of-the-art clinical diagnostic laboratory focusing on personalized medicine applications in cancer. Using next-generation sequencing, we test patient cancer samples to help determine the best therapy. The lab is part of the University of Colorado School of Medicine Department of Pathology.
Q: Describe your team culture. How does your culture shape what your company or organization produces or offers?
A: We work together to provide patients with complex genomic testing that can help inform treatment decisions for cancer patients. Unlike many research laboratories, we must meet rigorous accreditation and compliance standards to ensure the highest quality testing for our patients. Our culture revolves around providing quality and timely results to improve patient outcomes.
Q: What are you working on right now?
A: The Colorado Molecular Correlates Laboratory is working on multiple projects at the moment. These efforts are focused on expanding our test menu in multiple areas. One large project that we are working on includes testing for leukemia that will allow us to monitor minimal residual disease in a personalized fashion.
Another project we are working on is a collaboration on a large genomic panel with more than a dozen fellow academic labs. This allows us to contribute ideas to stay at the cutting edge and overcome shared obstacles without reinventing the wheel.
Q: How will your work save or change lives?
A: The work being done at the Colorado Molecular Correlates Laboratory is saving lives every day. When our personalized medicine group issues results that makes a cancer patient eligible for a unique therapy, whether it is an FDA approved therapy or a clinical trial, we are changing lives. This can directly be related to patient outcomes and make a difference in their day-to-day lives.
We are also helping our community by bringing together fellow academic institutions to be able to provide further service into genome testing.
Q: How has COVID-19 impacted your company or organization?
A: One of the biggest impacts of COVID-19 on the Colorado Molecular Correlates Laboratory is that we applied our skills, equipment, and resources to be able to help with COVID-19 diagnostic testing. In the lab, we have had to abide by ever-evolving COVID-19 safety policies and distancing standards. These measures have allowed us to be able to remain at work and offer assistance with COVID-19 testing in addition to our regular clinical responsibilities.
Q: CBSA champions a collaborative life sciences ecosystem because we are #stongertogether. How has being an active participant in our life sciences community supported your success?
A: The Colorado Molecular Correlates Laboratory values being part of the life sciences ecosystem because we can connect with a diverse group of like-minded individuals who are also looking at genomic testing.
The Colorado Molecular Correlates Laboratory chose the Fitzsimons Innovation Community as our home because it gave us an opportunity to design a tailor-made space that meets our unique regulatory and workflow considerations.
Thank you to our sponsor: