NDPH Wolfson Laboratories
The NDPH Wolfson Laboratories provide critical and cost-effective support for large-scale observational studies and randomised trials conducted by the CTSU and collaborating research groups. They investigate, and provide guidance for, various aspects of methodology including: sample collection procedures for blood and urine; transportation procedures; stability of biomarkers; cataloguing and temperature controlled storage strategies for large-scale collections; and the development of assay methods that are suitable for high-throughput testing in large study populations without compromising the reliability or quality of the data produced.
The laboratories currently support several automated clinical chemistry and immunoassay platforms and an NMR metabolomics facility. The NDPH Wolfson Laboratories are accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) to the ISO 17025:2017 Standard. NDPH Wolfson Laboratories is a UKAS accredited testing laboratory, No. 2799. The NDPH Wolfson Laboratories current Schedule of Accreditation is available on the UKAS website at https://www.ukas.com/search-accredited-organisations/ by entering ‘2799’ in the Search Accredited Organisations section. High-throughput plate-array assays, including multiplex assays, are supported using automated liquid handling workstations.
The NDPH Wolfson Laboratories have:
- In the past 5 years, provided over 1.6 million reliable assays for several randomised trials (including REVEAL, VIDAL and HARP III), post-trial biomarker studies (STICS, BEST-D and AFABL) and large-scale observational epidemiological studies (including the Mexico City prospective study, China Kadoorie Biobank study and EPIC-Oxford study)
- Undertaken several biomarker stability studies to support new projects and existing studies
- Established facilities to support automated chemistries, immunoassays and NMR metabolomics
- Catalogued and hold in long-term nitrogen vapour storage over 5.0 million sample cryotubes
- Delivered considerable support to collaborating groups in the UK and Internationally including:
- UK Biobank;
- providing expertise and support for the sample collection, transportation and storage procedures used in establishing this resource
- being part of the UK Biobank Biomarker Expert Working Group that delivered measurements on 34 biochemical markers from biological samples collected at baseline in all 500,000 participants
- Fuwai Hospital, Beijing; providing expertise and support to establish a National Biocentre
- University of Oxford; providing expertise and support to establish the NIHR-National Biosample Centre.
Current and planned projects
The laboratories continue to support large scale investigations including, the HPS-4 TIMI65 ORION-4 and EMPA-KIDNEY trials. A new NMR metabolomics facility is being used to support investigations into metabolites in blood samples collected at baseline in all 150,000 participants of the Mexico City prospective study, including information on lipoprotein particle size and composition, fatty acids and small molecular weight molecules (e.g. amino acids).
The NDPH Wolfson laboratories are currently developing protocols for low cost automated immunoassay plate methods and supporting biomarker stability studies in urine. The laboratory continues to collaborate with UK Biobank to support temperature/time stability studies to validate the UK Biobank -80C automated storage facility.
The NDPH Wolfson Laboratories is funded by government (UK Medical Research Council), charities (British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK) and funds received from the pharmaceutical industry to the University of Oxford supporting randomised trials.