The Center for AIDS Research (CFAR), a collaboration between the University of Washington and Fred Hutch, implements an AIDS Associated Infections and Malignancies Core (CFAR-AAIMS) which operates out of the UCI-Fred Hutch Cancer Centre in Kampala, Uganda, which opened in May 2015. The Core uses nearly 9,000-square-feet of biorepository and laboratory space, including dedicated space for molecular diagnostics, histopathology, immunology and clinical chemistry / hematology.
The biorepository offers specimen processing, including standard plasma, serum, and buffy coat separation, peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) isolation by Ficoll separation, granulocyte isolation, solid tissue formalin fixing, snap-freezing of tissues and cells and cryopreservation capabilities; we also offer storage in a variety of conditions, such as -20 C Scientific Freezers, -80 C Ultra Low Scientific Freezers, Liquid Nitrogen Storage Tanks and controlled room temperature storage. Ugandan laboratory staff continuously monitors all storage equipment, which are equipped with alarm systems. The biorepository staff is also able to assist with sample shipment.
The molecular diagnostic laboratory currently offers high-throughput DNA and RNA extraction, HHV8 Real Time Quantitative PCR, and Epstein Barr virus (EBV) Real Time Quantitative PCR. Additional commercial assays are available by request (e.g. gene expression, SNP Genotyping, and MiRNA Analysis) operated within a TaqMan-based PCR System (Life Technologies 7900, and 7500FAST).
Capacity building initiatives, for both human resources and infrastructure development, are underway at UCI-Fred Hutch Cancer Centre, to achieve fully operating histopathology and immunology laboratories. Further updates will be provided on the development of activities for these labs as the Core’s laboratory operations expand.