January 24, 2017 – The Biochemical Genetics Laboratory, one of three specialty laboratories of the Greenwood Genetic Center (GGC), posted a record year for the nonprofit organization.
In 2016, the lab signed out 10,044 test results, the most ever completed by a GGC lab, and a 60% increase from the number completed by the lab in 2015. This also led to an increase in revenue from the Biochemical Genetics Laboratory from $700,000 to over $1.1 million over the same time period.
The Biochemical Genetics Laboratory specializes in the diagnosis of a variety of metabolic genetic disorders through enzyme analysis, as well as monitoring the treatment of patients with rare disorders.
“Much of what we do involves the analysis of patient samples to identify chemical levels that are too high, too low, or altogether absent, which helps make a diagnosis,” said Biochemical Genetics Laboratory Technologist, Christina Shouse. “We also work closely with DHEC and the newborn screening program in South Carolina to diagnose babies with potentially life-threatening disorders that can be treated if caught early. We follow those babies for years and continue to monitor how well their treatment plan is working.”
In addition to their clinical diagnostic work, the lab is also busy with industry contracts, which created an additional $622,000 in revenue in 2016. They have relationships with several pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies to assist in test development, as well as to monitor the effectiveness of various drug treatments.
Even before the official numbers were tallied, Lab Supervisor, Teresa Thompson said the lab had felt the growth through increased workload and hours. “We have been extraordinarily busy over the past few months, and fortunately this boom has also allowed us to bring in additional personnel.” The Biochemical Genetics Laboratory has added several new technologists, as well as a new assistant director, in order to handle the workload.
“We have seen amazing growth in our Biochemical Genetics Laboratory, especially over the last year, and are indebted to the dedicated technologists and innovative leaders who make it all possible,” shared Steve Skinner, MD, GGC’s Director. “Our biochemical lab staff has eagerly accepted new challenges and is willing to take a leap of faith to embark on cutting-edge projects, including the industry contract work.”
GGC recently announced a $5.4 million investment in expanding all three laboratories, and Skinner shared his excitement about the Center’s future. “With a faculty and staff who are second to none, the families we serve worldwide are going to see tremendous benefit and advances in diagnostics and treatments coming out of Greenwood in the coming months and years.”
For more information, contact Lori Bassett
GGC’s Biochemical Laboratory Faculty and Staff: L-R
Front Row – Christina Shouse, Linda Williams, Coursey Cobb, Dr. Rongrong Huang, Kinu Bradley, Dr. Laura Pollard.
2nd row – Kim Stewart, Judy Haley, David Zipprer, Jenna Hallman, Teresa Thompson, Rene Garay, Dr. Taraka Donti.
Back row – Dr. Tim Wood and Allison Cason.