Joint Effort Receives Accreditation

May 21, 2007
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GRAND RAPIDS — The Center for Molecular Medicine, a joint venture between the Van Andel Institute and Spectrum Health, has received accreditation from the College of American Pathologists’ Commission on Laboratory Accreditation.

As part of the accreditation process, College of American Pathologists inspectors combed through the Center for Molecular Medicine’s laboratory records, examined its quality control procedures, and took a close look at staff qualifications, laboratory equipment, the safety of facilities and overall management of the lab. CAP subsequently recognized the center for the “excellence of services” it provides. The Center for Molecular Medicine is housed on the top floor of the Grand Valley State University Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences.

“CAP certification represents an important milestone in the development of the CMM,” said Daniel H. Farkas, Ph.D., executive director of the center. “CAP’s recognition that the CMM provides the most stringent quality of care for CMM patients is predicated on our complete dedication to best clinical laboratory practices.  

The center’s capabilities include clinical diagnostics, high throughput/high density array analysis, real-time PCR, pharmacogenomics, tumor cell detection, biobanking and multiplex measurements of protein biomarkers. Its laboratory scientists will apply the most current genetic and molecular science directly to patient care, offering  physicians and patients greater certainty of early detection, more accurate diagnosis and a targeted strategy for treatment.

The Van Andel Institute and Spectrum Health announced creation of the $6 million Center for Molecular Medicine in early March. Scientists and physicians at the center will research diseases such as cancer, heart disease and mental illness at the DNA, RNA and protein levels.

The institute provides the scientific expertise and intellectual property, while Spectrum Health provides access to patients, as well as the physicians who will apply the accumulated knowledge.

The center’s scientists and physicians are initially serving Spectrum Health and will later expand to service orders for tests from hospitals throughout the country, according to Farkas. He said it will also offer biotech and pharma companies a full array of genomic, proteomic and bioinformatic services.    

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