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Oklahoma Health Sciences Opens New Genetics Lab

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center has opened a new genetics lab that will incorporate clinical genetic testing and research aimed at better diagnosing and treating childhood diseases.

Located on the University of Oklahoma's campus in Norman, the new lab provides more than twice the space of the previous clinical genetics laboratory, the university said late last week.

The expansion was funded by private supporters, including the Children's Hospital Foundation, which raises money for the Children's Hospital in the OU College of Medicine.

"This new lab space will help accelerate that work and give our physicians the tools they need to further advance pediatric care," Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said at a ribbon-cutting event opening the new lab on Thursday.

Since it opened in 1999, the clinical genetics lab at OU has focused on chromosome analysis, DNA sequencing, and metabolic testing for blood disorders, cancers, and other common and rare diseases. The research component of these labs has included molecular characterization of chromosomes, studies of congenital heart defects, and Dandy-Walker syndrome. The lab also provides DNA storage services.

OU said that doubling the size of its facilities will enable researchers and clinicians to expand their workload accordingly.

"This increase in lab space will allow us to greatly expand the repertoire of diagnostic tests leading to improved care for the families and children of Oklahoma," Sanjay Bidichandani, chief of the OUHSC pediatric genetics department, said in a statement.