The Central Ligand Assay Satellite Services (CLASS) laboratory is a unit of The University of Michigan, School of Public Health, The Department of Epidemiology. Founded in 1985 as part of the Reproductive Sciences Program as its central facility for analysis of reproductive hormones, our 1,700 square feet of off-campus University Laboratory space is devoted to handling samples and assays. We also have an additional 1,000 square feet of space fitted with heavy duty power outlets, additional air-conditioning, natural gas-powered back-up generator, and alarm systems for 45 large, ultra-low temperature (-80°C) chest freezers and 1 Liquid Nitrogen freezer for extended sample storage. Our facility also houses our Administrative and Information Technology offices and database and server clusters.

The CLASS Laboratory routinely performs more than 40 different assay types (primarily serum and urine reproductive hormones, cytokines and growth factors) and over the past 10 years has performed more than 850,000 individual assays, tracked more than 600,000 samples, and produced more than 50,000 collection kits.

Goals and Philosophy

The CLASS Laboratory uses state-of-the-science, reliable, precise, and cost-effective analytical methods that minimize variability, provide long-term sample and assay stability, and maximize assay reliability. We incorporate internal quality assurance procedures that minimize error and variability as assessed by rigorous quality control procedures.

We have developed, and employ, electronic data handling systems and analysis procedures that provide increased efficiencies, reduce labor costs, eliminate manual operations to reduce the possibility of errors, and preserve assay and analysis data.

We use sample labeling and handling systems that ensure positive identification of sample and result while maintaining the integrity of the sample. Samples are handled in ways that maximize preservation of all residual sample; and aliquots of unused samples destined for storage are handled in ways that maximize their value to future studies. We ensure that the confidentiality of samples submitted to the laboratory is maintained.