CLASS: Collaborative Research Support 

 Vision: To grow into and provide the best possible scientific collaborative experience. 

 Mission: We work to facilitate and improve the research of others and make it possible for them to explore their ideas. 

About the CLASS labPhoto of CLASS Lab personnel

The Central Ligand Assay Satellite Services (CLASS) Laboratory is a core research facility in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health. We were founded in 1996 as part of the Reproductive Sciences Program, a program which contributed to the development of immunochemistry technologies integral to many of the assay methodologies we use today. The techniques we routinely utilize have evolved over the years, but we are proud to offer the same attention to detail and quality of service to our collaborators that we always have. We provide a full range of research support services: we can create biospecimen collection kits tailor-made for your study, serve as a point of contact for study participants, provide a biorepository to process, organize, and store the resulting samples, and finally we have the platforms and expertise needed to assay your chosen biomarkers. We have a long history of work with research studies across the nation and internationally, both large and small, and from a diverse range of research fields. We are excited to hear about your research, and for the opportunity to help you to make a difference! You can be assured your samples are safe with us.

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Photo of Assay machineOur Assay Offerings

The technicians at CLASS Lab are proficient with a variety of assay methodologies, and we will do our best to pair you with an assay solution appropriate for your study. We house several different assay platforms here, each with their own benefits. The Alfa Wassermann ACE Axcel offers testing on common analytes of interest, such as lipids, glucose, iron, and electrolytes – this machine is the first option we assess due to its affordability and consistency. When a more diverse assay menu or higher sensitivity is required, we then consider either the Siemens Centaur CP or Roche Cobas e 411. Both machines are excellent, and provide assays of hormones, inflammatory markers, oncomarkers, and more. We also offer measurement of coagulation components and coagulation time using the Stago STart 4.

Analytes that our machines are not capable of measuring are assessed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) or via multiplex. Our technicians have conducted thousands of ELISAs and have the equipment and expertise to provide consistent results – we can recommend many excellent suppliers of a wide variety of ELISA plates and the manpower to complete them. We can also provide Multiplex plates using our Luminex MAGPIX. Multiplex provides a cost- and sample-efficient platform for measuring multiple analytes on a single sample volume at the same time.

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Biospecimen Collection KitsPhoto of biospecimen kits

The organized and auditable collection of samples is crucial to effective research: the CLASS Laboratory has developed technologies to produce custom sample collection kits that are both scientifically rigorous and cost effective.

These kits are designed with serialized, bar-coded sample collection vials tied to bar coded collection forms providing easy data entry by laser scanning and both an electronic and physical (paper) audit trail of sample collection and disposition.

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Photo of freezersFreezer Storage

We offer biospecimen collection kits tailor-made to your research study, with tubes and components marked clearly with barcoded labels and unique sample IDs. Our inventory of kit components includes a variety of tube sizes, cap colors, vacutainers, needles, labels, boxes, and bags allowing for reduced error in collecting and storing precious biospecimens. We’ve created collection kits as simple as a single saliva sample collected with a 5 mL tube, to complex kits of multiple 9x9 boxes for >200 aliquots of 6 different sample types. We also offer processing of collected samples (i.e., spinning down and aliquoting) when it is logistically feasible for your study. Give us your specifications, and we will design the perfect collection kit for your purposes!

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