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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

2021 Top COVID-19 Research Organization Honoree: Children’s Hospital Los Angeles


Throughout the pandemic, the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (PLM) and the Center for Personalized Medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles has played a vital role in keeping CHLA’s environment safe for patients, families, and staff and in leading the organization in important research. It has led research on more than 17 studies on COVID and children resulting in valuable research data for the medical and research community. In February 2020, as the coronavirus was spreading through Italy and Iran, the Department of Pathology and Laboratory recognized the likelihood of a global pandemic. The initiative enabled CHLA to implement a SARS-CoV-2 testing very early in the crisis.

CHLA’s Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine began the preparation to ensure that all the components required for continuous testing at CHLA, including test reagents and  nasopharyngeal swabs, were procured, and fully stocked before the pandemic. This testing capability enabled CHLA to implement several protocols – testing of all CHLA staff exhibiting symptoms during daily health screenings – and testing all patients admitted for care and procedures. The laboratory expanded their operation to provide testing 24-7, testing with six-hour turnaround time to support clinical operations, as well as providing testing services to community partners and other institutions.

CHLA’s Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine collaborated with members in CHLA’s Center for Personalized Medicine to develop SARS-CoV-2 whole genome sequencing and bioinformatics tools to study the evolution and epidemiology of COVID-19, trace the origins of the virus, and develop genomic epidemiology tools to identify relatedness of infections within CHLA.

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