Leona W. Ayers, MD, manages the Ayers Lab. Research focuses on these areas:
Biospecimens and Biorepositories
Dr. Ayers is principal investigator of the Midwestern Division of the Collaborative (formerly Cooperative) Human Tissue Network (CHTN), which is managed from her lab.
The Collaborative Human Tissue Network (CHTN) is a national research tissue procurement group that assists translational investigators in both the academic and commercial research setting with emphasis on cancer research. National Cancer Institute (NCI)-funded investigators receive priority for service through this group.
The Midwestern Division of CHTN (MW CHTN) is located at The Ohio State University and has been granted funds from the NCI/NIH to distribute prospectively procured, investigator-defined, high-quality surgical remnant pre-malignant, malignant, benign, diseased and normal biospecimens to funded, IRB-approved investigators. This research service is subsidized but not fully supported by the NCI grant. A small fee set by the national CHTN and the NCI is collected from investigators to supplement the cost of specimen procurement.
Biospecimens are procured for the MW CHTN-supported investigators by the Research Tissue Procurement Service (RTPS) of the Department of Pathology/Human Tissue Research Network (HTRN). The MW CHTN disbursed 49,372 high-quality biospecimens with associated limited data sets to 924 investigators from 2008 to 2012. The national CHTN (five divisions) has disbursed over 1 million biosamples since the initiation of this NCI-supported program in 1987.
Individual research consultation and additional laboratory services are available to interested investigators or investigators who need assistance at any time during their research protocol development and deployment.
The Midwestern Division also works with the NCI and other CHTN divisions to advance biospecimen science, as well as to improve data management and the availability of quality biospecimens for cutting-edge translational research.
Tissue Feature Quantification Using Digital Image Analysis
Tissue features can be specifically stained in mounted tissue sections, digitized and quantified using tissue morphometric software such as Definiens Tissue Studio. Quantified results can replace visual imprecise qualitative assessments. The Ayers Lab has helped investigators use this software-based approach to quantify tissue vascular density, cell types in tissue, nuclear size and other features.
Dr. Ayers was principal investigator of the AIDS and Cancer Specimen Resource (ACSR), 1995-2014, and Sub-Saharan Africa Lymphoma Consortium (SSALC/ACSR), 2007-2014. She participated in NCI clinical trial: Epidemiology of Burkitt Lymphoma in East Africa Children or Minors (EMBLEM).
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