Leona W. Ayers, MD, manages the Ayers Lab. Research focuses on these areas:
Biospecimens and Biorepositories
Dr. Ayers is now Co-Investigator (formerly Principle Investigator from 2010-2019) of the Midwestern Division of the Cooperative (formerly Collaborative) Human Tissue Network (CHTN), which is managed from the Ayers Lab.
The Cooperative Human Tissue Network (CHTN) is a national research tissue procurement group to assist translational investigators both in the academic and commercial research setting with emphasis on cancer research. National Cancer Institute (NCI)-funded investigators have priority for service through this group.
The Midwestern Division of CHTN (CHTN MWD) 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 NCI is collected from investigators to supplement the cost of specimen procurement.
Biospecimens are procured for the CHTN MWD-supported investigators by the Research Tissue Procurement Service (RTPS) of the Department of Pathology/Human Tissue Research Network (HTRN). The CHTN MWD disbursed 39,709 high quality biospecimens with associated limited data sets to investigators from 2014 to 2018. The national CHTN (six divisions) has disbursed over one million biosamples to more than 3,400 investigators since the initiation of this NCI supported program in 1987.
Individual research consultation and additional laboratory services are available to interested investigators or investigators in need of 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).