Glasgow Lighthouse Lab processes more than 200,000 test samples

Published: 12 June 2020

The Glasgow Lighthouse Lab, hosted by the University of Glasgow at its Queen Elizabeth University Hospital campus, has officially processed more than 200,000 test samples since opening in April.

The Glasgow Lighthouse Lab, hosted by the University of Glasgow at its Queen Elizabeth University Hospital campus, has officially processed more than 200,000 test samples since opening in April.

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Professor Dame Anna Dominiczak, University of Glasgow Vice Principal and Head of the College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, who leads the team at the Glasgow Lighthouse Lab, said: “I am incredibly proud that the University of Glasgow has been able to support the UK and Scottish response to the COVID-19 pandemic by hosting one of the three Lighthouse Lab testing sites, in conjunction with industry partners and the NHS.

“It is thanks to all the incredible work and dedication of both our volunteers and partners, that we were able to equip, staff and established a large-scale, fully operational testing facility in only a few weeks. I am very proud of the team at The Glasgow Lighthouse Lab, who have now processed more than 200,000 tests in total – this is a significant milestone, and one which highlights the importance of having the Lighthouse Labs supporting the national COVID-19 testing effort, alongside NHS testing facilities, in Scotland and across the UK.

“It has been said all over the world, and confirmed by the WHO, that we have to test, test and test some more to fight the virus that has killed so many people. And as testing is now an essential part of the UK and Scottish government’s response plans to ease lockdown restrictions, the University of Glasgow and the whole team at the Glasgow Lighthouse Lab remain committed to maintaining this large-scale testing facility in Scotland for the benefit of all for as long as it is needed.

“For that reason I remain incredibly grateful to all the partners and colleagues who have volunteered their time, expertise and skills for this facility. As a result of their continued commitment and willingness to help in a time of need, we have not only hit important milestones such as 150,000 tests, but we have created a facility which will be able to process COVID-19 tests for as long as we need to in this pandemic.

“However, it is not just skills that have made this lab possible. From the beginning, research teams across the University of Glasgow rallied to quickly source us the high-tech laboratory equipment necessary for the task of large-scale population testing. That equipment was, and continues to be, added to by our industry partners, Thermo Fisher, who have been an essential part of the Lighthouse Lab journey. Without their equipment and expertise we could not have created, so quickly, such a large-scale facility.

“The Glasgow Lighthouse Lab is based at the University of Glasgow’s Clinical Innovation Zone in our Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Campus. It is important to know our Clinical Innovation Zone was established to further Precision Medicine in Scotland and the UK, and one of the main drivers of that is the University’s key collaborations between research, industry and the NHS. We believe this ‘triple helix’ approach to medical research and development is essential for driving forward solutions for patients in the real world. Recently, this triple helix approach also allowed us to come together in a highly effectively way with NHS and industry partners to establish this testing centre.

“These are the most unprecedented circumstances any of us working in medical science have ever known, and as a doctor and a scientist I feel passionately that we must take our experience and expertise and use them now to focus on COVID-19 and do all that we can to help. That is what drove us to focus our energy into establishing the Glasgow Lighthouse Lab, and it is that passion that we will use to keep the project going for as long as it is needed.

“The ability to translate cutting-edge science into real world patient care is a vital part of Precision Medicine – an area of science I am very passionate about, and one which the University of Glasgow and Scotland are world-leaders in. I am enormously proud that we in Glasgow have been able to translate both our Precision Medicine and scientific expertise to focus on COVID-19 work, in order to play our part in offering help at this time.”


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First published: 12 June 2020