Microbicide Trials Network

Laboratory Center (LC)

The Laboratory Center (LC) is responsible for overseeing the collection, testing and reporting of results from biologic samples; assisting in the development and quality assurance (QA) of local laboratory capacity at study sites; and identifying and implementing state-of-the-art assays and technologies to advance the scientific agenda of the Network.


The LC is based at the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) and Magee-Womens Research Institute (MWRI), and is led by LC Principal Investigator (PI) Charlene Dezzutti, Ph.D. The LC provides support for laboratory-related issues and basic and translational science to the MTN protocols and study teams through three scientific cores: the Protocol Support Core, which is also located at MRWI, the Virology Core, which is located at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the Pharmacology Core at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and the University of Colorado.


Within the Protocol Support Core, which Dr. Dezzutti also leads as its PI, Lisa Rohan, Ph.D., leads the formulation testing program, Ian McGowan, M.D., Ph.D., leads the mucosal immunology lab, and Sharon Hillier, Ph.D., oversees the microbiology lab. The Virology Core is under the direction of John Mellors, M.D., who is the PI, with Urvi Parikh, Ph.D., serving as associate director; while the PI of the Pharmacology Core is Craig Hendrix, M.D., and Peter Anderson, PharmD., its co-PI.


The MTN LC activities and responsibilities include:

·         Pre-clinical evaluation of microbicide formulations for tissue safety, anti-HIV efficacy, and compliance with study-specific tests

·         Protocol development and review

·         Development of Study Specific Procedure manuals

·         Pre-study implementation training

·         Technical assistance to the site laboratories

·         Quality Assurance and Quality Control oversight

·         Site laboratory visits

·         Participation in the DAIDS Cross Network Collaboration

·         Specimen storage and testing

·         Publication of findings related to assay development, microbicide evaluation, and protocol-related studies.


View the Laboratory Center Organizational Chart.


Email Groups

LC Site Support Email Group

LC Virology Lab Support Email Group

LC Mucosal Immunology Lab Support Email Group


Laboratory Center Site Support Individual Contacts


Charlene Dezzutti

Laboratory Center Principal Investigator


Edward (Ted) Livant

Laboratory Center International Site Support


Wayne Hall

Laboratory Center Site Support


Ratiya Pamela Kunjara Na Ayudhya

Laboratory Center Manager/Supervisor


Lorna Rabe

Laboratory Center Manager/Supervisor


More information about Laboratory Center can be found in the MTN Manual of Operational Procedures, Section 14, Laboratory Operations.


Laboratory Center Organizational Chart2014-Apr-09259.27 KB