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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 MTN.


The LC is based at the University of Pittsburgh and Magee-Womens Research Institute (MWRI), and is led by LC Principal Investigators (PIs) Lisa Rohan, PhD, and John Mellors, MD.


The LC provides support for laboratory-related issues and basic and translational science to MTN protocols and study teams through three scientific cores: the Site Support Core, based at MRWI; the Virology and Pharmacodynamics Core, which is located at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; and the Pharmacology Core with labs at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and the University of Colorado.


Dr. Rohan leads the Site Support Core, serving as its PI. The Site Support Core consists of a formulation testing program led by Lisa Rohan, PhD, a mucosal immunology lab that Rhonda Brand, PhD, leads, and a microbiology lab led by Sharon Hillier, PhD.


The Virology and Pharmacodynamics Core is under the direction of John Mellors, MD, who is the PI, with Urvi Parikh, PhD, serving as associate director; while the PI of the Pharmacology Core is Craig Hendrix, MD, with co-PI Peter Anderson, PharmD.


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
  • 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 below.
Contact the Laboratory Center Principal Investigators:

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


Edward (Ted) Livant

Laboratory Center International Site Support


May Beamer

Laboratory Center Manager/Supervisor


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