Division of Molecular Diagnostics

The Division of Molecular Diagnostics is part of the Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (PaLM) Program at the London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC). We provide genetic testing services for southwestern Ontario (LIHN 1 and 2 in particular) and Canada at large. We consist of 3 sections: the Biochemical Genetics Laboratory, the Cytogenetics Laboratory and the Molecular Genetics Laboratory. The PhD Geneticists are credentialed through the Canadian College of Medical Geneticists (CCMG) and/or the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ABMGG) and interpret final results. The Technologists are Medical Laboratory Technologists (MLT) in Cytogenetics and/or Molecular Genetics, licensed by the College of Medical Laboratory Technologists of Ontario (CMLTO) with certification from the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS). The Division Laboratories are accredited through the Institute for Quality Management in Healthcare (IQMH) and participate in EQA programs such as CAP, QMPLS and ERNDM.

We have academic affiliations with the University of Western Ontario and Michener Institute of Applied Health Sciences.

The Genetics Laboratories offer a wide range of testing where the results by physicians and other healthcare providers (oncologists, pathologists, paediatricians, geneticists, haematologists, neurologists, etc.) are used for diagnosis, prognosis and/or directing treatment of their patients.

Molecular Genetics: This Laboratory tests for inherited and acquired diseases by identification and tracking of associated DNA and RNA (nucleotide) alterations in genes. Testing and methodologies offered include:

  • Hereditary Cancer gene Panels, Charcot-Marie-Tooth gene panels, Mitochondrial Genome Sequencing, Individual genes and others.
  • Genes for haematological cancers (leukaemia) and solid tumours.
  • Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) using custom, targeted gene panels.
  • Sanger sequencing and MLPA, Q-PCR or other copy number methods are used for confirmatory testing.
  • Types of specimens processed usually include blood, bone marrow, solid tumours.

Cytogenetics: The study of inherited and acquired diseases in relation to the structure and function of chromosomes, genomic copy number variants and genes. This is a full service cytogenetics laboratory that tests prenatal, postnatal and cancer samples. Testing and methodologies offered include:

  • Chromosomal karyotyping for constitutional genetic disorders and cancer.
  • Genome MicroArray testing for copy number variant (CNV) detection and Q-PCR for confirmation of short CNVs.
  • Molecular cytogenetics - Fluorescence in situ hybridization (F.I.S.H.) with disease specific probes and
  • QF-PCR for common aneuploidy detection in prenatal/postnatal samples.
  • Types of specimens processed include blood, amniotic fluid, chorionic villi, skin, products of conception, bone marrow, solid tumours, and others.

Biochemical Genetics: The study of inherited metabolic disorders at the level of proteins, small molecules and genes. The Biochemical Genetics laboratory provides testing and result interpretation for the diagnosis, clinical management and study of patients with inherited metabolic diseases. The laboratory is the referral centre for southwestern Ontario and provides specialized testing for Ontario and other provinces.

  • Metabolite analyses including aminoacids, urine organic acids, free and acylcarnitine, urine mucopolysaccharides (quantitative and characterization), urine oligosaccharides, RBC galactose and galactose -1- phosphate, urine pterins, leukocyte cysteine,and others
  • Enzymatic assays: biotinidase, dried blood spot galactose-1-phosphate uridyltransferase, mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes, many lysosomal storage diseases and others
  • Mutation analysis: NGS panels and Sanger sequencing of many of the diseases identified by the metabolite and enzymatic analyses including urea cycle diseases, lysosomal storage diseases including cystinosis, mitochondrial DNA diseases and others.

Contacts:

Division Head:

Dr. Joan Knoll
joan.knoll@lhsc.on.ca
jknoll3@uwo.ca
519-685-8500, ext. 57123
519-661-2111, ext. 86407 (UWO)

Coordinator:

Mary Emanuel
mary.emanuel@lhsc.on.ca
519-685-8500, ext. 75040

Section Head:

Dr. Bekim Sadikovic
Molecular Genetics
bekim.sadikovic@lhsc.on.ca
519-685-8500, ext. 53074

Section Head:

Dr. Chris Howlett
Molecular Genetics
christopher.howlett@lhsc.on.ca
519-685-8500, ext. 36338/57124

Section Head:

Dr. Ping Yang
Cytogenetics
ping.yang@lhsc.on.ca
519-685-8500, ext. 76632

Section Head:

Dr. Tony Rupar
Biochemical Genetics
tony.rupar@lhsc.on.ca
519-685-8500, ext. 71558

Senior Technologist:

Alan Stuart
Molecular Genetics/Biochemical Genetics
alan.stuart@lhsc.on.ca
519-685-8500, ext. 56129

Senior Technologist:

Shirley Nan
Cytogenetics/Biochemical Genetics
shirley.nan@lhsc.on.ca
519-685-8500, ext. 75714


Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry London Health Sciences CentreSt. Joseph's Health Care LondonWestern University