Molecular Diagnostics Practicum


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Application of Molecular Techniques in the Clinical Laboratory

The Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory offers a two-week Molecular Pathology Practicum once every month at their clinical diagnostics laboratory on the MCV Campus of Virginia Commonwealth University; teaching knowledge and skills. Please take the time to review our Clinical Services.  



Our two week Practicum provides you with instruction, skills development and hands-on experience in clinical laboratory molecular techniques. Topics and techniques include:

  • Methods to isolate DNA from clinical samples
  • Preparation of nucleic acid probes
  • Molecular hybridization
  • Polymerase chain reaction
  • Sequencing
  • Next Generation Sequencing

We emphasize the use of these techniques in oncology, microbiology, and genetics.



Through didactic presentations and laboratory work, you will understand practice issues involved in molecular diagnostics and you will get the experience you need to analyze and apply them.

Upon completion of our Practicum, you will be able to:

  1. Understand the basic vocabulary and concepts of molecular diagnostics. Perform the following techniques: DNA extraction, RNA extraction, PCR, RT-PCR, Real time PCR, ELISA-PCR, RFLP-PCR, sequencing and STR analysis. Interpret test results. Identify areas of Pathology where molecular techniques can be used.
  2. Develop a plan to apply molecular diagnostic techniques in your workplace.






References available upon request.

The Practicum's History:
The Practicum developed out of a series of seminars given at biannual meetings of the College of American Pathologists (CAP). Beginning in 1990 our Program Directors, Dr. Garrett and Dr. Ferreira-Gonzalez, in collaboration with the Center for Advanced Training in Cellular and Molecular Biology (CATCMB) in Washington DC, developed a laboratory course in the diagnostic use of molecular techniques. The one-week course was expanded into a very successful two-week course given at the George Washington University. The present practicum is an expanded update of that course. It has provided experience and insight into the growing utilization of molecular diagnostics techniques.
Andrea  Ferreira-Gonzalez, PhD
Andrea Ferreira-Gonzalez, PhD

Molecular Diagnostics
Professor of Pathology
Chair of Molecular Diagnostics Division
Office: (804) 828-9564
Fax: (804) 825-4738