Molecular Diagnostics/Pathology

The Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory at Houston Methodist is equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation that is used by our highly skilled team of molecular technologists, bioinformaticians, and pathologists. Our molecular assays provide crucial diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic information to patients and physicians. We perform tests on many different types of clinical specimens (e.g., blood, body fluids, biopsy tissue) to detect DNA markers (fingerprints or signatures) for infectious diseases, genetic diseases, and cancer. The results generated in our laboratory are critical to making rapid diagnoses, selecting personalized therapies, and ensuring best outcomes.

As an example of innovation in our laboratory, we recently developed a rapid molecular test that simultaneously detects the five most common causes of eye infection. Previously, five separate tests had to be done, resulting in slow turnaround times and increased costs. Similarly, we perform rapid molecular testing for many infections common in transplant patients, including adenovirus, BK virus, Cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), JC virus, and parvovirus. We also provide rapid molecular testing for important travel-associated infections, such as chikungunya virus and dengue virus.

As an example of our specialized cancer testing, we recently implemented a new test that identifies mutations in 50 genes implicated in cancer diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy. This test is designed to help your physician identify molecular markers that are unique to your tumor that can, in turn, be exploited to select personalized therapies. We also have custom gene mutation tests for breast cancer, leukemia/lymphoma, and brain cancer. Such high-end diagnostic tools are only available in a few reference laboratories in the US.

For a complete list of our molecular test offerings, please see here.

Randall J. Olsen, MD, PhD
Director, Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory

Jessica Thomas, MD, PhD, MPH
Associate Director, Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory