Clinical Lab Scientist Brendon Sato is Supervisor of the Molecular Diagnostics and Flow Cytometry Lab.
As part of National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, we've taken you in to the Avera Heart Hospital lab and the Core Lab at Avera McKennan Hospital. This time we get a tour of a new highly specialized lab at Avera McKennan.
Brendon Sato, ASCP, is one of 12 Clinical Lab Scientists at Avera McKennan specially trained in Molecular Diagnostics and Flow Cytometry. In English, the magNApure instrument he's working on is taking samples of patient's blood, purifying it out to get DNA and then that DNA will be used for testing metabolic enzymes. That determines how fast you can metabolize certain drugs.
Brendon is also the Molecular Lab Supervisor. He explains, "For metabolic enzymes it once was based on a patient's height and weight to determine how much you get of a drug. Now we can take it down to your individual genetic make up so we can tailor that drug to your specific genetic code."
Two people are trained to work on the flow cytometry instrument. They use it for immunophenotyping which is basically testing for cancers of the blood like leukemia and lymphoma.
By adjusting your dosage to your genetic code, Brendon says this will dramatically decrease your negative reaction to certain medicine. They can also figure out what proteins are deficient in women who are prone to miscarry, as another example.
Brendon says, "It's very important. Genetic testing is going to be the wave of the future and if we can get it down to the genetic level, the possibilities for healing are going to be wide open. It's good to have this here now and be able to expand on this area."
You are watching a world of possibilities at work right here in the middle of the Avera McKennan campus.