Translational Diagnostics Core

The Translational Diagnostics Core provides a range of assays for human and animal hormones, peptides, and metabolites related to metabolic research. The Core is fully integrated into the high-volume Washington University Core Laboratory for Clinical Studies (CLCS).

Training of personnel and laboratory activity meets the exacting College of American Pathologists standards. Common, standardized assays of relevance to diabetes and its complications are available with outstanding quality control. The Core also assists investigators with specialized analytical testing that may be more specific to their particular diabetes-related research and contributes to method development for diabetes-related research.


Jennifer Powers Carson, PhD, Director
Associate Professor of Medicine
Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Lipid Research
660 S. Euclid Ave., MSC 8046-21-06
St. Louis, MO 63110
Phone 314-273-1378

Other Contacts

Dave Gibson, BS
Director of Operations
Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Lipid Research
660 S. Euclid Ave., MSC 8046-21-06
St. Louis, MO 63110
Phone 314- 362-7869

Key Services

Core Diabetes Hormones and Metabolites

Human C-peptide and insulin: The principal platform for these hormones is the automated Roche Cobas e601. This is a chemiluminescent-based analytical system that is reliable and relatively inexpensive. Human insulin is also measured by radioimmunoassay (RIA) and ELISA for investigators with special requirements.

Glucagon is currently performed using the Mercodia ELISA.

Mouse/rat insulin are currently determined by using the Singulex Erenna (digital single molecule counting) platform (minimum volume 5 µl). Development is underway for mouse/rat insulin on the newer SMCxPRO platform. Legacy RIA and ELISA assays for insulin and C-peptide are also performed for rat and mouse samples as needed. 

Glucose, glycated hemoglobin [HbA1c], and glycated albumin are quantified using the automated Roche platform with colorimetric- or chemiluminescent-based enzyme and antibody-based chemistry procedures.

Other hormones are also available such as cortisol, testosterone, and estradiol on the Roche Cobas e601.


Leptin, adiponectin, IL-6, MCP-1, and TNFα assays have traditionally involved either RIA or ELISA methodology for quantitation. Kits are available for human as well as mouse analytes.  However, several of the cytokines are now available as kits for use with the SMCxPRO instrument.


Lipids and apoproteins are analyzed on the Roche Diagnostics c501 automated chemistry analyzer. Apo A1, apo B, and Lp(a) are immunoturbidometric assays. Cholesterol and triglycerides are enzymatic assays. FFA are quantified using an automated colorimetric assay on the Roche Diagnostics 501 analyzer.

Blood Chemistry

Basic metabolic panel (BMP) and complete metabolic panel (CMP), lactate and β-hydroxybutyrate are run on a Roche Diagnostics c501 chemistry analyzer.

CBCs are run on the Beckman DxH600 hematology analyzer.

Urine Chemistry

BUN, creatinine, and microalbumin performed on the Roche Diagnostics c501 chemistry analyzer.

Custom Service

Upon request, the Core will set up and run any specialty assay commercially available as a kit compatible with its instruments. These instruments include a Bio-Tek ELx 800 ELISA plate reader, a Bio-Tek Powerwave 200 plate reader, and the Millipore SMCxPRO single molecule counting instrument. The investigator pays for the kit and a per-sample charge.

Send-Out Pricing

The Core contracts for provision of outside testing for a number of special assays. Contracts with Quest Diagnostics and relationships with Mayo Medical Laboratories enable the Core to provide research testing at reduced rates.

Sample Submission

DRC members wishing to use the Translational Diagnostics Core fill out and email a Request for Services Form (downloadable form) to and The Core will provide instructions for sample submission.


All tests for non-commercial research at Washington University are done at cost. Support from the Diabetes Research Center enables lower chargebacks to DRC investigators for highly utilized testing relevant to diabetes and related metabolic disorders, since DRC support is contributing to the actual cost of analyses.

Translational Diagnostics Core Chargebacks Reflecting DRC Support

In addition, because of Washington University institutional support of CLCS, the CLCS program of industry-sponsored research studies, and the success of CLCS in negotiating discounted pricing with Quest Diagnostics and Mayo Medical laboratories, the Translational Diagnostics Core, through CLCS, also offers pricing for other testing that is substantially lower than can be obtained through other sources. These chargebacks are available to all Washington University faculty.

Other Translational Diagnostics Core Testing


Helpful Links

Core Laboratory for Clinical Studies