eLABorate Topics

Hosted ByLona Small, Stephanie Whitehead, & Tywauna Wilson

Leadership and Technical Strategies for Medical Laboratory Professionals to excel inside and outside of the lab.

Episode 42: Bridging the Gap: The Vital Role of Lab Professionals in Translational Research-Dr. LaShanta Brice

 Dr. LaShanda Bryce, Doctorate in Clinical Laboratory Science, specialist in hematology and coagulation. Experience in management, teaching, quality/compliance. Currently with Diagnostica Stago and Univ. of Cincinnati, focuses on the vital role medical laboratory professionals can play in translational research to help advance healthcare.

In this episode she discussed:

 Medical lab professionals must participate in translational science to bridge gap between theory and practice.”

  • Dr. Brice says that medical lab professionals need to get more involved in translational research, which focuses on turning discoveries from the lab into real-world applications. There is often a gap between the theoretical knowledge produced by researchers/PhDs and the practical “on the ground” knowledge from technologists about how things actually work in a real-world lab setting. By participating in translational research, lab professionals can help bridge this gap between theory and practice to ensure research insights are implemented in ways that truly improve patient care. Their involvement helps advance healthcare.

“Lab techs have invaluable perspectives but are often left out of research and guidelines.”

  • Bench technologists have extremely valuable perspectives to share based on their daily hands-on work in the lab. However, their voices are often left out of research publications, abstracts, and best practice guidelines. The speaker argues that the lab technician viewpoint is a “missing link” that needs to be included to provide important context about real-world feasibility and applicability of research discoveries. Without their input, the guidance produced lacks a crucial practical component.

“Getting involved in research allows techs to shape how discoveries are implemented in real clinical practice.”

  • By getting involved in translational research studies, quality improvement projects, submitting proposals to conferences, publishing case studies, etc., laboratory professionals can directly influence how scientific discoveries and new techniques get implemented in daily clinical practice. Rather than being passive receivers of new research, they have the opportunity to shape guidelines and impact patient care by sharing their invaluable knowledge and experience about what actually works on the ground.

“Every lab professional has opportunities to contribute – submit proposals, publish case studies, get involved in committees.”

  • There are many avenues for bench technologists to get involved and make research contributions. Examples include: submitting posters/presentations to big lab medicine conferences, authoring and publishing case studies from their lab, doing quality improvement projects, getting involved in hospital committees, and partnering with researchers. The speaker emphasizes that every technician has opportunities to participate and have their voice heard.

“It’s all about communication and partnership between PhDs and bench techs.”

  • To help close the gap between clinical researchers and practicing lab professionals, open communication and partnership is crucial. Each party needs to communicate in a constructive way and find common ground to understand the other’s perspective. Though they take different pathways, the end goal is the same – improving patient care through research. It’s about balancing and finding the “seesaw” middle ground.


Listen to the full episode for details.

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