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New iLab Technology to Launch For UTHSC Institutional Research Cores

Tiffany Seagroves, PhD

The UTHSC Office of Research is excited to introduce the Agilent iLab core facility software solution (iLab Operations Software) to campus to manage our institutional core facilities. iLab is a web-based system highly customized for academic shared resources that will streamline research by making the process of requesting equipment reservations, order requests, and billing core users quicker and easier (http://www.agilent.com/en-us/products/ crosslab-enterprise-services/ilab-operations-software/ilab-overview). iLab is used by over 170 institutions worldwide, including leading academic research-intensive universities.

On August 22, 2017, the Hot Topics in Research series will formally introduce iLab to campus. Amanda Casey, our iLab project manager, will provide a live webinar that reviews key iLab functionalities, highlighting features from the perspective of core users. The Hot Topics session will be recorded for those principal investigators who are unable to attend.

As each “wave” of institutional core facilities goes live with iLab, the web interface will replace all core-specific paper sample submission request forms. For LACU, iLab will also replace the animal order request and census modules of ACAP. Wave 1 cores will go live in September 2017, and will include Proteomics and Metabolomics (PMC), Molecular Bioinformatics (mBIO), and Flow Cytometry and Cell Sorting (FCCS). Wave 2 cores will go live in November 2017 and will include the Molecular Resource Center (MRC) and Research Histology Core (RHC). Wave 3 cores that use animal resources will launch last, including the Laboratory Animal Care Unit (LACU) and Regional Biocontainment Lab (RBL).

Our goals are to deploy iLab to expedite the process of ordering and billing for institutional core services, to decrease administrative burden of core facility management, and to simplify and then centrally store billing. In addition, iLab will improve tracking of core use metrics, including instrument usage and revenues over time; these data are used to report on the return of investment in our core facilities to the UTHSC administration.

Specific benefits of implementing the iLab solution at UTHSC to PIs/users are:

  • All institutional core facilities will be accessible in one central location with a unique URL.
  • Every investigator with an active NetID and password will use their credentials to access iLab. Once iLab is launched, accounts will automatically be generated for all PIs with active NetIDs.
  • iLab will be financially integrated with UT systems, facilitating automatic generation of internal recharges and invoices. Charges will be posted directly to ledgers, eliminating redundant data entry and improving invoice accuracy. Researchers will also be able to review their core use over time, and easily review invoices from all institutional cores in one location.
  • The interface will provide a consistent format among all institutional cores for searching for core resources, requesting core services, updating PIs on instrument outages, and updating project workflow progress. For example, users will be alerted via email of completion of key project milestones (such as samples passing quality control).
  • iLab  will track internal active funds for PIs and their lab members, and will permit assignment of specific fund sources to individual users or the splitting of charges among multiple internal funding sources at the time of sample submission. Users will no longer have to memorize fund sources, or wonder if funds are still active when requesting services.

The Office of Research’s Electronic Research Administration Unit, directed by Dr. Jeanne Hermann-Petrin, will provide implementation support. Our local UTHSC iLab project manager is Lawson Culver, assisted by Steve Wills. Support will also be available from the institutional core business managers.

If there are any questions or concerns regarding iLab implementation at UTHSC, please feel free to contact me.

-Tiffany Seagroves, PhD