The Journey of Cytogenetic & Molecular Genetic Laboratory

The Laboratory of Molecular and Cytogenetic Unit (MCU), initiated by Prof. dr. Sultana MH Faradz, PhD on the verge of collapsing consisted of 3 rooms only. These were rooms for sterile tissue culture, DNA preparation, and product analysis (in conjunction with wet-dark-room). In 1999, all laboratory devices from SUDR project were checked and many of those devices were deficient, for example because their accessories and manual guidelines were disintegrated.

The laboratory was run based on biomedical laboratory management principals and set-up according to international standards. A Laboratory Manual has been provided. It will be used for accreditation in the future.

Along the journey, Medical Biotechnology Laboratory has received laboratory equipments and 4 laboratory technicians from Diponegoro University Research Institution under the agreement of the late Prof. Dr. dr. Satoto, Sp.GK as the head of the Research Institution. Those 4 analysts, appointed as a civil servant of FMDU, finally worked as full-timers at Biotechnology Laboratory.

By the means of reagents, tubes, and other devices which were donated initially by the Prince of Wales Hospital, Australia, the MCU laboratory was able to run and start ‘in service training’ for Cytogenetic and Molecular genetic analysis. MCU laboratory started to buy reagents, disposable devices, and others by using financial support from dr. Soejoto (as the former vice Dean). Finally, after this long journey, MCU laboratory was able to run properly and financially independent. MCU started to provide Cytogenetic and Molecular genetic services. It also provided genetic counseling services to patients and other medical users from inside or outside of Dr. Kariadi hospital.

The Biotechnology laboratory continued to develop along the way. It was being expanded with the addition of one room as a wet-laboratory, which could be used freely for all researchers. Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) laboratory was located on the same floor and in the same building as the Biotechnology laboratory.  Therefore, the Biotechnology laboratory and the IDD laboratory often coordinated together about the planning of their developments.

Since 2001, MCU laboratory has cooperated with the Department of Human Genetics, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre (RUNMC), The Netherlands through Prof. Ben Hamel as the contact person. An annual course in Medical Genetics with some demonstrations of other laboratory practices and patients has successfully been held since 2001. Ever since the collaboration, MCU laboratory was able to survive without financial support from the Dean to buy reagents or to maintain laboratory devices. RUNMC even granted some new and used laboratory devices. MCU laboratory has been following ASDG-QAP certification from the Human Genetics Society of Australasia (HGSA) since 2006. The Australasian Society of Diagnostic Genomics-Quality Assessment Program (ASDG-QAP) is an accredited provider of Proficiency Testing and compliant with the international standard ISO/IEC 17043. Collaboration with RUNMC has been extended so far already nearly 30 years. Joint research and post graduate education remain on going and continue by Prof. Hans van Bokhoven, Dr Ineke van der Burgt and Dr. Helger Yntema.  Cebior also have got great help from Dr Erik Sistermans, Dr Gerard Pals and Dr. Dimitra Micha from VUMC Amsterdam for over than 20 years collaboration. A lot of new techniques and equipments have been introduced to our staffs by regular visit and training.

Apart from the great support provided by RUNMC, the Dean of FMDU steadily supported the MCU laboratory especially for buying new laboratory equipments. The Dean has bought several important devices which were quite useful to develop the laboratory. Procurement of the equipments is implemented almost yearly. Recently, MCU laboratory have received new advanced molecular equipment to facilitate and to expand a molecular research. We are very proud of our achievements although the laboratory equipments are still modest and not many in numbers.  A lot of tests can be done here and lead to the production of a number of publishable papers.

The first ASDG-QAP of Human Genetics Society of Australasia (HGSA) for Molecular & Cytogenetics Unit CEBIOR Faculty of Medicine Diponegoro University in 2006
ASDG-QAP of Human Genetics Society of Australasia (HGSA) for Molecular & Cytogenetics Unit CEBIOR Faculty of Medicine Diponegoro University in 2017