The Diagnostic Molecular Scientist is a professional who is qualified by academic and applied education to provide service in the molecular diagnosis of acquired, inherited and infectious diseases. The goal of molecular diagnostics is to enhance the value of clinical laboratory services by providing advanced techniques and applying genetic information to the testing of patient specimens. This type of laboratory science has presented lab professionals with new challenges that include unique kinds of testing, unusual ethical issues, and back-to-basics science. There is a shortage of qualified people available to work in this type of lab.
Current Molecular Pathology Scope of Practice
- Infectious disease
- Carrier screening
- Human identity testing
- Animal science
Current Molecular Pathology Fields of Practice
- Hospital molecular diagnostics laboratory
- Reference laboratory
- Biotechnology laboratory/sales/application
- Research and development
- Public health departments
- Crop science laboratory
Current Molecular Pathology Technology
- DNA and RNA isolation
- Real Time PCR
- Next generation sequencing
Our program is designed for students who want a strong clinical background in human genetic testing. The 12-month lock-step program starts in the summer and includes 35 credit hours of didactic (classroom, laboratory and research) experience and 7 credit hours of clinical experience (the clinical preceptorship). The clinical experiences are structured to provide skill and practice in diagnostic techniques, quality assurance, and interpreting and reporting patient results.
Our training lab facility is filled with state-of-the-art equipment so you can be trained on some of the most complex gene-testing instruments available. The laboratory space is divided into a preanalytical room (for DNA and RNA isolation) and a postanalytical room (for PCR, DNA sequencing and viral assays). The techniques you will learn are the very same as those used by forensic labs, research and industry.
If you love working in the lab, are good at hands-on puzzle solving, are interested in something new and unique, or if you just love science, apply to the Molecular Pathology program. Take this opportunity to get in on the ground floor of this exciting new discipline.
Upon successful completion of the one year program, graduates are eligible to sit for the ASCP national certification exam in Molecular Biology, MB (ASCP).
A student admitted into the Molecular Pathology program must meet basic and essential requirements that are necessary to be able to obtain employment.
The TTUHSC Molecular Pathology program culminates in the Master of Science degree in Molecular Pathology. The American Society of Clinical Pathology offers a certification exam in molecular pathology resulting in an MB (ASCP) certificate. Our students consistently score above the national average on external certification exams; the 2013 and 2014 first time pass rate was 100%.
Essential Functions for this program include:
- The student must have adequate gross mobility in order to maneuver in a timely and safe fashion throughout the department.
- The student must be able to lift his or her arms above shoulder height in order to place or remove items of ten pound or less from shelves.
- The student must be able to bend over at the waist or squat (waist and knees) in order to place and remove items of ten pounds or less from drawers and cabinets.
2. Manual Dexterity: The student must have adequate fine motor skills to be able to manipulate small objects in a safe and precise manner. Examples would include (but are not limited to) being able to operate a computer keyboard; dial a telephone; handle cuvettes, sample cups, pipette tips, and reagent vials; pick up glass slides from table top, manipulate tools and instruments used in the clinical laboratory (including a microscope); collect specimens, and use a pen or pencil in order to communicate effectively in writing for coursework and clinical/fieldwork/preceptorship to ensure patient/client safety.
3. Auditory Acuity: The student must be able to hear well enough to respond to significant sounds in a clinical lab. Examples would include (but are not limited to) being able to hear signals generated from instrumentation that may indicate normal operating status, critical sample value, or equipment malfunction, and being able to hear and follow verbal instruction from a coworker or supervisor in order to ensure patient safety. (National Patient Safety Goals)
4. Verbal Communication Skills: The student must be able to orally communicate professionally to persons on the telephone or other health care workers listening specifically to the student in person to ensure patient safety. (National Patient Safety Goals)
5. Visual Acuity to read, write, discern colors, and use a microscope: The student must have adequate eyesight such that he/she can recognize and distinguish gradients of color (such as on an ELISA assay), read numbers and words either on a video display screen, computer printout, or legible handwriting, and interpret lines and points on graphs and charts to ensure patient safety.
6. Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative, and Quality Skills: The student must possess the ability to develop and exhibit organizational problem solving skills. Specifically, the student must have the ability to measure, calculate, analyze, interpret, synthesize and evaluate data in a short period of time; have the ability to learn to perform duties and assignments in a timely manner while under stress in a variety of settings; exhibit the maturity to accept feedback and demonstrate professional conduct in the classroom, laboratory, and at the preceptorship site.
7. Social Behavior Skills: Demonstrate respect for individual, social, and cultural differences in fellow students, faculty, staff, patients, clients, and patients'/clients' families during clinical/fieldwork/ preceptorship/ and academic interactions. Demonstrate flexibility and the ability to adjust to changing situations and uncertainty in academic and clinical/fieldwork/preceptorship situations. Conduct oneself in an ethical and legal manner, demonstrating honesty, integrity, and professionalism in all interactions and situations.
Students are required to own or have access to a laptop computer for use in the classroom. Laptops are suggested to have a minimum of 1 GB Shared DDR2 SDRAM, 60 GB hard drive and have wireless capabilities.
The Molecular Pathology Program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS), 5600 N. River Rd, Suite 720, Rosemont, IL 60018 Info@naacls.org / www.naacls.org
The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, masters, doctoral, and professional degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097, or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. The commission should be contacted only if there is evidence that appears to support the institution's significant non-
compliance with a requirement standard.
A member of the Texas Tech University System, TTUHSC has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges as a separate institution from Texas Tech University since 2004. TTUHSC received its reaffirmation of accreditation from SACSCOC in 2009. The next reaffirmation is scheduled for 2019.