The Rapid COVID-19 lab results that New York City needs.

As New York City reopens, we need fast, accurate, and widespread testing. Pandemic Response Lab is using robotics and automation to make that a reality.

An Innovative Solution

Sustained COVID-19 suppression requires widespread testing and rapid results. But right now, many samples are processed by hand or with out-of-date technology, slowing the return of results, and limiting their effectiveness. Using world-renowned scientific and automation expertise, PRL automates this lab work, returning results to testing facilities and New Yorkers within 24 hours.

State-of-the-Art Lab

PRL receives test samples from a network of public and private hospitals, clinics, and other testing facilities. From there, automated assembly lines of robots conduct standard RT-qPCR assay analyses on as many as 30,000 samples each day. Those results are quickly returned to testing facilities, improving New York City’s ability to suppress the virus and care for those infected.

What We Do

Based at the Alexandria Center for Life Science in Manhattan, PRL is led by a team of experts in genetics, clinical diagnostics, and robotics. The state-of-the-art facility uses know-how and technology licensed from NYU Langone based on research led by Dr. Jef Boeke. The lab has automated the world’s “gold standard” testing process to help New Yorkers get their results faster.

Team Members

Jon BadalJon Badal with a mask

Jon Brennan-Badal

CEO

Jon is currently the CEO of Opentrons, a pioneer of affordable laboratory automation. Prior to his current role, he was the VP of Strategy at comiXology, a successful digital media company that was acquired by Amazon.

Raymond MillerRaymond Miller Masked

R. Miller

General Manager

R. Miller brings 40 years of experience in clinical diagnostics, having served in senior management positions at Quest Diagnostics, Northwell Health Systems, and Laboratory Corporation of America. Most recently, he served as Vice President and Managing Executive of the New York Metro Sub-Division for LabCorp’s Northeast Division.

CJ EnerCJ Ener with a mask

CJ Ener

COO

CJ is trained as a chemical engineer and brings a decade of experience in operations and process development from 3M Company, Target Corporate, and McKinsey & Company.

Haiping HaoHaiping Hao Masked

Dr. Haiping Hao

Director of Laboratory Operations

Dr. Hao has spent nearly 20 years running high-throughput genomic laboratories, serving as Associate Director at Johns Hopkins University Transcriptomics and Deep Sequencing Core.

Maria RientonMaria Rienton Masked

Maria Rienton, MHA, CLT

Senior Shift Manager

Ms. Rienton is a veteran lab manager and technical supervisor with extensive experience in clinical operations, administration, and staff management.

Chiraag PatelChiraag Patel Masked

Dr. Chiraag Patel, MD

Medical Director

Dr. Patel brings experience as a medical director focused on molecular virology from P4 Diagnostix, as well as experience in diagnostics, vaccine research, and pathology from the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services, FDA Office of Vaccine Research, and Stony Brook Medicine. Dr. Patel obtained his MBA from Columbia Business School.

Nili OstrovNili Ostrov Masked

Dr. Nili Ostrov, PhD

R&D Lead

Dr. Ostrov is a synthetic biologist with expertise in microbial genetics. Most recently in the lab of Dr. George Church at Harvard Medical School, she has extensive experience in developing methods for large-scale genetic engineering.

Peter Jung, MSc, MBA, C(ASCP)CM, MT-P(AAB)

Safety Officer

Peter has 20+ years working in commercial, reference, and hospital-based laboratories. He has worked as section manager and laboratory director for several hospitals in New York City – Bellevue, Brooklyn Hospital, and Lincoln Medical Center. He has extensive experience developing safety and emergency planning policies and procedures, including maintaining ongoing operations at Bellevue Hospital’s chemistry lab during Hurricane Sandy and assisting with emergency testing workflows for Zika at Lincoln Medical Center.

Paolo MitaPaolo Mita with a mask

Dr. Paolo Mita, PhD

Lead Scientist

Dr. Mita is a scientist focused on using cutting edge genomics techniques to study complex cellular behavior. After obtaining a joint Doctorate from the University of Milan and NYU Sackler School of Medicine, he co-developed the high-throughput analytical pipeline at the core of PRL’s diagnostic pipeline first at John-Hopkins University and then at NYU Langone Health.

Jon LaurentJon Laurent with a mask

Dr. Jon Laurent, PhD

R&D Director

Dr. Laurent brings nearly a decade of experience in high-throughput genetics experimentation from both the University of Texas at Austin and NYU Langone Health. He was instrumental in developing the highly-automated analytical genomics pipeline that is at the core of PRL’s COVID-19 diagnostic system.

Andrew MartinAndrew Martin with a mask

Andrew Martin, MS

Lead Automation Engineer

Andrew has nearly 20 years of experience managing high-throughput genetics cores, first at the University of Notre Dame, and then Scripps Research Institute, John Hopkins University, and most recently NYU Langone Health. He has intensive experience with a wide range of state-of-the-art laboratory automation technologies, and is responsible for millions of successful automated genotyping experiments on robotic systems he has orchestrated.

Henry LeeDr. Henry Lee with a mask

Dr. Henry Lee, PhD

Lead Scientist

Dr. Henry Lee is a biomedical engineer with expertise in systems and synthetic biology. He was previously a Research Associate with George Church at the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and the Wyss Institute. He operates at the digital-to-bio interface, developing customized solutions for molecular technologies at scale.

Scientific Advisory Board

Jef BoekeJef Boeke

Jef Boeke

Scientific Advisory Board – Chair

Jef Boeke, Ph.D., elucidated a major form of DNA movement in the genome, whereby specific DNA regions called retrotransposons move via their RNA, and coined the term retrotransposition to describe the process. He has innovated extensively in tech/dev and biotech. He leads an international team synthesizing the highly engineered genome of the first synthetic eukaryote, Yeast 2.0. Since 2017, he has led the “Dark Matter Project,” which uses Big DNA tech to unravel the mechanisms by which genes get turned on and off. During the pandemic, research in his lab at NYU Langone Health led to the highly automated RT-PCR workflow and software technology licensed by NYU Langone to PRL, who then developed it to a clinically-approved testing platform. He has led several large multicomponent NIH, DARPA and NSF awards. In 2014, after 28 years at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, he relocated to New York and founded the Institute for Systems Genetics at NYU Langone Health. Dr. Boeke is the chair of PRL’s Scientific Advisory Board and is a Member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and the American Academy of Microbiology.

Peter Palese

Peter Palese

Scientific Advisory Board

Peter Palese is a Professor of Microbiology and the Chair of the Department of Microbiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Dr. Palese’s research focuses on RNA-containing viruses, including influenza. He is a pioneer in reverse genetics for negative strand RNA viruses, crucial for the investigation of viral pathogenicity and development of novel vaccines. In recent years, Dr. Palese and his collaborators at Mount Sinai have focused on developing a Universal Influenza Virus Vaccine. Dr. Palese is a Member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Member of the National Academy of Medicine, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

Orly Ardon

Orly Ardon

SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY BOARD

Orly Ardon, Ph.D., MBA, is the Science Manager for Digital Pathology Diagnostics at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s Pathology Department. Before that, she was heading the development of novel computer assisted diagnostic tools and the expansion of digital pathology collaborative initiatives at ARUP Laboratories in Salt Lake City, Utah. Orly combined her extensive scientific and business experience to identify and develop new machine learning based digital imaging and automation tools for state-of-the-art clinical operations and for improved patient care. Orly has BS, MS, and Ph.D. degrees in Microbiology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and postdoctoral training in cell biology and virology at the University of Utah. She also has an Executive MBA from the University of Utah.

Michael Glickman

Michael Glickman

Scientific Advisory Board

Michael S. Glickman MD is a Member in the Immunology Program of the Sloan Kettering Institute, an Attending Physician in Infectious Diseases at Memorial Hospital, and an Alfred Sloan Chair at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK), where he directs the Center for Experimental Immuno-oncology. Dr. Glickman’s research focuses of the pathogenesis of mycobacterial infections and the interaction of microbes with cancer cells. Dr. Glickman is a graduate of Dartmouth College, an AOA graduate of Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, completed internal medicine clinical training at the Massachusetts General Hospital of Harvard Medical School, and completed Infectious Diseases clinical training at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center.

Chris Mason

Chris Mason

Scientific Advisory Board

Dr. Christopher Mason is an Associate Professor of Genomics, Physiology, and Biophysics at Weill Cornell Medicine and the Director of the WorldQuant Initiative for Quantitative Prediction. The Mason laboratory develops new biochemical and computational methods to elucidate the genetic basis of human disease and create techniques in next-generation sequencing and algorithms for tumor evolution, genome evolution, DNA and RNA modifications, and genome/epigenome engineering. Dr. Mason has won the NIH’s Transformative R01 Award and the NASA Group Achievement Award. He earned his Ph.D. in Genetics at Yale University and Post-doc in Clinical Genetics at Yale Medical School.

Leslie Mitchell

Leslie Mitchell

Scientific Advisory Board

Leslie Mitchell is co-founder of Neochromosome, Inc., a biotech startup whose chromosome synthesis and engineering technologies are changing the world of synthetic biology. Leslie has worked extensively on chromosome and genome engineering in both yeast and mammalian systems and helped lead the international Synthetic Yeast Genome Project, Sc2.0, aiming to build a designer yeast genome from scratch. Leslie completed her Ph.D. at the University of Ottawa and a postdoc that started at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and ended at New York University Langone Health.

Rahul Satija

Rahul Satija

Scientific Advisory Board

Rahul Satija, PhD, is a Core Faculty Member at the New York Genome Center (NYGC), with a joint appointment as Associate Professor at the Center for Genomics and Systems Biology at New York University (NYU). His lab develops experimental and computational methods to interpret the molecular contents of complex tissues and single cells. He received an NIH New Innovator Award in 2016, and in 2020 was selected to direct an NIH Center for Excellence in Genomic Science. Rahul holds a BS degree in Biology and Music from Duke University, and obtained his PhD in Statistics from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar.

Quick Facts

Fast Icon

Fast
Results in
24 hours

Chart Icon

Scalable
30,000 New York
City lab results
each day

Target Icon

Highly Sensitive
Can detect trace amounts of the virus
(limit of detection is 0.2 viral copies / µl)

PRL NYC Roadmap

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What COVID-19 analyses are you running at the lab?

    We run the “gold standard” RT-qPCR diagnostic test to detect SARS-CoV-2. We do not run analysis on antibody test samples.

  • Can I be tested for COVID-19 on-site?

    No. We do not collect samples directly from patients. We analyze samples collected from testing sites.
  • How long does it take to get results?

    Lab results are processed and delivered to testing facilities within 24 hours.

  • Can I get my results directly from the lab?

    No. You receive your results from your testing facility.

  • How many tests can the lab run each day?

    The lab can process 30,000 results per day when running at full capacity.

  • What certifications does the lab have?

    The lab has received federal CLIA certification and New York State CLEP approval.

  • What testing sites use the lab?

    A wide network of public and private hospitals, clinics, and testing facilities use the PRL to analyze samples.

  • I need a COVID-19 test. Where do I go?

    Information on testing facilities can be found here.

  • Who runs the lab? Who owns it?

    PRL is run by a group of experts in genetics, clinical diagnostics, and robotics. PRL is a subsidiary of Opentrons Labworks Inc., a leading automation and robotics company based in Brooklyn.

  • Who is paying for the lab results?

    Testing facilities.

  • I work for a hospital or other testing facility interested in learning more, what should I do?

    Email [email protected] to talk to a specialist.

Contact Us

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For business inquiries, please email us at [email protected].