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Clinical Microbiology

The scope of the Clinical Microbiology Service (CMS) under Dr. Preeti Pancholi (Director) and Dr. Joan-Miquel Balada-Llasat (Associate Director) is to provide timely and accurate medically necessary tests to aid in the evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases. CMS encompasses bacteriology, mycobacteriology, mycology, parasitology and molecular microbiology. The CMS is a highly complex discipline that uses cutting edge technologies and plays a pivotal role as an essential member of multidisciplinary clinical teams.

The CMS mission is multifaceted and focuses on the following: 1) practice evidence based laboratory medicine; 2) expand rapid technology to detect pathogens to impact optimal patient management; 3) participate in surveillance to plan and execute epidemiological investigations; 4) participate in Antimicrobial Stewardship initiatives including antibiograms to minimize the spread of antibiotic resistant pathogens. With the implementation of rapid tests and quick communication to clinicians we are providing a positive impact in improving not only patient management but also to rapidly institute isolation measures. Besides patient testing, our laboratory is also certified as a regional testing center by the CDC to monitor the presence of Legionella spp. in environmental samples.

The CMS is located at the University Hospitals main and University Hospitals East. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we expanded our operations to include large scale COVID testing platforms at the Davis Heart and Lung Institute and the Biomedical Research Tower. CMS employs over 60 medical laboratory technicians and administrative support staff. CMS also serves as a reference laboratory for outside clients.


The CMS actively participates in Medical Laboratory Science, Laboratory Medicine Master of Science, Clinical Pathology Residency and Infectious Diseases Fellowship training programs. Besides hands on training, we participate in scholarly activities and teaching rounds.


The CMS participates in numerous lines of research (NIH, CDC) and industry-sponsored clinical trials. Participation in these studies contribute towards advancement of science and allows early access to new diagnostic tests, which keeps us at the forefront of the field.