Dedicated lab and research facilities

The Department of Research & Evaluation has dedicated facilities and laboratory resources to support our research studies. Our facilities include clinical research centers in Pasadena and Los Angeles and a research biospecimen processing and storage center in North Hollywood.

Clinical Research Centers

The Kaiser Permanente Clinical Research Centers are dedicated spaces investigators and project staff can use to perform a variety of research study work, from collecting and processing biological specimens to performing non-invasive clinical assessments for research purposes.

The Marilyn Owsley Clinical Research Center at the Research & Evaluation offices in Pasadena includes:

  • a reception and waiting area
  • 2 fully equipped examination rooms
  • an interview/recruitment room
  • a meeting room for conferences and focus groups
  • a secured room for specimen processing and storage that includes:
    • 1 seismically-braced sub-80°C freezer and an additional sub-80°C freezer for contingency/business continuity
    • specimen refrigerator
    • centrifuges
    • dedicated air conditioning unit
  • an all-gender restroom

The Kaiser Permanente Clinical Research Center at Los Angeles Medical Center provides expanded opportunities to bring groundbreaking clinical research to Kaiser Permanente Southern California members locally. It includes:

  • 2 exam rooms
  • 8 dedicated staff workstations
  • a patient waiting area
  • a nursing station with 5 “hotel” workstations
  • a specimen collection area
  • a specimen refrigerator
  • secure medication refrigerator
  • 3 all-gender restrooms
  • a break room
  • a study equipment and supply room
  • special printers customized for research

Research biospecimen processing and storage center

The department has a dedicated sample processing and storage center at the Sherman Way Regional Laboratory in North Hollywood. The facility has 8 sub-80°C freezers and sufficient capacity to accommodate up to 10.

Equipment currently includes:

  • an automated pipetting system to automate the aliquoting of samples
  • 1 large (refrigerated) and 1 medium centrifuge
  • 2 upright refrigerators
  • a portable biologic hood
  • 3 workstations
  • a multi-purpose printer/scanner/copier machine
  • other general laboratory supplies

Researchers also have access to 3 contingency freezers at the Chino Hills Regional Reference Laboratory. This provides optional storage for back-up aliquots at the Sherman Way facilities, protecting samples in the event of a catastrophic event.

The freezers at both lab locations and in Pasadena are equipped with a remote temperature monitoring system that can be set to send alert notifications via phone calls so that research staff can be notified of real-time status of the freezers and current room temperature.

Research orders for labs

Research projects can utilize existing research orders within Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect® for laboratory samples that will be used for research purposes. Placing the orders in our electronic health record makes it possible for members to go to a lab at any Kaiser Permanente Southern California facility to have blood samples or other lab services performed.

Samples are then routed to the Regional Reference Laboratory and to our research processing and storage facilities. In the case of samples collected for the Kaiser Permanente Research Bank, samples are routed to Kaiser Permanente’s national biobank in Berkeley, California.

Regional Reference Laboratories

The Regional Reference Laboratories is a sophisticated clinical laboratory management system that interfaces with Kaiser Permanente’s medical centers and medical office buildings. The Sherman Way Regional Laboratories and Chino Hills Regional Reference Laboratories share responsibility for testing and analyzing approximately 60,000 samples a day collected at clinical laboratories at medical centers and office buildings across Kaiser Permanente Southern California. All laboratories undergo routine quality checks to meet or surpass accrediting body specifications.