Dedicated lab and research facilities

The Department of Research & Evaluation has dedicated facilities and laboratory resources to support our research studies. The Clinical Research Center is located at our main offices in Pasadena, California. We also have a biospecimen storage and processing unit in North Hollywood.

Clinical Research Center

The Clinical Research Center is a dedicated space 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 center 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 a
    sub-80°C freezer, refrigerator, centrifuges, and a dedicated air conditioning unit
  • an additional sub-80°C freezer for contingency/business continuity
  • seismic bracing on equipment for earthquake preparedness consistent with
    Regional Reference Laboratories
  • an all-gender restroom

Research biospecimen processing and storage center

The department has a dedicated sample processing and storage center. The facility has 6 sub-80°C freezers and sufficient capacity to accommodate up to 10.

Equipment currently includes:

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

Researchers also have access to 2 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 create 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.