The Making of a COVID Lab: ASU Biodesign Clinical Testing Laboratory
“The Making of a COVID Lab” represents a multidisciplinary team honors project, the largest ever to be supported by the Barrett Honors College, comprised of 38 students who competed to enter the project in August 2020. The project was conceived and lead by Dr. Carolyn Compton, the Medical Director of the ABCTL, but was team-taught by expert faculty from more than seven different schools, colleges, and institutes across ASU including the School of Life Sciences, the Hugh Downs School of Communications, the Sidney Poitier New American Film School, the WP Carey School of Business, the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, and the ASU Biodesign Institute. The project comprises a detailed academic study of the critical aspects of the establishment, regulatory certification, expansion, and operation of a high-complexity, high-throughput clinical (medical) testing laboratory for the diagnosis of Sars-CoV-2 during the COVID-19 pandemic. The process afforded students a once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunity. In designing the project, the ABCTL was deconstructed into key component elements falling under 6 specific domains: legal and regulatory issues, business operations, scientific and technical solutions, communications challenges, training and management requirements, and information technology solutions. The team of students working in each domain performed extensive research on a specific subtopic relevant to laboratory medicine, in general, and/or the ABCTL, in specific, to become the subject matter expert for the project. The 7th team of students, under the direction of experienced documentary film makers from the ASU faculty and staff were charged with creating a short documentary film intended for a general audience that told the story of the ABCTL, guided by the expertise of their colleagues on the project to assure the veracity of the film subject matter.