Last Updated on Thursday, 16 August 2007 08:53 Written by Diane Johnson Thursday, 12 July 2007 08:24
Diane Johnson, Pfizer on the new -80 system
The need, capacity and design of a unique -20ËšC/-80ËšC combined automated REMP store for biofluid samples will be presented.
The refrigeration design is novel and based on a system developed by Pfizer together with Environmental Specialties Inc. (ESI) for centralized -80°C long-term freezers. REMP has designed unique door access and robot access from a -20°C compartment into the -80°C freezers. A constraint of +/-5°C was imposed on all -80°C operations. The practical impact of this constraint on operational processes will be discussed. Several aspects of the most critical component, the Luwa Environmental Specialties (ESI) cascade freezer systems will be recounted with emphasis on redundancy specifications. Performance data for the operational systems will be discussed to illustrate the time constraints required to remain within the +/- 5°C specification. This aspect has required new REMP software incorporating a novel algorithm for optimal access to the multiple freezers to fulfill a single order across multiple storage racks. Furthermore a specific loading algorithm has been added to ensure all samples are loaded from the bottom of freezers to maximize sample cooling in partial freezers.
DNA samples will be stored in the -20°C compartment that is a standard REMP store. DNA samples will thawed and refrozen after each access and will be in the proprietary REMP 96-well 900ul tubes. Individual samples will be replaced in their original locations to prevent store fragmentation. In contrast biofluid samples will be in the same tubes but heat-sealed and used as single use samples to minimize freeze/thaw cycles.
The timelines for design, manufacture, and installation, will be presented. A number of functionalities that were developed for the earlier REMP stores and their reuse will be discussed, together with the rationale for a partial FAT at Oberdiessbach will be presented with respect to reduced time and cost versus potential issues.
Diane's research has centered in the field of Drug Metabolism, Laboratory Automation, High Throughput Technologies and Material Management during her career at Pfizer Global Research & Development. Currently she is the Head of Pfizer's DNA & BioFluids Center of Emphasis at Kings Heights Technology Center in Groton, CT.
During the past 30 years she has been a member of drug discovery research teams dedicated to the development of Bonine (for the management of nausea), Feldene (for the treatment of arthritis), Minipress (for control of blood pressure), Norvasc (for treating angina and hypertension), Viagra (for the treatment of male impotence), Zithromax (once-a-day oral antibiotic) and Zoloft (once-a-day antidepressant). Diane has authored and technically contributed to 9 peer reviewed scientific publications. She is currently a member of The Society of Biomolecular Screening, The Laboratory Robotics Interest Group and The Association of Laboratory Automation. Diane has been featured in articles in "Chemistry"(1993) and the Mettler Toledo world wide internal magazine "Today "(2001).
During 2000, Diane was awarded the Pfizer Central Research Achievement Award for her focus, teamwork, determination and initiative in conceiving and developing a novel automation system and mathematical algorithms for high-throughput in vitro predictions of clinical drug-drug interactions.
Additionally, Diane serves as a role model for Women in Technology, a program at the Community College of Rhode Island committed to helping women and minorities to understand more fully the opportunities that are available in technology related programs of study.