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Introduction to the Applied Microbiology Services Laboratory (AMSL)

The AMSL was established by the Infectious Diseases Institute in the spring of 2020 to offer cutting-edge collaborative microbiological services to on- and off- campus partners. To address the COVID-19 pandemic, the AMSL gained federal accreditation for diagnostic testing (CLIA) and built a 5,000 sq. ft. laboratory that was staffed with a workforce of 90 scientists. The AMSL has performed over 850,000 diagnostic PCR tests, to date, and produced over 10,000 full SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences from clinical and environmental samples as part of the campus pandemic monitoring program and the State of Ohio’s Public Health surveillance network. Post-pandemic, the AMSL is committed to diagnostic testing and research in microbial analyses and disease surveillance, such as tick and vector-borne disease sample testing, wastewater monitoring, clinical sample diagnostics, and large-scale metagenomics/multi-omics projects. The AMSL is equipped with 15 biosafety cabinets for infectious sample handling at BSL1/2, four clean bench molecular work stations, 20 quantitative multicolor thermal cyclers, two DNA/ RNA extraction robots (Promega Maxwell and Hamilton STAR), two liquid handlers (Biomek) for sequence library preparation, a NextSeq2000 sequencer, and metagenomic/microbial analysis pipelines built out in partnership with the Ohio State University Center of Microbiome Science, Amazon Web Services and the Ohio Supercomputer Center.


  • Metagenomic analysis of complex microbial environments, including plant, animal, human, and environment.
  • Growing list of bioinformatic tools to analyze high density data from metagenomics to identify microbial species and genes.
  • Pathogen identification and environmental screening.
  • Whole genome analysis of virus, bacteria, and fungal isolates.
  • SARS-CoV-2 and other human viral pathogen analysis, databasing, and phylogenetic analysis.

Product Development

  • Disinfection efficacy studies for antimicrobial and antiviral materials, compounds, and liquid formulations.
  • Performance evaluation of prototypes, protocols, and materials targeting decontamination or inactivation of microbes using various standard ISO or ASTM methods - ozone, UV, heat, chemical, etc.
  • Iterative lab testing for product development – automotive materials, consumer products, material additives, etc.
  • Laboratory protocol evaluation and/or development, e.g., EPA regulated chemicals, FDA regulated diagnostic testing.

Operations and Scale-Up

  • Lab operation scale-up – assist with moving new test(s) or process(es) from a research lab to commercial lab operation.
  • Consulting on lab start-up - lab construction/renovation, workflow, and operations


  • Collection of 23,000 bacillus, bacillus phage and plasmids – strains used for probiotics, high-heat/pressure medical or laboratory equipment calibration, industrial production, and environmental studies.

Infectious Organism Handling

  • Facilities - Biosafety level 1 and 2 laboratories equipped to work with bacteria, fungi and viruses. Currently working with surrogate pathogens for Influenza, SARS-2, antibiotic resistant bacteria and various other bacteria and fungi.
  • Capable of performing BSL1 & 2 bacterial, fungal and viral field studies.

Contact Us


Director- Seth Faith, Ph.D.

Located: Biological Sciences Building

484 W. 12th Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43210