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Research impact

In March 2020, the University of Glasgow responded to the emerging Covid-19 crisis by establishing the UK’s biggest coronavirus testing centre. 
The Lighthouse Laboratory, located on the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Campus, is one of the largest academic-run diagnostic facilities in the world, and has processed more than 25 million COVID-19 tests since opening in April 2020. 
To develop the facility, the University worked with the drug discovery service company BioAscent and the University of Dundee’s Drug Discovery Unit, whose experience of high-throughput compound screening was translated to develop high-throughput clinical testing. 
Since May 2020, The Lighthouse has worked with BioClavis, a company based in the University’s Clinical Innovation Zone, to bring industry-standard processes and efficiencies, including the use of robotics, and support for the sequencing of Covid variants. 
Working in partnership is at the heart of the success of the Lighthouse, enabling UKAS accreditation to be secured and capacity to be increased to 105,000 tests a day. The turnaround times for sample analysis are amongst the best in the UK. 
The Lighthouse Lab has created over 800 jobs with many people being upskilled and retrained from sectors that faced high unemployment. The Lab also provides valuable industry-facing experience and is creating a pipeline of highly trained staff for the life sciences industry. 

By providing COVID analysis and helping to ensure everyone who needs a test can get one the Glasgow Lighthouse Lab has been a light in dark times. Testing remains a vital part of the UK’s response to COVID-19 as the country cautiously eases out of strict restrictions.