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Robert L. Glaser, Ph.D.
Robert L. Glaser, Ph.D.
The Division of Laboratory Operations oversees the Wadsworth Center's operations at five facilities in the Albany area, totaling ~900,000 square feet of space and over 210 acres of real estate. The facilities include:
- Biggs Laboratory at the Empire State Plaza
- David Axelrod Institute for Public Health on New Scotland Avenue in Albany
- Griffin Laboratories in Guilderland
- Center for Medical Science on New Scotland Avenue in Albany
- Division of Laboratory Quality Certification in Albany
The Division provides services that support all the public health missions of the Wadsworth Center, including clinical and environmental testing, research, education, and regulatory oversight. The Division is comprised of the following programs:
- Facilities Management – engineering, maintenance, and custodial services; transportation services between facilities; instrumentation and automation services for the maintenance and repair of scientific equipment.
- Information Technology – hardware, software, network, and web services.
- Dickerman Library – largest biomedical research library in the Capital District serving NYS Dept. of Health, Wadsworth Center, and affiliated students and intra-library loan patrons.
- Safety Office – ensure safe, healthy work environment; mitigate work place risks and hazards; compliance with applicable state and federal rules, laws, regulations; programs in biosafety, chemical, fire, occupational, environmental and radiation safety; laboratory inspections; accident, incident investigations and follow-up.
- Veterinary Sciences – oversees the Center's AAALAC-accredited laboratory animal research facilities and provides regulatory oversight of animal research facilities statewide.
- Mail, Receiving and Asset Management – receiving and ship out of mail, supplies and equipment; management of the Center's inventory of scientific and non-scientific equipment and instrumentation.
- Glassware – glassware services to the Center's public health and research laboratories.
- State Order Desk - coordinate the assembly and ship out of diagnostic sampling kits to members of the health care community in need of public health testing services.
Dr. Glaser joined the Wadsworth Center in 1993 as a research scientist with training and expertise in the areas of medical entomology and insect genetics. His primary research focus was to elucidate how genetic variation in mosquitoes modifies a mosquito's ability to transmit viral diseases, primarily studying Culex mosquitoes and West Nile virus. Other areas of research interest that Dr. Glaser has pursued using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model system include the function of histone variants in control of transcription and DNA repair, and the role of the lysosomal enzymes in the etiology of Batten Disease, a genetic neurodegenerative disease of children. Dr. Glaser was also an active member of the Department of Biomedical Sciences in the School of Public Health at the University at Albany prior to becoming Division Director.
Dr. Glaser has served on a wide variety of Wadsworth Center committees over the years, notable among them as Chair of the Center's Institutional Biosafety Committee since 1997. In this context, in addition to managing the Biosafety Committee's role in providing oversight of biosafety-related issues for the Center, Dr. Glaser also established protocols for compliance oversight of Wadsworth Center research involving recombinant DNA methodologies and dual-use agents, as well as formalizing review and oversight of laboratory biosafety plans for programs working in high-containment BSL-3 labs.
As Director of Lab Operations, Dr. Glaser provides overall programmatic, staffing, and budgetary guidance and direction to all programs within the Division, ensuring that Lab Operations provides the best possible support services to all the Center's programs, so they, in turn, can be successful in achieving their goals in protecting and improving public health.