Bureau of Laboratories
Dongxiang Xia, MD, PhD, D(ABMM), SV(ASCP)
James R. Lute, PhD
Assistant Bureau Director
provide clinical laboratory testing, advice, consultation and quality assurance
standards to all who require or deliver medical diagnostic services; to assure
services are accurate, timely, state-of-the-art, cost effective, and delivered
in a responsive and courteous manner.
Bureau of Laboratories operates the state public health lab and regulates
clinical laboratories serving the citizens of Pennsylvania. The laboratory
supports disease prevention through the provision of investigatory, diagnostic,
and confirmatory testing for both infectious and non-infectious diseases.
Routine testing provides information necessary for patient care and aids in
monitoring ongoing public health concerns in Pennsylvania.
Bureau of Laboratories is composed of the following three divisions:
The Division of Chemistry and Toxicology works with various state and private agencies to monitor lead levels in children, oversees the Pennsylvania Newborn Screening Testing Program for inherited metabolic disorders, administers toxicology proficiency testing and performs alcohol and drug testing on persons involved in fatal traffic accidents. The division also tests clinical specimens and environmental samples to determine possible exposure to chemical agents potentially used in a terrorist event.
Lisa Dettinger, MT(ASCP)
Division of Clinical Microbiology performs bacteriology, virology and
mycobacteriology testing for HIV, influenza, Lyme disease, tuberculosis,
foodborne outbreak investigations, meningitis, West Nile encephalitis,
Legionnaires' disease, rabies, sexually transmitted diseases and other
conditions of public health significance.
Debra Tyler, BS, MT(ASCP), MPH
Division of Laboratory Improvement implements state and federal laboratory
licensure laws, which apply to Pennsylvania's over 9,000 clinical laboratories.
On-site inspections, proficiency assessment and personnel training are utilized
to ensure laboratories generate accurate and reliable results. The division also collects data regarding the testing of sexual assault evidence as required by the Pennsylvania Sexual Assault Testing and Evidence Collection Act. Further information on the implementation of that Act is available here.
Frequently Asked Questions
is the Bureau of Laboratories and what are its hours of operation?
bureau is located in Exton, Pennsylvania, approximately 30 miles west of
Philadelphia and two and a half miles south of Exit 312 of the Pennsylvania
Turnpike. Its normal hours of operation are 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM, Monday
through Friday. There is 24-hour-a-day, seven-days-a-week coverage for critical
tests such as rabies and for response to public health emergencies.
do I know what testing is available at the Bureau of Laboratories?
Is testing available to the general public?
Most of the testing done at the bureau is coordinated through the Department of
Health's state health centers, epidemiologists, individual public health programs
or local health departments and is not available to the general public. You can
call the bureau with questions and will be referred to the appropriate
Department of Health office. See the Division of Chemistry and Toxicology
and the Division of Clinical Microbiology Contact Information documents
The public may submit animals for rabies testing when a human being has been
exposed to an animal that may have rabies. See the Rabies page
do I obtain a copy of the Bureau of Laboratories' CLIA certificate?
image of the bureau's current CLIA certificate, which includes its CLIA number,
is available here.
do I find out if the laboratory that is performing my test is reliable?
bureau can tell you whether a laboratory is licensed and in good standing under
the state and federal regulations. More detailed information about a
laboratory's most recent inspection is available but we ask that you make a
formal, written request to examine the files.
How do I get a copy of my laboratory results?
always best to work with your physician in obtaining and interpreting
laboratory results. However, you may request a copy of your results from the
laboratory that performed the test. The laboratory will usually ask you to
submit your request in writing.
What should I do if I have a problem with a laboratory?
you are concerned about the quality of laboratory testing, or about a safety
issue, call the bureau to file a complaint. All complaints are investigated.
How do I obtain more information about Association of Public Health Laboratories