Nobel Prize Lab Uses Freezerworks to Manage Dendritic Cell Research

A Spotlight on the Laboratory of Cellular Physiology and Immunology at the Rockefeller University

By Rick Michels

June 7, 2013

“Perhaps my favorite thing about Freezerworks is that I spend less time working on weekends and more time with my wife and dogs.”James Pring

James Pring
Co-Facilities Manager
Steinman Lab at Rockefeller University

Founded by Nobel Laureate Dr. Ralph Steinman, the discoverer of dendritic cells, the Laboratory of Cellular Physiology and Immunology at the Rockefeller University in New York City works to further understand the nature of the immune system and how it relates to dendritic cells. In order to accomplish their goal of using this information to produce real-world benefits, researchers here are currently running a proof-of-concept trial that target antigens within antibodies of dendritic cells in vivo as well as 3 adjuvant trials.

James Pring, Senior Co-Facilities Manager of the Clinical Trials, is responsible for overseeing all clinical trial samples from the time they leave the patient until they enter the liquid nitrogen freezer and are sent out for research. With over tens of thousands sample aliquots and many collaborators, both domestic and international, the lab is constantly shipping and receiving samples. Pring appreciates the time and energy he saves with the Freezerworks Shipping Module.

Pring ticked off a list of ways that Freezerworks has specifically improved the lab workflow in sample management. These include:

Powerful search tools: “If there is a question of how many samples remain, for a given set of parameters, it is easy to use the customizable search tools to quickly provide an accurate answer to the number of aliquots and their locations.”

Streamlined shipping management: “When shipping samples to collaborators, I am able to quickly generate a custom manifest with any relevant information in mere minutes, as opposed to laborious manual entry into a spreadsheet. We also use the ‘box picture’ functionality to provide a visual representation of the samples that we have shipped to them.”

‘Did we send X samples to Y collaborator?’ In minutes I can determine not only if we did, but when they were shipped and even the order they were shipped in.”

Passing Inspections: “During clinical monitoring of our clinical trial facility, inspectors have stated that ‘You are the only lab I ever come to that knows precisely where everything is. You let me see the samples of interest in seconds, not the week that many labs require.’ As the one in charge of ensuring we pass such inspections, this is a source of great pride for me.”

Intuitive: “Freezerworks is intuitive. When my colleague, Popi Sarma, joined our facility, she was quickly able to get up to speed on Freezerworks and the custom security level means that any new user can’t get into too much trouble. This means less time training people and more time generating results.”

Flexible: “As trials start, modifications can be made to incorporate relevant data. I have no programming experience and none was needed to add a User Defined Field (UDF) as needed.”

Training and Support: I was initially daunted by the thick manual, but the training videos that were readily available were able to quickly part the mists of confusion and allow us to sail into the calm waters of organization. Any questions that I was unable to determine the answer to were always readily assisted with by someone from the Freezerworks support team.”

On Freezerworks as a whole, Pring says, “Freezerworks is amazing. Freezerworks makes me look good, speeds up work flow and is simply the best inventory software that I have used, either in America or Europe.” Pring describes Freezerworks as “intuitive” and “flexible like a gymnast”.

Pring concluded, “Perhaps my favorite thing about Freezerworks is that I spend less time working on weekends and more time with my wife and dogs.”

Learn more about the Laboratory of Cellular Physiology and Immunology at the Rockefeller University here.