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Using an electronic lab notebook at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia


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Using an electronic lab notebook at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

  1. 1. Technology in the Lab:Electronic Lab Notebooks A brief case study Jeff Roizen MD PhD The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  2. 2. Roadmap• Background – My goals and my (brief) lab history• What you need in a lab notebook (un-belabored).• What I have done with eCAT
  3. 3. Goals/Objectives• Overview of my science ->how I came to an ELN• Outline of needs for ELN• Describe my workflow• Avoid too many screen shots
  4. 4. My (brief) lab history 2 1.8 1.6• Currently 1.4 1.2 1 control 0.8 obese 0.6 0.4 0.2 – Basic research on 0 13 week 15 week 21 week 24 week • 25OHD and obesity and aging • Diabetes and the brain – Translational research on • 25OHD and the polymorphisms in the 25 hydroxylase – Clinical research on • Albrights Hereditary Osteodystrophy, obesity and resting energy expenditure
  5. 5. My initial approach to organizization• “Clutter is death” – Randy Pausch• Several notebooks• Data waiting to go into notebook (unanalyzed)• Data analyzed and waiting to go into notebook• This leads to
  6. 6. The paperless lab• A lab notebook needs – To allow others to repeat or continue your work.• To record immutably – Purpose – How and when – Materials used – Results – Where the originals (reagents, pics) are Butler D. Electronic notebooks: A new leaf. Nature. Nature Publishing Group; 2005Jul.7;436(7047):20–1.
  7. 7. The next iteration• A scanner• A smartpen and a notebook• An electronic lab notebook (an ELN - eCAT)
  8. 8. What I need and want• Multiple platforms – Mac and Windows• Editable anywhere – Our lab, the next lab, home.• Attach everything for one expt to one file. – refs, results, reagents, sample locations• Templatable• Can do calculations• Searchable• Push me to work (enable planning)• Auditable
  9. 9. The paperless lab: eCAT• Templatable – My template for a protocol – My western protocol made using that template – Within my western protocol there is a link to a folder (on their server) with my western spreadsheet template.
  10. 10. Workflow• Plan • Mtg or not – • Assign myself tasks• Protocol template• Expt template • Link to spreadsheet • Link to protocol • Link to references• Record
  11. 11. Inventory• Sample and aloquat management• Can generate locations and sublocations (with pics)• Can create different sets of information templates for different kinds of samples• Can link to from experiments• Can print Barcodes to label tubes
  12. 12. Work back for PI or next researcher• Searchable – Can limit search by type of record or kind of sample• Can share a project (and sub- experiments and sub-samples) with whoever you prefer• Printable• Auditable• Online user guide ( has videos for anything you might want to do)
  13. 13. Conclusion:• We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. –Bill Gates Giles J. Going paperless: The digital lab. Nature. 2012Jan.26;:430–1.