Coronavirus Covid-19 Information

The Biochemistry Department provides routine, emergency, and specialist investigations for St James’s Hospital, numerous external healthcare agencies, and a substantial number of general practitioners.

The laboratory processes in the region of 2,500 blood samples daily, amounting to 850,000 patient samples in a year and performs over 8 million tests per annum.

In addition, the Biochemistry Department is an academic department within the Trinity College Dublin Medical School and is also an intrinsic contributor to the training and education of biomedical scientists from Technological University Dublin.

There is an on-call service for urgent work outside normal hours and on weekends and bank holidays.

  • We offer the following services:

    • Routine general biochemical such as renal function, liver function, and bone profiles are currently performed on a cobas modular system
    • Acute biochemical testing includes assays for cardiac markers, for example, TnT and NT-proBNP, as well as CRP and amylase, amongst others
    • Specialised biochemical testing includes assays for a range of endocrine hormones, porphyrins, tumour markers, vitamins, bone turnover markers, lipids, gastrointestinal tests, therapeutic drug monitoring, iron status, HbA1c testing, and urine tests
    • Molecular genetic analysis includes services for hereditary haemochromatosis, acute and cutaneous porphyrias and genetic dyslipidaemias (including familial hypercholesterolaemia)
    • The laboratory also manages an extensive range of point of care testing (POCT) systems in the St James’s Hospital site.
  • The primary source of information for users is the LabMed User Guide.

  • St James’s Hospital’s Biochemistry Department provides specialised testing in endocrine, molecular and non-routine biochemistry for other users by Service Level Agreement (SLA).

    New external hospital users need to contact the Laboratory Manager to set up an SLA.

  • St James’s Hospital’s Biochemistry Department operates via the HealthLink electronic system for GPs, which facilitates electronic ordering and results. Any new GP practice must contact the CPL Quality Manager to sign up to this system. A mobile contact number is required for GPs for the phoning of critical results outside of surgery hours.

  • St James’s Hospital's Biochemistry Department is the de facto national centre for the diagnosis of acute hepatic and cutaneous porphyria. 

    In addition, it provides a genetic diagnostic service for dyslipidaemias including familial hypercholesterolaemia and type III hyperlipidaemia.

    In association with these specialist laboratory services, the consultant chemical pathologist operates a weekly Porphyria-Metabolic Clinic, principally focused on the clinical management of porphyrias and primary dyslipidaemias.

    Patient referrals to this clinic can be enabled by contacting Dr Vivion Crowley at vcrowley@stjames.ie  or (01) 416 2935. Alternatively, contact the Chemical Pathology Medical Team on (01) 416 2047 or (01) 410 3875.

    Other specialist laboratory service include:

    • TDM for ”biological” drugs e.g. Infliximab
    • Antifungal TDM – Posaconazole, Voriconazole
    • Serum bone markers – formation and resorption markers for bone health monitoring
    • Serum thyroglobulin and anti-thyroglobulin antibody
    • Serum tumour markers – calcitonin for use in medullary thyroid cancer
    • Faecal calprotectin.

    The Biochemistry Department in St James’s Hospital is fully accredited under ISO 15189 under the Irish National Accreditation Board (INAB), registration number 327MT, and prior to this was fully accredited under CPA.

    Near patient testing services are INAB accredited under ISO 22870. The department operates at all times under GDPR rules.

  • All medical and scientific staff in the Biochemistry Department maintains competencies through continuous professional development (CPD) and training.

    The department is also involved in training students as part of their undergraduate programmes. The Biochemistry Department is a designated training centre on the RCPI Higher Specialist Training Programme for Chemical Pathology.

    The Biochemistry Department is continuously involved in research and development projects both within the laboratory itself and through collaboration with clinical and research teams within St James’s Hospital and Trinity College Dublin, as well as external academic and healthcare institutions.

    Specific areas of clinical research include:

    • Biochemical and genetic mechanisms of disease in poprhyrias and familial hypercholesetrolaemia
    • Epidemiological and diagnostic applications of Vitamin D.
  • Pathology (or Laboratory Medicine as it is also known) encompasses that aspect of medical practice which is concerned with understanding the mechanisms and diagnosis of disease.

    Within the realm of laboratory medicine, chemical pathology (or Clinical Biochemistry or Clinical Chemistry as it is otherwise known) is a critical diagnostic support service which applies the principles of biochemical and genetic analysis to facilitate the diagnosis and treatment of a broad range of clinical disorders.

    Moreover, chemical pathology has a particularly prominent role in the clinically effective management of a wide spectrum of endocrine and metabolic diseases, including the use of specialist testing. In addition, biochemical testing is one of the most common diagnostic activities undertaken in the evaluation of acutely ill patients, where it has a vital role in the initial assessment of patient care. It is also a fundamental diagnostic component in both outpatient and primary care management of disease.

    One of the key elements underpinning chemical pathology practice, is the development of a quality management system which ensures a quality-assured, precise and accurate laboratory testing service for both healthcare professionals and their patients. Furthermore, a range of highly educated and trained medical, scientific and administrative staff are required to establish and maintain the professional laboratory medicine service provided by the Biochemistry Department at St James’s Hospital.

Contact Details

Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm
Saturday 9am to 1pm

How to find us

Clinical Pathology and Molecular Medicine building

Get Directions