APPLIED RESEARCH: Conduct scientific and management research designed to solve practical problems and to translate basic research into improved environmental and public health. [Derived from Iowa Administrative Code 681(263)-Chapter 5.1(4)]


Research and Development oversees internal and external efforts to advance laboratory capabilities by engaging in applied research. The office evaluates emerging methodologies and activities, including test methods, instrumentation and the overall science platform of the laboratory. Externally, the office advises and assists in the development of research agreements with external partners.

Laboratory staff collaborate with state and federal public health partners such as CDC, FDA and USDA to provide laboratory services in support of their programs to improve public health. These scientists collaborate with researchers and students at the University of Iowa. They also team with other universities and private industry on a variety of topics, including infectious diseases, environmental health, occupational health, newborn screening and neonatal health.


  • Participated in a CDC initiative for Advanced Molecular Detection, which is designed to apply the latest molecular methodology to better protect the public from disease threats.

  • Partnered with FDA and Iowa Department of Inspection and Appeals for an Illumina MiSeq Next Generation Sequencing instrument and officially joined FDAs GenomeTrakr program used to link bacterial strains from food, clinical and environmental samples to determine the source of contamination.

Other Units in the Office of the Director

The Office of the Director consists of 10 key functional units that enable the State Hygienic Laboratory to achieve its statutory charge set forth in the Iowa Administrative Code.

The primary mission of the Disease Control Division is to test human specimens, food and water for diseases of public health significance to protect the citizens of Iowa.

The Environmental Health Division monitors drinking water, wastewater, air, soil and food for contaminants of potential environmental and public health concern.

The Division of Administration and Finance is responsible for the management of the business practices, all Hygienic Laboratory facilities, and pre/post testing support.