About the DS Lab

"Primum non nocere" (First DO NOT Harm)

The idea of establishing a drug safety laboratory stemed from the realization of the health and economic burden of ADRs on local, national and global levels. Drug Hypersensitivity reactions (DHRs, drug allergy) represents a serious and difficult ADRs to predict or diagnose. Due to their unpredictability and relative low incidence, DHRs are almost always undetectable during drug development. It is during the post-marketing stage and after a large number of patients, (with large genetic and environmental diversity) are exposed, reports of DHRs start to show up in literature.

In a clinical patient care setting, presentation of DHRs is often non-specific (most commonly include skin rash and area swelling), which may resemble other medical conditions. This can lead to two possible faulty scenarios: either the patient is undiagnosed increasing the risk of severe reactions in the future; or The patient is falsely misdiagnosed as ‘drug allergic’ depriving him/her from more effective, safe and inexpensive drugs

Dr. M. J. Rieder’s laboratory has a long experience with in vitro testing for drug hypersensitivity that extends for decades. The lymphocyte toxicity assay (LTA) is a safe in vitro test for DHRs, which has proven to be very useful tool for prediction and diagnosis for this type of ADRs. It has also been on high demand by doctors, research labs and drug companies due to its excellent safety, good predictive value and its non-invasive nature.

Recently, research in our lab led to the development of the more sensitive in vitro Platelet Toxicity Assay (iPTA), Which possesses the above mentioned advantages plus its simpler procedure and higher sensitivity. Other in vitro tests for drug allergy offered in our lab include the lymphocyte transformation test (LTT), Beryllium lympnocyte proliferation test (BeLPT) and basophil activation test (BAT).


The lab is located at the Robarts Research Institute building at Western University.

Robarts Research Institute


Robarts Research Institute Virtual Tour Introduction from Robarts Research Institute on Vimeo.