Our Laboratory

MDC’s clinical laboratory is accredited by the College of American Pathologists  and is complete with new generation automated analyzers able to service more than 3000 samples per day. For safety measures and to ensure consistency of our results, all our tests are performed under Biosafety level 2 and some special procedures are even performed under Biosafety level 3 environment which is exclusive in Iraq. We provide our staff with all the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure their protection. At MDC we are committed to our community and so rely mainly on local staff, providing them with continuous training internally, locally and abroad.

Our Clinical laboratory unit is comprised of 11 departments; namely Reception and Phlebotomy, Hematology, Clinical chemistry, Microbiology, Immunology, Molecular biology and Genetics, Metabolic disorders, Cytology, and Histopathology . Disciplines offered include: hematology, clinical chemistry, routine diagnostics, microbiology, molecular diagnostics and serology (infectious disease, autoimmune, allergy testing). Besides daily quality control testing internally, all these disciplines at our center are subjected to external quality control via proficiency testing provided by the College of American Pathologists.

Laboratory Units

  • Reception and Phlebotomy

    The reception and phlebotomy unit is staffed by a team of professional  nurses and receptionists with medical backgrounds who are continuously trained in patient safety, customer service and non-verbal communication skills to be able to offer the best comfort and service to our visitors.

  • Hematology

    The Department of Hematology at MDC combines both manual procedures and fully automated systems performed by local technicians under the supervision of our senior hematologist.

    Every CBC request is performed using the Sysmex 5-part differential hematology analyzer machine and CBC blood film is provided for both normal and abnormal results which are reviewed and reported by our hematologist. In case of abnormal results, CBC reports are only provided after patient history is fully investigated. All the coagulation test including PT, PTT, TT, fibrinogen, etc. are carried out by fully automated Stago Coagulation Analyzer machine and both HB electrophoresis and serum electrophoresis are performed using fully automated MINICAP Electrophoresis System by the pioneering company Sebia.

    Manual tests performed by our technicians include Coombs test (direct and indirect), urine for Bence Jones protein, bleeding time, ESR, reticulocyte count and others. In addition, we provide different kinds of fluid cell counts and analysis. Our Hematology Department also receives samples for identification of all types of blood parasites (by blood film), including Malaria.

  • Clinical Chemistry

    Our Clinical Chemistry department perform a wide range of clinical chemistry analysis on serum, plasma, CSF and urine by developed automated clinical chemistry analyzers like the cobas e 411 and cobas c 311. We take pride in the recent addition of the cobas 6000 analyzer series which can perform immunological, clinical chemistry, hormonal and viral tests simultaneously from a single sample. All our automated analyzers are supported and maintained by Roche, an internationally recognized company.

    To make sure our visitors receive the best quality results, all abnormal results are investigated twice and scrutinized by our medical director and, if required, the patient is contacted.

  • Microbiology

    Our Department of Microbiology is a leading laboratory in our region, combining both conventional and automated microbiology techniques to ensure high sensitivity and accuracy of all our results. Because most microbiological techniques require high level of manual expertise, our local technicians are trained and tested continuously in order to maintain and update their skills.

    The Department of Microbiology at MDC is able to perform culture and identification of all types of bacteria, yeast, mold, and mycobacteria. For safety reasons all of these tests are performed in class-II biosafety cabinets. Moreover, for quality control of all our bacteriological media and reagents we use ATCC (American Type Culture Collection) bacterial strains. We use many reagents, machines, equipment and techniques of leading companies in accordance with the most recent WHO guidelines. Below is an overview of some of the machines and techniques we use.

    TB identification and susceptibility testing for first and second line drugs are performed simultaneously using BD BACTEC MGIT 960 System. MGIT (Mycobacteria Growth Indicator Tube) is an instrumented growth system which is a fully automated system detecting positive samples faster than other systems and conventional methods. Other systems and media takes about 4 to 6 weeks to detect growth, whilst MGIT provides result within a few days (Minimum 4 days/Maximum 12 Days). Since this method can recognize the presence of TB Bacilli much more quickly than conventional culture, it can help diagnose and treat the disease at an earlier stage and has the potential to help control the spread of infectious TB. The BACTEC MGIT 960 System uses MGIT media and sensors, making efficient use of advanced fluorometric technology, which permits highly accurate detection of TB without using sharps and radiometric elements. All TB tests at MDC are performed in Biosafety level 3 laboratory.

    Blood cultures are performed using Bactec 9240, a fluorogenic, automated, and noninvasive blood culture system from BD Microbiology System, for high sensitivity and to minimize chances of contamination and manual error. This system offers enhanced safety and simplified operation, it delivers excellent performance, media quality and reliability.

    Other anaerobic cultures are performed using Oxoid™ Anaerobic Gas Generating Kit and System. For quick and accurate identification of a broad spectrum more than 400 of medically important organisms, including anaerobes, coryneform gram-positive bacilli, enterics, nonfermenters, streptococci, and yeast, RapIDTM (Rapid Identification system) from Remel is used at the Department of Microbiology at MDC.

    Finally, Concentration Technique and Trichrome Staining are used for accurate identification of all fecal parasites.

  • Immunology

    The Immunology department at MDC laboratory provides a wide-ranging service for the investigation, diagnosis and treatment of conditions which result from dysfunction of the immune system. The integration of laboratory and clinical services allows us to provide a cutting-edge laboratory testing service which is essential in the diagnosis and monitoring of complex immune diseases. Laboratory investigations include those for immune deficiency, autoimmune disease, allergy, specific proteins, complement testing, cellular immunology, and molecular immunology.

  • Molecular Biology and Genetics

    The molecular biology section offers a range of tests useful in the diagnosis and monitoring of disease progression in patients with various haematological malignancies as well as some genotyping tests for coagulopathies, hereditary haemochromatosis and neurological malignancies. Certain genetic mutations confer prognostic outcome and may also be used to direct treatment decisions. For carrier status of inherited thrombophilia or haemochromatosis testing, a family history is useful.

    These are all polymerase chain reaction (PCR) based tests that require purified DNA or RNA. This is important for RNA-based tests, as RNA is very fragile. These samples must be received for processing by the laboratory as soon as possible after they are received from the patient. A series of tests are done at our laboratories including Factor V G1691A (Leiden) in thrombophilia, Cyclin D1 over-expression in MCL, TCR-gamma gene rearrangements for T cell clonality, TCR-beta gene rearrangements for T cell clonality, MGMT methylation in gliomas, etc.

  • Metabolic Disorders

    The metabolic disorder section of our laboratory provides services for the diagnosis of lysosomal storage diseases. The department provides screening of urine for glycosaminoglycans, oligosaccharides, sialic acid, sulfated monosaccharide’s, and enzyme studies for the diagnosis of all of the mucopolysaccharidoses. Enzyme studies for diagnosis of selected glycoprotein storage diseases and glycosphingolipidoses are also available, in addition to a metabolic disorder section establishes cell lines from skin biopsies for enzyme studies. The section also provides enzyme and/ or urine glycosaminoglycan studies for the monitoring of patients who have been treated for mucopolysaccharidoses.

  • Cytology

    The Cytology department provides a wide range of cytopathology services including the routine screening of gynecologic, non-gynecologic specimens and semen analysis (infertility, post-vasectomy and post-reversal).

    Clinicians have the choice of two types of liquid-based pap testing: the ThinPrep® Pap Test™ and the SurePath™ liquid-based Pap test. Both tests are processed and screened in our laboratories.  The goal of the Cytology Department is to provide accurate laboratory testing, with a reasonable turnaround time, in a cost-effective manner.

  • Histopathology

    The Histopathology department of our laboratory comprises a consultant-led team providing a comprehensive tissue-based diagnostic service. Histopathology is the microscopic study of organs and tissues to determine if disease may be present and this involves the specialized preparation of pieces of human tissue for viewing under a microscope. Diseases such as inflammatory diseases, benign abnormal growth, infections and cancer are diagnosed by this method.

Laboratory Management Team

The Laboratory departments at MDC are staffed by a professional team of doctors, scientists, technicians and a biomedical engineer using state of the art methods, materials and automated analyzers. Provision of accurate, reliable and timely results alongside detailed interpretation and quality services are the primary goals of the laboratory.

  • Clinical Director / Head of Hematology Department

    Dr Ranan Polus

    Specialty: Clinical Director and Senior Hematologist

    Qualification: MD (MB.Ch.B, F.I.B.M.S.)


    • MB.Ch.B from Salahaddin university /College of Medicine between 1993-1999
    • FIBMS from Iraqi Board/ Ministry of Higher Education between 2003-2007
    • Teaching undergraduate students  at College of medicine/ Hawler Medical College in 2008 until now.
    • Teaching at Kurdistan Board for Medical Specialization in 2011 until now.
    • Participated in several training courses in the fields of Histopathology, Hematology, Microbiology, Clinical chemistry ,  Hematology, HLA Typing, and Student centered learning between the years of 2003 and 2011.
    • Participated in several local and international conferences between 2009 and 2012.
    • Junior House doctor at Ministry of Health- Kurdistan, Iraq between 1999-2001 .
    • Demonstrator in pathology department at  College of Medicine/ Hawler Medical University between 2002-2003.
    • Coordinator in pathology at College of Medicine/ Hawler Medical University between 2010-2011.
    • Head of pathology Department at  College of Medicine/ Hawler Medical University between 2011-2014.
    • Member of professional organizations like Kurdistan Doctor Syndicate and  Iraqi Society of Hematology.
    • Scientific publications in the field of Hematology in local and international academic  journals.
    • Supervising a number of postgraduate (MSc) students at College of Medicine/ Hawler Medical University.

    Email address: [email protected]


  • Laboratory Manager

    Mahmood Raza


    • Clinical Microbiology (Bacteriology, Mycology, Mycobacteriology TB , Parasitology, Serology, Urinalysis and Semen Analysis)
    • Laboratories Quality Assurance
    • Laboratories Safety


    • B.Sc in Biological Sciences
    • Post-graduation in Medical Technology
    • College of American Pathologist Certification (CAP Inspector)


    After completion of my academic qualifications, I joined one of the most exclusive health organisations in Pakistan, The Agha Khan University Hospital, where I underwent training and was appointed the role of Medical Technologist in the Department of Microbiology in 2000.  I had been associated with this organization for > 11 years. The Agha khan microbiology laboratory receives over 20,000 specimens every month. My responsibilities includes,
    •    Identification of pathogens
    •    Antimicrobial susceptibility testing
    •    MIC by agar dilution & broth dilution method
    •    Mycology
    •    Worked on Vitek instrument,MGIT , Bactec 460 TB, Clinetek, BACTEC 9240, fluorescent microscope, dark field microscope etc
    •    Bacteriology
    •    Mycobacteriology
    •    Parasitology
    •    Working experience in Bio safety Level III Lab (BSL III) for Mycobecteriology.

    In 2012 I started working with Medya Diagnostic Center, one of the most premier organization in Iraq as a head of microbiology department, where we got college of American pathology (CAP) accreditation in 2013, my current responsibilities in MDC are as follows:

    • Head of microbiology department (Sections:Bacteriology, Mycology, Mycobacteriology, etc…)
    • Quality Assurance Manager
    • Safety Officer

    Email Address: [email protected]

  • Head of Biochemistry Department / Quality Control Manager

    Asif Fida Shaikh

    Specialty: Microbiologist and Biochemist

    Qualification: Diploma of Clinic Laboratory


    • Head of Biochemistry Department at Medya Diagnostic Center, Erbil, Iraq 2015 to present.
    • Aga Khan University Karachi,Pakistan Research Lab As a Research Coordinator  (2010 to 2105)
    • El Motkhtar Clinic ,Haway,Al Taif ,Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a Lab Technologist (2008 – 2010)
    • Aga Khan University Hospital Karachi, Pakistan Senior Lab Technologist (2003 -2008)
    • Aga Khan Diagnostic Centre Karachi, Pakistan Lab In charge      (1998 – 2003)
    • Dr, Tahir Lab, Karachi ,Pakistan Senior Technologist and departmental In charge (1996 – 1998)
    • Path Lab Karachi , Pakistan Lab Technologist (1993 – 1996)
    • Jinah Post graduate Medical Center ,Karachi ,Pakistan As a Trani Technician (1992-1993)

    Email Address: [email protected]

  • Medical Engineer

    Muhammed Sultan

    Specialty: Senior Medical Engineer

    Qualification: Certified Clinical Engineer, MSc


    • Working as a Head of Technical Department, Directorate for Medical Engineering, Ministry of Health, Kurdistan Regional Government, Erbil, Iraq from 2012 until now.
    • Working as a Senior Medical Engineer, Medya Diagnostic Center (MDC), Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq from 2012 until now.
    • Worked as a Medical Engineer, Department of Radiation Physics at University Hospital in Linköping, Sweden from 2008 to 2012.
    • Obtained Master of Science in Engineering, Medical Engineering, at the Royal Institute of Technology– Technology and Health in Stockholm, Sweden in 2009.
    • Obtained Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Degree Programme in Medical Technology, at the Royal Institute of Technology and Health – Technology and Health in Stockholm, Sweden in 2007.
    • Participated in several courses such as Management 5 credits, at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm and  World echo- about the human beings role in a globalized planet 5 credits, at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm between the year of 2004 and 2007.

    The list of certifications:

    • Medical Device Management, ensuring improved access, Quality and safe use of Medical device, The World Health Organization, Iraq in 2015.
    • Certified Clinical Engineer at the level of Master of Science, Swedish Society for Biomedical Engineering and Physics, Stockholm, Sweden in 2012.
    • Radiation protection training, Medical and Health Sciences IMH, Linkoping, Sweden in 2009.
    • Certificate if X-Ray Driver Granted under Swedish regulation to allow working with x-ray machines, Medical and Health Sciences IMH, Linkoping, Sweden in 2008.

    Email Address: [email protected]


CAP Accreditation

In order to guarantee our quality and to be recognized as a top performer, we successfully  became the first and only laboratory in Iraq to receive accreditation from the College of American Pathologists (CAP) on 14/2/2013. This effectively makes us the only internationally recognized medical center in Iraq and means that all the results issued by our center are accepted by the medical community across the globe.

Results by email