BURLINGTON,Laboratory Corporation is teaming up with a world leading molecular biologist to develop new programs designed to integrate medicine and molecular diagnostics.

LabCorp said Monday it had signed a strategic consulting relationship with Leroy Hood, the founder and president of the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle. Hood, who holds MD and PhDs, is a leader in the area of systems biology.

“LabCorp provides a unique opportunity to test the merits of new diagnostic approaches against the reality of the marketplace through the application of systems biology,” Hood said in a statement. Systems biology focuses on how the human body operates.

LabCorp said Hood could help the firm capitalize on advances in genomics.

“A key component of LabCorp’s future in molecular diagnostics is our ability to anticipate and fulfill medical needs by offering testing that can have a significant impact on patient management,” said Myla Lai-Goldman, chief scientific officer and medical director of LabCorp. “A gifted innovator, Dr. Hood’s cutting-edge approach to understanding the complex interactions of the human body will be invaluable in helping us to identify and deliver tests and assay methods that fuel the revolution in genomic medicine.”

Hood’s development of the first automated DNA sequencer and DNA synthesizer helped advance efforts to map the human genome.

LabCorp: www.labcorp.com