The management of data produced by different people and/or groups requires that access to functionalities and information be limited according to several aspects such as group and/or project membership, and user role. For these reasons, we developed a cross-tier module, named the Authentication Manager, that manages users and their privileges. In the following the main functionalities are described.

Basic concepts

LAS platform is based on the following concepts.

Working group. A Working Group (WG) is a set of users in the LAS platform that work together for a specific goal (e.g., project, research activity). The data produced by the users of the same group are private, unless they are intentionally shared with other groups.

User profiles. The users belonging to a WG can be divided into two main categories:

  • Principal Investigator (PI): she is the manager of one or more WGs. PIs can add or remove users from their WGs, and grant or revoke permission to access functionalities for every user in their WGs. During the registration process, PIs can select one or more activities they wish to handle within the LAS. Their registration will be evaluated by the system administrator.

  • LASUser: she is a standard user, whose activities depend on the choices of the PI. During the registration process, LASUsers should select the PI they report to. They are also asked to specify one or more roles, according to the task(s) they need to carry out, so as to help the PI in assigning appropriate functionalities during the registration acceptance phase.

The following roles are currently available:

  • Biobank Manager

  • Collection Manager

  • Molecular Biology Technician

  • Animal Facility Technician

  • Post Doc*

  • Research Supervisor*

  • PhD Student/Research Assistant

  • MicroArray Facility Manager/Technician

  • MicroArray Facility User

  • Lab Manager/ PI Personal Assistant*

Users of both categories (i.e., PI and LASUser) can only access the LAS pages that correspond to the functionalities they have been enabled to use, and they can only manage data that belong to their WGs. Only roles denoted with a * in the above list are allowed to share data with another WG. Data sharing can be performed either through a Transfer operation, or directly through the Query Module when the query results include BioEntities such as Aliquots, Biomice or Cell Lines.

The current available activities are listed in Table 1.

Table 1- LAS activities

Manage Samples



Kits and Protocols

Perform QC/QA

Plan Samples Management

Retrieve Samples

Slide Preparation



Molecular Analysis






Real-Time PCR

Sanger Sequencing


Western blots

In Vivo Experimentation



Manage Mice


Review Experiments


Xeno Admin

Xeno Batch

In Vitro Experimentation


Cell line generator


Protocol Manager



Biobank Admin




Manage Archive

Manage Container

Return Used Samples

Data Querying and Manipulation

Data Sharing


Querying Admin

PI Activities

WG Management

External Projects




Write Formulas


People who want to gain access to the LAS platform should send a subscription request by filling in the registration form with their personal details (e.g., affiliation, role), to allow the administrators to correctly process the registration.


The authentication module provide the access to all the LAS modules. In the home page the LAS modules are grouped by categories. The menu structure is as follows:

  • Manage Samples & Archive

    • Biobank

    • Repository

  • Biological Experiments

    • Cell Lines

    • Xenografts

  • Molecular Experiments

    • Digital PCR

    • Beaming

    • MicroArray

    • Next Generation Sequencing

    • Real-Time PCR

    • Sanger Sequencing

    • Sequenom

  • Query & Analysis

    • Query

    • Analysis

  • Profiles & Tutorial

    • Working Groups

    • Profile

    • Videos

Each menu item will only be visible if the user has been granted access to the corresponding module and/or functionality.

Management of working groups

A working group is defined as a group of people that work together under some specific rules. For instance, working groups can be matched to research or project groups within a given institution. The leaders of a working group, also named the principal investigators, can restrict the access to some functionalities and define sharing rules on the data. Data of a working group cannot be seen by other groups until an authorization has been approved by the principal investigators. The user privileges determine which functionalities are available to each user, according to their role and the restrictions enforced by the principal investigators of their working group.


The user can manage its account and personalize it. The following actions can be performed:

  • Manage Your Circles. The LAS platform allows defining Circles. The circles represent an easy way to organize the member of your working group. They allow you to share the notifications of some experimental activities with the right people. Once you have created a circle, it will appear in the Manage notifications page.

  • Manage Notifications. For each functionality that produces a report, the user may now define one or more recipients, who will receive a copy of the report by e-mail. This operation must be repeated for each working group on behalf of which you can execute the functionality. For each functionality, the following predefined recipients may be selected:

    • Executor: the operator that executes the functionality (i.e., yourself)

    • Planner: the operator that executes the previous operation (e.g. if you are in charge of the derivation operation, the Planner is the user that plans the derivation session)

    • Assignee: the operator that is in charge of executing the next step of the workflow

    • Recipient: the operator that will complete the operation, if there are two or more following steps.

In addition, you can share results with a circle of LAS users. The user can also freely enter other e-mail addresses, in case you want to share your results with more people.

  • Request functionalities. For each working group, the user can request to the Principal Investigator new functionalities to perform new experimental procedures. The PI can accept or decline the request.

  • Manage Working Groups Invitations. In this page the list of invitation to other WG is shown. The invitation can be sent only by the Principal Investigator and/or the PI Personal Assistant.

  • Account. The account details are shown and the user can change the password.

Video tutorial

Video tutorials for some features have been made available under the menu item “Videos”, in the category “Profiles & Tutorial”. The videos are further categorized according to the activities.

Session expiration

The work session in each module expires after 4 hours of inactivity.