Tissue Procurement

William Grizzle, M.D., Ph.D.
– Director

Contact: (205) 934-4214

Website: http://www.uab.edu/medicine/tcbf/tpsf-sidebar

UAB Tissue Collection & Banking Facility: http://www.uab.edu/medicine/tcbf/

Cooperative Human Tissue Network: http://chtn.nci.nih.gov/


The goal of the Tissue Procurement Shared Facility is to enhance the productivity and power of the research of the members of the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center by ensuring they have access to high-quality tissue specimens with associated histopathologic and demographic data, histology services, and expertise in informative analysis of tissue samples.  The TPSF plays a critical role in supporting the mission of the UAB-CCC to serve the entire catchment area by ensuring inclusion of minority patients in the early stages of translational research as well as supporting studies of differences in tumor biology among different racial groups. Since 2011, the TPSF has supported research conducted by 57 investigators representing all six UAB-CCC research programs, as well as 32 clinical trials resulting in more than 120 publications.

The TPSF operates as a state-of-the-art, centralized, protocol-driven tissue procurement service that streamlines functionality, incorporates new technologies into standard operating procedures (SOPs) for sample collection and processing, storage and data tracking. The SOPs are aligned with the Best Practices of the International Society of Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER), the College of American Pathologists’ Accreditation (CAP) criteria, and NIH Best Practice guidelines to facilitate harmonization of research results. The TPSF is operated as a component of the UAB Tissue Collection and Banking Facility (TCBF) to provide the economy of scale that is needed to meet the diverse needs of the UAB-CCC investigators in a cost-effective manner. A broad range of neoplastic, benign, diseased and normal specimens from multiple sources including surgical pathology, autopsy, cytology and clinical pathology are provided as fresh, frozen, fixed, or other preparations. To keep pace with the research needs of the UAB-CCC investigators, the TPSF has expanded its capacity, streamlined and standardized its functions, and introduced new technologies.  During the current funding period, the Institution and the Department of Pathology have provided significant financial support for upgraded and new equipment, needed personnel, and renovations.  In addition, the UAB-CCC used philanthropic support to establish a bank of biologic fluids and paraffin blocks (CCC Tissue Bank) operated in parallel to the TPSF as a component of the TCBF.

TPSF Specific Aims:

  1. Service. To facilitate cancer research by providing human specimens via optimized SOPs, a rigorous quality management system (QMS) and a team approach for development, coordination, execution and monitoring of increasingly complex tissue collection and processing protocols. To aid investigators in development of individualized research protocols, including pathological consultations in identifying appropriate tissues to support their research, and to support a broad range of clinical protocols through state-of-the-art biorepository and histology services.
  2. Education, Outreach and Advocacy. To act as the nexus that supports education of all stakeholders (investigators, surgical teams, and TPSF staff) in terms of best practices concerning human tissue utilization. This includes enhancement of the sophistication of our user base and education concerning the continually changing and increasingly individualized cancer treatment environment. Consultations, seminars, workshops, publications and web-based information are provided with the goal of expanding and increasing the productivity of CCC investigators. The TPSF is recognized internationally for education in biorepository management and biorepository science that ensures optimal utilization of human tissues in cancer research. The leadership of the TPSF acts as an advocate, both locally and nationally, for the central importance of the use of human tissues in cancer research.
  3. Development. To utilize strategic planning to align the management and operations of the TPSF with the emerging needs of CCC investigators. This includes: (1) Ensuring the continuing quality of all operations by obtaining CAP-Biorepository Accreditation (CAP-BA); (2) Developing, validating and incorporating novel procedures to support investigators’ analytical needs and enhance tissue availability; and (3) Improving data handling by direct, secure communication with the electronic medical record. Developmental efforts are guided by our Advisory Committee and enhanced through collaborations with other CCC facilities and participation in international biorepository organizations.


Contact Information:

Director:  William Grizzle, M.D., Ph.D.
Email:  wgrizzle@uab.edu
Phone: (205) 934-4214

Assistant Director and Manager:  Katherine C. Sexton, MBA
Email:  sexton@uab.edu
Phone:  (205) 934-6071

Campus Address: ZRB 449, zip 0007

Website: http://www.uab.edu/medicine/tcbf/tpsf-sidebar

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