Sample Processing and Analytic Nexus (SPAN)

Sample Processing and Analytic Nexus (SPAN)

The CCTS SPAN offers specimen processing, DNA preparation and cell lines, and analytical capacity.  We are available to work with investigators across campus, and offer convenient "bedside-to-bench" research services for those using the Clinical Research Unit (CRU).

Specimen Processing (JT1535)
Specimen processing is available adjacent to the CRU in rooms JT1535 and JT1531.  The lab is normally staffed Monday-Friday, 8am-4pm.  Staffing is also available on weekends with advance notice.  Specimen processing services are available for approved human protocols for research use.  Processing activities include: 
  • Preparation of specimen aliquots Kathy lab.jpg(including specimen handling in a laminar flow hood)
  • Specimen centrifugation
  • Preparation of aliquot tubes with labels
  • Labeling of blood collection tubes 
  • Short term storage of research specimens (4°C refrigeration, -20°C freezer space, -80°C ultra-low freezer space)

Specimen Processing, DNA Preparation and Cell Lines (Shelby 230)
Specimens should be delivered to the lab before 12:00pm.  In addition to routine specimen processing, we also offer services that include, but are not limited to: 

  • Preparation of mononuclear cells (MNC)
  • Preparation of EBV-immortalized lymphoblastoid cell lines
  • Cryopreservation of cell lines and fresh MNC
  • Preparation of buffy coats from blood for DNA extractions
  • DNA extractions from blood, buffy coats, buccal swabs and cell lines using the Gentra PureGene system (DNA prepared with this system is archival quality and suitable for genotyping on most platforms including high throughput technologies offered by Illumina and Affymetrix)
  • Banking of DNA and buffy coats in fully inventoried -80oC freezers (All aliquots are tracked in an inventory database)
  • Banking of cells/cell lines in fully inventoried cryogenic (LN2) freezers (All aliquots are tracked in an inventory database)
  • Assistance in the preparation of DNA for genotyping
  • Access to SNP genotyping technology together with the Heflin Genomics Core (Pyrosequencing, TaqMan allelic discrimination assays, SNPlex assays)

Analytical Capacity (Webb Nutrition Sciences Building)
The analytical capacity in the Webb building is directed by Barbara Gower.  It is well equipped with both automated and manual analyzers for assessment of a variety of analytes including circulating hormones and cytokines.  Equipment includes: 

  • SIRRUS automated chemistry analyzer - a flexible platform that can be easily customized to analyze a broad array of molecules using standard colorimetric assays
  • Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometer (IRMS) for measurement of enrichment of deuterium and oxygen-18 in biological samples
  • Gas Chromatograph/Mass Spectrometer (GC/MS) for analysis of stable isotopes of glucose and amino acids for use with in vivo human metabolism studies
  • Meso Scale Discovery SECTOR imager 2400 - an ELISA that uses electrochemiluminescence as the signal to detect binding events for performing determinations of hormone and cytokines
  • Biotek Synergy HT ELISA plate reader and the Biotek ELx405 microplate washer for conducting standard ELISA plate assays
  • Perkin Elmer Wizard 1470 5-head Automatic Gamma Counter for rapid quantification of RIA tubes
  • TOSOH immunoassay analyzer: for rapid automated, high through-put of many common protein and steroid hormones

Access ​SPAN Services

For sample processing and DNA preparations, please complete the brief registrationContact Meredith Fitz-Gerald with questions regarding the brief registration form.
SPAN Usage Fees
For information on the cost of consumables​ or other fees, please contact
For other information about any existing services, or to inquire about additional services, contact Dr. Jeff Edberg, SPAN Director.