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Clinical Research

The CCTS offers specialized support for the entire continuum of research specimen-associated needs. Working closely with the CRU, phase I clinic and other UAB Health System clinics, research specimens can be rapidly processed, aliquoted, stored and/or shipped for analyses. In consultation with each research team, study-specific SOPs are created to meet the needs of each project. These SOPs supplement standard laboratory protocols that ensure compliance with best practices of ISBER (International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories) and the College of American Pathologists (CAP). We also participate in the Integrated BioBank of Luxembourg (IBBL) Biospecimen Proficiency Testing. In addition, all staff members have completed Good Clinical Practice (GCP) and IRB training.

Our lab on the 15th floor of Jefferson Tower can facilitate immediate research specimen processing and storage for any approved human protocol, including clinical trials and translational research studies. We offer more complex human blood processing in our Shelby 230 facility. Blood specimens are easily transported to our facility through the UAB Health System tubing system.

We are available to work with clinical trial and translational research investigators across campus and offer convenient bedside-to-bench research services including those using the CCTS Clinical Research Unit and the Phase I Clinical Trials Unit

A detailed list of the many services we offer is below.

Biorepository/Biobanking Services

  • Storage for biospecimens collected by investigators. Stored biospecimens belong solely to the investigator and can only be released with PI approval.
  • Long-term Biospecimen storage in a secure facility with standardized storage protocols in freezers that have redundant 24/7 monitoring systems. Specimen storage at both ultralow (-80oC) and cryogenic (LN2/-190oC) temperatures are available.
  • Biobanking with barcoded inventory management.
  • Inventory of specimens maintained in the OnCore Enterprise Research Biospecimen Management module. This system is HIPAA compliant and can link specimens to patient MRN when appropriate and with proper IRB approval.
  • Collaborative specimen sharing is encouraged through individual consultations and through i2b2 display of aggregate specimen availability in the biobank.
  • Assistance with sub-aliquoting and disposition of specimens for release upon request by the study PI.
  • Studies requiring assistance with tissues/solid specimens are encouraged to contact the UAB Tissue Procurement Shared Facility.

Sample Processing

Our facility at Jefferson Tower 1515 offers specimen processing Monday-Friday, 7:30am-6pm. Staff is also available on weekends or after-hours with advance notice.

  • Consultations regarding study design including proper vacutainer selection.
  • Preparation of specimen aliquots (including specimen handling in a laminar flow hood).
  • Specimen centrifugation.
  • Preparation of aliquot tubes with bar-coded labels.
  • Inventoried short-term storage of research specimens (4°C refrigeration, non-cycling -20°C freezer space, -80°C ultra-low freezer space).

Specimen Processing, DNA and Cell Preparation

Our laboratory at the Shelby Biomedical Research Building 230 (1825 University Boulevard) can perform routine specimen processing (see list above) as well as the following:

  • Preparation of mononuclear cells (PBMC) from CPT tubes or from any other anti-coagulated blood vacutainer.
  • Preparation of EBV-immortalized lymphoblastoid cell lines.
  • Cryopreservation of cell lines and fresh PBMCs.
  • DNA extractions from blood, buffy coats, buccal swabs and cell lines using the Gentra PureGene system or the automated Autogen Flexstar system. DNA prepared by these methods is archival quality and suitable for state of the art genotyping and sequencing applications.
  • Banking of blood derived specimens (including DNA, plasma, serum and buffy coats) in -80°C freezers. All aliquots are tracked in a HIPAA compliant inventory database that can link specimens to a MRN (if appropriate).
  • Banking of cells/cell lines in fully inventoried cryogenic (LN2) freezers. All aliquots are tracked in a HIPAA compliant inventory database that can link specimens to a MRN (if appropriate).
  • Assistance in the preparation of DNA for genotyping.


We routinely prepare specimen aliquots for analysis by labs at UAB (such as the Metabolism Core Laboratory/Human Physiology Core Laboratory and the Heflin Genomics Core), by external collaborators (such as HudsonAlpha Discovery Services lab) and commercial labs. Our team is certified to ship biospecimens including shipments containing dry ice.


A list of our specimen processing and analysis fees may be accessed here (BlazerID & login required). Due to the varied nature of biobanking and biorepository needs, we encourage you to contact CCTS Labs Director This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to discuss your needs and receive a cost estimate.


To register for a Specimen Processing, Analysis, and Biorepository Unit service, please fill in a CCTS Clinical Services form and submit it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Don't see what you need? Have an urgent request? Contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 205-934-7442.


At a Glance:
SPAN and Biorepository

Poster SPAN 2019


Fee Sheet


Jeffrey C. Edberg, PhD
Director, CCTS Labs
205-934-7938 (Shelby)
205-934-7967 (JT)