The CCTS offers specialized support for the entire continuum of specimen-associated needs, from collection and processing to biobanking and analysis. All services are performed in compliance with best practices of ISBER (International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories), the Office of Biorepositories and Biospecimen Research (OBBR), the College of American Pathologists (CAP), and all staff members have completed Good Clinical Practice (GCP) and IRB training.

Our lab on the 15th floor of Jefferson Tower can facilitate 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 for 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

  • Collection of blood from healthy individuals with appropriate IRB approval
  • Access to banked plasma, serum or DNA from healthy individuals with appropriate IRB approval
  • Biospecimen processing and storage
  • Biobanking with barcoded inventory management
  • Prospective biospecimen collection to fulfill investigator needs for IRB-approved protocols (performed in conjunction with CCTS Clinical Research Unit)
  • Storage for biospecimens collected by investigators. Stored biospecimens belong solely to the investigator and can only be released with PI approval
  • 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.
  • Bank of 7x -80oC inventoried freezers that are monitored for proper temperature and under maintenance contracts
  • Bank of 6x cryogenic freezers that are monitored for proper temperature and LN2 levels. Each freezer is supplied with LN2 by dedicated LN2 source tanks that are replaced weekly.
  • Bar code label printers
  • 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 are also available on weekends or after-hours with advance notice.

  • Preparation of specimen aliquots (including specimen handling in a laminar flow hood)
  • Specimen centrifugation
  • Preparation of aliquot tubes with bar-coded labels
  • Labeling of blood collection tubes
  • Inventoried short-term storage of research specimens (4°C refrigeration, -20°C freezer space, -80°C ultra-low freezer space)

Specimen Processing, DNA and Cell Preparation/Long-term Biobanking

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 PBMCsPreparation 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 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 genotypingAccess to SNP genotyping technology through the Heflin Genomics Core (standard fluorescent and Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS), high and low throughput custom genotyping from 1 SNP to more than 5 million SNPs, whole genome linkage and association studies, targeted and whole genome gene expression, and targeted and whole genome assays)


Our analysis team is located at the Webb Nutrition Sciences Building (1675 University Blvd.). Our equipment includes both automated and manual analyzers for assessment of a variety of analyses such as circulating hormones and cytokines. For additional information, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  • SIRRUS automated chemistry analyzer — analyze a broad array of molecules using standard colorimetric assays
  • Isotope ratio mass spectrometer — measure enrichment of deuterium and oxygen-18 in biological samples
  • Gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer — analyze stable isotopes of glucose and amino acids for use with in vivo human metabolism studies
  • Meso Scale Discovery SECTOR Imager 2400 — detect binding events for performing determinations of hormone and cytokines
  • Biotek Synergy HT ELISA plate reader and the Biotek ELx405 microplate washer — conduct standard ELISA plate assays
  • Perkin Elmer Wizard 1470 Automatic Gamma Counter, 5-head  — perform rapid quantification of RIA tubes
  • TOSOH immunoassay analyzer — perform rapid automated, high-throughput screening of many common protein and steroid hormones


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.