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The CCTS Sample Processing and Analytic Nexus (SPAN) facilities offer specimen processing, DNA preparation blood cell separations (PBMC), preparation of transformed cell lines and biobanking compliant with national standards, as well as analytic capacity. Our facility follows Best Practices of ISBER (International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories) and staff has completed GCP and IRB training.  We are available to work with investigators across campus, and offer convenient bedside-to-bench research services for those using the Clinical Research Unit and the Phase I Clinical Trials Unit. Blood specimens may also be easily transported to our facility through the UAB Health System tubing system.

How to Access SPAN Services:

For access to our services, please download and save the the brief CCTS Clinical Services registration form, then email to CCTSClinical@uab.edu.


Access a list of SPAN fees here (BlazerID & login required). For additional information on our fees, please contact CCTSClinical@uab.edu


Specimen Processing

Adjacent to the Clinical Research Unit and the Phase I Clinical Trials Unit in Jefferson Tower (1535 & 1531), specimen processing is available Monday-Friday, 7:30am-6pm. Staff are also available on weekends or after-hours with advance notice. Blood specimens may also be sent to this laboratory through the UAB Health System tubing system.  Research specimen processing services are available for any approved human protocol.

Processing activities include:

  • 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:

Located in Shelby 230, this laboratory can perform routine specimen processing as well as services that include, but are not limited to:

  • 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
  • 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 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
  • Access 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)


"Located in the Webb Nutrition Sciences Building (1675 University Blvd.), analytic equipment includes both automated and manual analyzers for assessment of a variety of analytes such as circulating hormones and cytokines. Contact Barbara Gower, PhD with questions. 

  • 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