The UAB Tissue Biorepository (UAB-TBR), an important asset to the future of research at UAB, has officially launched. The UAB-TBR is housed in the Department of Pathology, and coordinated with the CCTS Biorepository.
A central commitment of the School of Medicine and the Health System is never to compromise our mission of patient care, as well as the safety and privacy of patients. With appropriate ethical and privacy guidelines, the UAB-TBR will collect, process, store, and distribute high-quality human tissue specimens to UAB investigators, including (but not limited to) the investigators of the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center. The UAB-TBR will support clinicians and investigators in improving clinical care, while advancing personalized medicine.
Sameer Al Diffalha, M.D., assistant professor in the Department of Pathology, will serve as director of the UAB-TBR. Upender Manne, M.S. Ph.D., professor in the Department of Pathology and director of the Translational Anatomic Pathology Section, has been named co-director. Kathy Sexton will serve as the administrative associate director.
The UAB-TBR facility replaces the Tissue-Procurement Facility of the Department of Pathology. Several changes in procedures, made to enable the mission and goals of the UAB-TBR, became effective January 1, 2020. The key procedures are as follows:
1. All specimens, both for clinical care and research, must go through the Department of Pathology for evaluation. UAB-TBR personnel will transport diagnostic specimens, from which research material will be harvested as available.
• Investigators should contact the UAB-TBR to coordinate tissue harvesting and/or storage.
• UAB-TBR will ensure that investigators have all necessary IRB protocols and approvals prior to providing access to specimens.
• UAB-TBR will work with operating room (OR) personnel to insure specimen pick-up and transport to Pathology.
• UAB-TBR will coordinate with pathologists or pathology assistants (PAs) to assist in collecting remnant tissues for research.
2. The UAB-TBR will provide subspecialty pathologist expertise and quality control on collected tissues.
3. The banked specimens will be linked to UAB’s i2b2 information hub and electronic database.
4. The UAB-TBR will provide the opportunity for investigators to establish PI-driven and task-specific banked specimens.
5. The UAB-TBR specimen access committee will include pathologists, surgeons, and basic translational and clinical researchers. If there is simultaneous demand for the same type of tissues, this committee will (after evaluating the merits of the projects) prioritize distribution of tissue specimens.
Establishing the UAB-TBR would not have been accomplished without the hard work and commitment of the UAB-TBR team. The UAB-TBR is led by George Netto, M.D., Robert and Ruth Anderson Endowed Chair and chair of the Department of Pathology, and Cristina Magi-Galluzzi, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Division of Anatomic Pathology.
For more details, please visit the new UAB-TBR website: https://sites.uab.edu/tissuebank