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Tumor Tissue and Biospecimen Bank

Overview of Services


The Tumor Tissue and Biospecimen Bank (TTAB) [RRID:SCR_022430], also known as Abramson Cancer Center Biorepository Sub-Core (ABR), is dedicated to advancing the mission of the Perelman School of Medicine (PSOM) by facilitating access to high-quality, well-documented human-derived samples for basic, clinical, and translational research. Established in 2005 with a shared vision of Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and the Abramson Cancer Center, TTAB has significantly contributed to numerous clinical trials, cancer research, and disease-specific initiatives within PSOM, the Abramson Cancer Center (ACC), and external partners. In addition, TTAB extends its services to preclinical researchers at PSOM and the University of Pennsylvania, offering de-identified human tissues as well as clinical and pathologic data to support their research.

We offer customized support for research projects, including initial consultation services for project planning and budgeting, tailored tissue collection kits, and logistical support for sample tracking, collection, storage, and distribution to principal investigators and their collaborators, both within and outside of Penn. Our tissue collection and storage facilities are designed to ensure the integrity and quality of each specimen, with systems in place for adequate tracking of warm and cold ischemia times, continuous freezer monitoring, robust backup systems, and comprehensive disaster recovery plans. The process of collecting samples is meticulously conducted, ensuring the highest regard for patient privacy, the secure management of data, and strict compliance with top ethical and biobanking standards at every step.


We facilitate collection, storage, and distribution of a variety of biospecimens, including paired normal and tumor tissue, blood, plasma, urine, saliva, etc. as required by a research protocol.  

  • Fresh Tissues: Collected and transported in appropriate media and conditions to maintain cell viability for immediate use in experiments or for cultures.
  • Frozen Tissues: Snap-frozen in liquid nitrogen or a -80°C freezer shortly after collection to preserve the RNA, DNA, and protein content. This method is widely used for molecular analyses.
  • Formalin-Fixed Paraffin-Embedded (FFPE) Tissues: Tissues are fixed in formalin to preserve their cellular structure and morphology, then embedded in paraffin wax. FFPE tissues are commonly used for histological examination, immunohistochemistry (IHC), and, for molecular analyses after RNA or DNA extraction.
  • OCT-Embedded Frozen Tissues: Tissues embedded in Optimal Cutting Temperature (OCT) compound before freezing, which facilitates the preparation of thin tissue sections for histological studies and immunofluorescence microscopy.
  • Blood Components: Including whole blood, plasma, serum, buffy coat.
  • Hematoxylin & Eosin Stained and Unstained Tissue Sections/ Rolls: for ancillary IHC and molecular tests.
  • Pathology Review by a Board-Certified Pathologist
  • Clinical and pathologic data support

Tissue Collection:

Our tissue collection services are available at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) and the Penn Presbyterian Medical Center (PPMC).

@HUP: Frozen Section suite of Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (PLM) in the new Pavilion (Floor 3) in HUP East

@PPMC: Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at PPMC at 5 Wright-Saunders

In addition, we facilitate blood/ tissue collection at various interventional radiology and phlebotomy clinics at HUP, PCAM and outpatient surgical pavilion.


Anupma Nayak, MD

Director | 

Office: 1-215-662-4899

Cell: 917-224-1849


Fred (Frederico) Valdivieso

Technical Director & Operations Manager |

Office: 215-615-4744


Location and hours of operation

Hours Location

Monday - Friday, 9-5PM

(University Calendar Schedule)

Maloney Ground, TTAB Lab

Links and Resources


Name Role Phone Email Location
PBR Helpdesk

Tracey Betzale

Jacquelyn Thomas
IT Support Specialist

Luellen Fletcher

Siena Martin

Corrine Burman

Lili Randolph

Federico Valdivieso
Technical Director

Anupma Nayak
Medical Director