The CTSI Biorepository

The CTSI Biorepository

By April Frawley Birdwell

Staff members of the CTSI Biorepository Rosia Kizza, Antony Higgs, Melissa Rawley-Payne, Dhane Stomp and Eric Elmadani (from left) stand in front of new robotic freezers that were recently installed./Photo by Maria Belen Farias

For many investigators, obtaining and studying human tissue samples are critical steps on the path to discovery. But procuring and maintaining those samples can be a challenge in terms of time, space and resources.

The UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute Biorepository was established to serve as an institutional resource, giving researchers a place to obtain high quality specimens that can be used in studies that will lead to better care for patients, says Melissa Rawley-Payne, M.A., assistant director of the Biorepository.

Housed in the College of Medicine department of pathology, the new Biorepository is equipped with the latest technology, including a robotic freezer that stores samples at a chilly 80 degrees below zero, Rawley-Payne said.

“It is a new technology that really improves the quality of tissue,” Rawley-Payne says. “The advantage of the robotic system is it is completely enclosed, you don’t have to open it at all.”

The CTSI Biorepository works closely with the UF CRU Processing Laboratory and the Molecular Pathology & Immunology Core. But as staff members have worked to get the Biorepository running, they did take on one other more unusual partner as well — students from UF’s Warrington College of Business Administration. Business students from the college’s GatorNest program helped the Biorepository by completing a market analysis.