The core mission of the Cooperative Human Tissue Network has been the distribution of high quality, well-characterized human biospecimens to researchers who study human disease. Over the past 27 years, the current Eastern Division (ED) has built a dynamic infrastructure, has trained a dedicated staff, and has brought the resource to the research community. The purpose of this proposal is to convey the strengths and innovations of the ED and to describe the plan through which an already successful biospecimen procurement and distribution resource will facilitate and enhance biomedical discovery over the next 5 year cycle. The University of Pennsylvania (UPENN) as the current Eastern Division (ED) of the Cooperative Human Tissue Network submits this application to continue as an adult division of the proposed Collaborative Human Tissue Network (CHTN). To support this objective, we propose the following as specific aims of the ED during this grant cycle. 1) To improve the value of the Network to investigators through innovations in operations, in order to provide a diversified supply of biosamples. To fulfill the specialized requests of the CHTN investigators, by using a targeted sourcing approach to specimen collection. 2) To assure the highest possible quality of tissue, data and services. To use an integrated IT infrastructure t monitor and facilitate biorepository operations and services (collection, processing, quality control, distribution, and storage) guaranteeing a responsive, interactive resource that will adapt to emerging scientific trends. 3) To maximize the impact of the resource by disseminating a proven, successful brand of investigator recruitment and personalized customer service, ensuring researcher satisfaction with the resource. 4) To collaborate with other members of the CHTN to ensure an effective resource by enhancing accessibility to samples, harmonizing interoperability between divisions and by expanding investigations into innovative methodologies and exploring new avenues of biorepository sciences. The ED proposes to bring a unique and innovative procedural methodology to improve the strength of the network to guarantee quality of the distributed biospecimens.
Through national and local efforts the ED has shown that utilizing proven innovative approaches in technology and logistics, it can provide a wide diversity of high quality biospecimens. In this proposal, the ED will continue to facilitate research of both basic and translational science thus serving the public good in the area of medical research. The ED will continue to lead the biorepository industry in cutting edge innovation.