Biomedical Research Core Facilities
Spring 2023 Newsletter
The Perelman School of Medicine is proud to support our integral research core facilities and research teams.
In this issue:

  • Announcements
  • Core Facility Strategic Funding Initiative 
  • Symposium on Structural Mass Spectrometry: May 16
  • In Person Cores Day 2023 - Participating Cores RSVP by 6/26
  • Valuing PSOM Cores Research Staff: The Importance of Salary Increases
  • Special Issue: Journal of Biomolecular Techniques - Maximizing Shared Research Resources
  • Core Facilities Spotlight - OCRC Tumor BioTrust
Announcements: Core Facility Strategic Funding Initiative
We are pleased to share our new funding approach, specifically designed to foster strategic investment in support of our vital research core facility community.

To submit a request for supplemental funding, please click here:

  • Funds may be used for a variety of strategic purposes, such as new equipment, educational outreach, research/development, and more.  
  • Core facilities are free to apply for funding as strategic needs are identified, and applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.
  • There is no specific limit to the amount of funds a core facility may request; support will be based on justification, strategic need, and committed partnerships.

Please note that core facilities are encouraged to seek other funding partners (ex. Departments, Centers, Institutes) prior to submitting your request.

Please contact April Weakley ( with any questions or concerns.
Announcements: Symposium on Structural Mass Spectrometry: 5/16
A Symposium on Structural Mass Spectrometry
In honor of Dr. Walter Englander
Tuesday, May 16th, 2023

In recognition of the contributions of Dr. Walter Englander to the field, the modern applications of mass spectrometry to structural biology will be highlighted in morning and afternoon sessions to be held in the Smilow Auditoriums. Please note registration is required for this free event.

Please click here to learn more, and contact Dr. Kushol Gupta ( with any question.
Announcements: In Person Cores Day 2023 - Participating Cores RSVP by 6/26
We are delighted to announce that we are back in person for Cores Day 2023! Please mark your calendars for Wednesday, September 13, 2023 from 10am-3pm. All core facilities are encouraged to participate.

Participating cores from Penn, CHOP, and Wistar should RSVP to April Weakley ( by June 26, 2023, as April will be coordinating the event floorplan.

As part of your RSVP, please provide the below information:

  • Core facility name
  • Core facility contact(s)
  • Core facility website
  • Brief description of your core facility
  • Will your core facility be displaying a poster?
  • Is your core interested in presenting a brief live talk in the Smilow lobby?
  • Is your core interested in providing a targeted talk to student groups in a nearby conference room?

Due to ongoing construction in Osler Circle, the event will be held in the Smilow lobby. This new location affords us the exciting opportunity to feature talks from interested Core Directors on the large screen in the lobby, as well as the use of smaller conference rooms for targeted talks and activities.

As the overall lobby floorspace is smaller, we plan to split the event into AM (10-12) and PM (1-3) shifts, rotating out participating core facilities around lunchtime. Time slots will be provided to participating core facilities in July. Please note that power will not be available in all locations at the event – we encourage you to have your laptop charged in advance of your 2-hour shift.

The annual Cores Day event is a joint venture with CHOP, PSOM, Penn Vet, and Wistar, in an effort to showcase the many outstanding biomedical research resources and services available throughout our campus. This event is an opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to interface with a multitude of research core facilities via informational tables staffed by core facility personnel.  

Please feel free to contact April Weakley ( with any questions or concerns.

We look forward to seeing you in September!
Valuing Cores Research Staff: The Importance of Salary Increases
Chris Petucci, PhD; PSOM Core Director Meeting Chair
PSOM core research staff provide numerous routine and specialized services to support world class research at Penn. This has resulted in high impact publications in journals like Nature and Cell and numerous funded grants. The salary increases this past January were critical to retain PSOM Cores research staff and recognize their valuable contributions to the Penn research community.

In my opinion and experience as a core director, salary increases can help retain research staff instead of losing them to other higher paying jobs at other institutions and the industry. The salary increases can support student loan payments, proximal living arrangements and more, allowing staff to do a scientifically fulfilling job and develop critically needed new services.

Overall, it is my hope that the salary increases will help stabilize PSOM cores, recruit and retain talent, and maintain knowledge to maximize their contributions to research at Penn.
Special Issue: Journal of Biomolecular Techniques - Maximizing Shared Research Resources
The Journal of Biomolecular Techniques (JBT) is published by the Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities. The JBT was established to promote the central role biotechnology plays in contemporary research activities, to disseminate information among biomolecular resource facilities, and to communicate the biotechnology research conducted by the Association’s Research Groups and members, as well as other investigators.

The JBT recently published a special issue featuring contributions from Luellen Fletcher, Associate Director of the PathBio Resource. The issue covers pertinent topics such as Creating a Career Path for Shared Research Resources Personnel as well as article discussing how shared resources can be viewed as investments in education/innovation.
The Ovarian Cancer Research Center Tumor BioTrust Collection collects fresh cancer tissue specimens, as well as plasma, serum, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), blood and other biological samples from various cancer cases with a focus on gynecologic cancers. We also house formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) samples including tissue microarray (TMA) construction and immunohistochemistry. Samples collected through the Penn Legacy Tissue Program (PLTP) (e.g., rapid autopsy) are also available and a quote can be provided upon request.

We will also work with investigators to prospectively collect specific samples to support their research within Penn research community as well as in outside academic institutions. We will be working with biotech/bio-pharma companies if it is within the confines of a collaboration.
We are offering the following sample types:

  • Fresh Tumor Tissue
  • Frozen Tumor Tissue
  • Enzyme Digested Tumor Cells
  • Serum
  • Plasma
  • Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells (PBMC)
  • OCT
  • Formalin Fixed Paraffin Embedded (FFPE)
  • Tissue Microarray (TMA)
  • Samples from rapid autopsies

More info about the core and pricing can be found at:
Representative Publications:
Folate Receptor Beta as a Direct and Indirect Target for Antibody-Based Cancer Immunotherapy
Allison G. RoyJ. Michael Robinson, Prannda SharmaAlba Rodriguez-GarciaMathilde A. PoussinCheryl Nickerson-Nutter, and Daniel J. Powell, Jr.

Intra-Tumoral Nerve-Tracing in a Novel Syngeneic Model of High-Grade Serous Ovarian Carcinoma.
Barr JL, Kruse A, Restaino AC, Tulina N, Stuckelberger S, Vermeer SJ, Williamson CS, Vermeer DW, Madeo M, Stamp J, Bell M, Morgan M, Yoon J-Y, Mitchell MA, Budina A, Omran DK, Schwartz LE, Drapkin R, Vermeer PD. Cells. 2021; 10(12):3491.

Systematic analysis of CD39, CD103, CD137, and PD-1 as biomarkers for naturally occurring tumor antigen-specific TILs.
Eiva MA, Omran DK, Chacon JA, Powell DJ Jr.
Eur J Immunol. 2021 Sep 10. doi: 10.1002/eji.202149329. Epub ahead of print.

CAR-T cell-mediated depletion of immunosuppressive tumor-associated macrophages promotes endogenous antitumor immunity and augments adoptive immunotherapy.
Rodriguez-Garcia A, Lynn RC, Poussin M, Eiva MA, Shaw LC, O'Connor RS, Minutolo NG, Casado-Medrano V, Lopez G, Matsuyama T, Powell DJ Jr.
Nat Commun. 2021 Feb 9;12(1):877. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-20893-2.
Inhibition of relaxin autocrine signaling confers therapeutic vulnerability in ovarian cancer.
Burston HE, Kent OA, Communal L, Udaskin ML, Sun RX, Brown KR, Jung E, Francis KE, La Rose J, Lowitz JK, Drapkin R, Mes-Masson AM, Rottapel R.
J Clin Invest. 2021 Feb 9:142677. doi: 10.1172/JCI142677.
Combining PARP with ATR inhibition overcomes PARP inhibitor and platinum resistance in ovarian cancer models.
Kim H, Xu H, George E, Hallberg D, Kumar S, Jagannathan V, Medvedev S, Kinose Y, Devins K, Verma P, Ly K, Wang Y, Greenberg RA, Schwartz L, Johnson N, Scharpf RB, Mills GB, Zhang R, Velculescu VE, Brown EJ, Simpkins F.
Nat Commun. 2020 Jul 24;11(1):3726. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-17127-2.
PARP Theranostic Auger Emitters Are Cytotoxic in BRCA Mutant Ovarian Cancer and Viable Tumors from Ovarian Cancer Patients Enable Ex-Vivo Screening of Tumor Response. Molecules.
Riad A, Gitto SB, Lee H, Winters HD, Martorano PM, Hsieh CJ, Xu K, Omran DK, Powell DJ Jr, Mach RH, Makvandi M.
2020 Dec 19;25(24):6029. doi: 10.3390/molecules25246029.
An autologous humanized patient-derived-xenograft platform to evaluate immunotherapy in ovarian cancer
Sarah B. Gitto, Hyoung Kim, Stavros Rafail, Dalia K. Omran, Sergey Medvedev, Yasuto Kinose, Alba Rodriguez-Garcia, Ahron J. Flowers, Haineng Xu, Lauren E. Schwartz, Daniel J. Powell Jr., Fiona Simpkins
Gynecologic Oncology 156 (2020) 222e232.
CAR T Cells Targeting MISIIR for the Treatment of Ovarian Cancer and Other Gynecologic Malignancies
Alba Rodriguez-Garcia, Prannda Sharma, Mathilde Poussin, Alina C. Boesteanu, Nicholas G. Minutolo, Sarah B. Gitto, Dalia K. Omran, Matthew K. Robinson, Gregory P. Adams, Fiona Simpkins, and Daniel J. Powell, Jr.
Molecular Therapy (2019),
Imaging Collagen Alterations in STICs and High Grade Ovarian Cancers in the Fallopian Tubes by Second Harmonic Generation Microscopy
Eric C. Rentchler, Kristal L. Gant, Ronny Drapkin, Manish Patankar and Paul J. Campagnola,*
Cancers 2019, 11, 1805; doi:10.3390/cancers11111805.
CD105 Is Expressed in Ovarian Cancer Precursor Lesions and Is Required for Metastasis to the Ovary
Shoumei Bai, Wanhong Zhu, Lan Coffman, Anda Vlad, Lauren E. Schwartz, Esther Elishaev, Ronny Drapkin and Ronald J Buckanovich
Cancers 2019, 11, 1710; doi:10.3390/cancers11111710.
Innervation of cervical carcinoma is mediated by cancer-derived exosomes
Christopher T. Lucido, Emily Wynja, Marianna Madeoa, Caitlin S.Williamson, Lauren E. Schwartz, Brittney A. Imblumc, Ronny Drapkin, Paola D. Vermeer
Gynecol Oncol. 2019 Jul;154(1):228-235.
Contact Us
Ovarian Cancer Research Center Tumor BioTrust Collection
Ehay Jung, Technical Director
Smilow CTR 08-191A
3400 Civic Center Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: 215-746-5137
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