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

  • Announcements
  • In Person Cores Day 2023 - Attendee Registration Now Open
  • Core Facility Strategic Funding Initiative 
  • ABRF Compensation Survey Results
  • Core Facilities Spotlight
  • Cell and Animal Radiation Core Facility
  • Molecular Pathology and Imaging Core Facility
  • OCRC Tumor BioTrust Collection
Announcements: In Person Cores Day 2023 - Attendee Registration Now Open
Register Now for In Person Cores Day!
Date: September 13, 2023
Time: 10am-3pm 

Click here to visit the event website, here to search participating core facilities, and register here to receive event updates. Registered attendees will have a chance to win a prize the day of the event. 

Please note the event will be split into morning (10-12:15) and afternoon sessions (12:45-3), with participating core facilities changing over around lunchtime.

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. New this year will be a series of live informational presentations from Core Directors/Staff using the Smilow video wall - we encourage you to stop by! 
Stay tuned for more details and we look forward to seeing you in September! 

Please send any questions to April Weakley or Lori Delspechio-Irvin.
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.

Warmest congratulations to recent award recipients the Johnson Foundation Structural Biology and Biophysics Core Facility, the Rodent Metabolic
Phenotyping Core Facility, and the Tumor Tissue and Biospecimen Bank, whose dedication to furthering PSOM’s strategic and scientific mission is truly inspiring.

Please contact April Weakley ( with any questions or concerns.
ABRF Compensation Survey Results
The ABRF Career Development Committee is excited to share the first ABRF Compensation Survey Report to provide unique, valuable benchmarking information for Core facilities. With responses from close to 200 Core facilities across 26 states, representing thousands of Core professionals, this new report represents an important first effort to measure the prevailing compensation within the Core community. 
Many ABRF member institutions continue to cope with significant staff recruitment and retention challenges. This report enables members to determine how competitive their salary and benefits programs are within their region and among similar size institutions. 
The report includes regional and institution-based compensation information for Core Directors, Core Managers, Staff Scientists, Core Administrators, Research Staff, and Bioinformaticians. In addition to salary data, the ABRF Compensation Survey Report includes comparative information on topics such as incentive compensation, benefits, staff turnover, outlook for hiring, and recruitment/retention challenges.

ABRF members can access the report here. If you are not yet a member,  we encourage you to visit the ABRF website (, and to contact April Weakley ( if you would like to join the organization at no charge to you via PSOM’s institutional membership.
The University of Pennsylvania’s Radiation Oncology Department hosted the annual Small Animal Radiation Research (SARRP) User Symposium in April 2023.    The CARC as a Tier 1 core facility is currently housing two SARRP systems.

The symposium gathered thought leaders, scholars, and operators of Xstrahl’s SARRP systems from all over the world. This two-day meeting featured 74 attendees along with 23 talks. The meeting focused on the sharing of research findings, future experimental plans, and system ownership experience with the aim of addressing the latest issues in radiation therapy and radiation research.
The symposium highlighted scientific investigators presenting and discussing SARRP applications for pre-clinical research purposes important to the community. (Following photograph is from the symposium).
The 10x Genomics CytAssist is the newest addition to the Molecular Pathology and Imaging Core’s equipment available for use.  The CytAssist is necessary for Visium V2, which has broader tissue type compatibility (including compatibility with archived samples), enhanced spatiality, as well as improved gene sensitivity and specificity.  The CytAssist will be available for self-service, allowing researchers to perform spatial biology on their samples at their earliest convenience.  

Contact MPIC’s Technical Director at for pricing and scheduling information if you’re interested in utilizing this piece of equipment.
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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