Biomedical Research Core Facilities
Winter 2022 Newsletter
The Perelman School of Medicine is proud to support our integral research core facilities and research teams.
In this issue:

  • Announcements
  • 2022 Core Director Award Winners
  • Cores Day 2023
  • Core Facility Marketing Slides
  • Research Resource Identifier Update
  • New Director of the Penn Electronic Design Shop
  • Event Summary- Johnson Foundation Biophysical & Structural Biology Core Facility
  • 10/18/22 Symposium: "The Modern Applications of the Analytical Ultracentrifugation"
  • Core Facilities Spotlight
  • Molecular Pathology & Imaging Core Facility
  • OCRC Tumor BioTrust
  • Penn Genomics and Sequencing Core Facility
Announcements: 2022 Core Director Awards
We are delighted to announce that the Cores Committee has selected Drs. David Schultz and Andrea Stout as the winners of our 2022 Core Director Awards!

Dr. Schultz has served as Technical Director of the High Throughput Screening Core Facility since 2015, and has consistently worked to expand and improve the HTSC’s capabilities. In additional to developing new and exciting assays, Dr. Schultz implements them with rigor. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Schultz worked tirelessly to screen for antivirals, and his work has led to important discoveries in antiviral therapeutics.

Dr. Stout serves as Technical Director of the CDB Microscopy Core Facility, and is responsible for all aspects of its service. Her deep knowledge and dedication to supporting the acquisition of cutting-edge technology, while also educating users, substantially raises the level of microscopy available at PSOM. Dr. Stout’s training expertise and ability to creatively brainstorm solutions has directly contributed to the success of projects, with one user naming her “ essential contributor to my education on confocal knowledge.”

We are honored to recognize the tremendous accomplishments of Drs. Schultz and Stout as Core Facility Directors. We would also like to commend Drs. Derek Jones, Jean Richa, and Kenton Woodard, along with Kate Bennett, Stephen Durborow, and Chris Helker who have received honorable mention status. We are grateful for their continued efforts to achieve excellence as part of our PSOM Biomedical Research Core Facility Community.

Please join us in congratulating Drs. Schultz and Stout for their award-winning performances as Core Directors!
Announcements: Cores Day 2023
We are pleased to announce that Cores Day 2023 will be back in person. Please stay tuned for event save-the-dates coming in January!

To view Penn video presentations from last year's virtual event, please click here.
Announcements: Core Facility Marketing Slides
Marketing slides for participating core facilities now appear on the Smilow video wall! We are currently exploring formatting these slides for use on the digital displays throughout campus, as well as how they may be integrated into other events.
Announcements: Research Resource Identifier (RRID) Update
Authors are encouraged to acknowledge PSOM core facilities via Research Resource Identifiers (RRIDs). Research Resource Identifiers are ID numbers assigned to help researchers cite key resources (including core facilities), in biomedical literature. 

All core facilities with websites have been assigned an RRID. When cores are cited using their RRID, the publication will automatically be added to their CoreMarketplace listing. Usage of RRIDS will help the School track the impact of core facilities and serve to highlight the important work done by cores. RRIDs now appear on the core facilities webpage and on core facility iLab landing pages. RRIDS will also be added to default invoice text for core facilities in iLab. We also encourage core facilities to add RRID information to their email signatures and core facility websites.

To learn more about RRIDS, please click here. If you would like to check the status of your core RRID assignment, or explore how to obtain an RRID for a new core, please contact April Weakley (
Announcements: New Director of the Penn Electronic Design Shop - RRID:SCR_021107
We are happy to introduce you to Vincent Lau, the new director of the Penn Electronic Design Shop (Penn EDS). Vincent has a background in electronic engineering and has previously worked in Hong Kong both in industry and in a research institute for more than 10 years. He is highly experienced with developing electronic devices for research projects, and can provide help from concept to product, including proof of concept studies, prototype design, and product deployment. Vincent will provide the Penn researchers with the resources they need to design, invent, and examine their ideas. Vincent can be reached by email at or by phone at 215-746-1455.

The Penn Electronic Design Shop is located in the basement of the Solomon Labs building (3720 Walnut Street Solomon Lab Building, Floor A, Rooms A15 and A16).

By Kushol Gupta, PhD; Director
For almost a century, investigators have used the biophysical technique called analytical ultracentrifugation (AUC) to separate macromolecules in solution based on their hydrodynamic properties to determine information about size, shape, and buoyant density using first-principle approaches. Application of this technique has been driven by commercially available instruments that can achieve rotor speeds of upwards of 60,000 revolutions per minute (rpm), generating upwards of 300,000 g of force at the bottom of a centrifuge sample cell. The sedimentation of macromolecules can be monitored using different forms of detection including

UV-visible light absorbance and Rayleigh interference. The optical signal is recorded as a function of the radial range of the sample compartment over multiple timepoints, which allows for fitting of the data with known relationships derived from the Svedberg equation to calculate experimental sedimentation and diffusion coefficients. The Johnson Research Foundation Structural Biology and Biophysics Core (JRFSBBC) Facility is a campus-wide resource that resides within, and is supported by, the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania. A recent S10 award has provided the core a state-of-the-art Beckman-Coulter Optima analytical ultracentrifuge, a centerpiece technology, to support the ongoing research at the University of Pennsylvania and institutions nationwide.
On Tuesday October 18, 2022, the Johnson Foundation Biophysical and Structural Biology Core Facility (RRID:SCR_022414) at the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics hosted its fifth symposium on “The Modern Applications of the Analytical Ultracentrifugation”, where over 70 participants from industry, academia, and government gathered in-person on the Penn campus and virtually to learn about the newest technologies and applications in this area. Expert speakers included Dr. Borries Demeler of the University of Lethbridge, who led a morning workshop on the software package ULTRASCAN and later in the day spoke on the application of multi-wavelength AUC to the study of lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) and AAV viral vectors. Professor Gino Cingolani from Thomas Jefferson University spoke about the structural biology of Importin alpha/beta. Zahid Khan from GSK presented the applications and challenges in studying therapeutic monoclonal antibodies using sedimentation velocity AUC. Neal Whitaker from Spark Therapeutics discussed AUC applications to the study of AAV vectors, and Akash Bhattacharya from Beckman-Coulter spoke about the complementary application of density gradients to the characterization of AAV vectors. 
Pilot Award Competitions 
The Molecular Pathology and Imaging Core, in conjunction with Nanostring and the Single Cell Technology Core, will be hosting a Seminar and Pilot Award Competition for Nanostring Digital Spatial Profiling via GeoMx in January 2023. During this seminar, details about the pilot award competition will be announced, including submission requirements and prizes. Stay tuned for details. 
We’d like to congratulate Kole Buckley, the winner of MPIC’s Visium Spatial Transcriptomics Pilot Award Competition. Dr. Buckley will use Visium to investigate transcriptional profiles of signet ring cell carcinoma in patients with hereditary diffuse gastric cancer.  
Abstracts for our final Visium Pilot Award Competition are due January 31, 2023. This competition is open to the entire Penn/CHOP community and includes free Visium Spatial Transcriptomics reagents and sequencing. Please see the MPIC website for a recording of the Webinar and link to the application. 
New Technology 
MPIC now has a Leica Aperio Slide Scanner available for use. It can image 8 slides at a time in brightfield or IF with up to 40x magnification. Leica offers free software to store, review, edit, and annotate your slide images. Please contact MPIC’s Technical Director, Kate Bennett (, with any questions or to set up training. 
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:
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
Announcing the Penn Genomic and Sequencing Core (PGSC) at the Perelman School of Medicine

The Department of Genetics is pleased to announce the newly integrated Penn Genomic and Sequencing Core (PGSC) at the Perelman School of Medicine. The PGSC is an integrated core facility responsible for running three laboratories historically specializing in genomic services: DNA Sequencing, Next-Generation Sequencing, and Molecular Profiling. The PGSC is a formal merger of the Penn Genomic Analysis Core (PGAC) and the Next-Generation Sequencing Core (NGSC) under the overall direction of Dr. Tapan Ganguly and the technical direction of Dr. Jonathan Schug. This merger facilitates synergy between these facilities with economies of scale and practical use of technical and administrative support. With a single nucleic acid sequencing core facility on campus, the PGSC will provide full-service nucleic acid sequencing and other genomic services with enhanced staff and equipment utilization. Services will continue to be offered throughout the Perelman School of Medicine campus in Stellar-Chance, John Morgan, and the Smilow Center for Translational Research. 

Learn more about the PGSC at

Through the Penn Genomic and Sequencing Core, Dr. John Tobias offers multifaceted bioinformatics services to Penn investigators. John offers advice for designing powerful, statistically tractable experiments, application of tools appropriate to the design and the platforms, and delivery of results in forms accessible by lab members for further exploration and follow-up. John works primarily through one-on-one meetings, which have proven to be the best way to capture the nuances of the project and ensure the customized analyses are optimal.

Single-cell platforms, which are rapidly increasing in popularity, present a particular challenge for in-lab examination without a local bioinformatician. John maintains a Cirrocumulus server to provide secure, web- based, interactive exploration of results.

For more information or to set up a meeting, please contact John directly at
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