News Department

Atlantic Health System delivers first human tissue specimen from BioBank to accelerate medical research and advance discoveries

Samples shared through partnership with Southern Division of the Cooperative Human Tissue Network – part of the National Cancer Institute

MORRISTOWN, NJ (Morris County) – Atlantic Health System has shared the first samples of human tissue through a new partnership between the state-of-the-art Atlantic Health BioBank and the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Cooperative Human Tissue Network (CHTN) – Southern Division.

The CHTN is a resource supported by the NCI that provides increased access to human tissue for scientific research. Founded in 1987, the CHTN has provided more than 1 million specimens to more than 3,400 investigators around the world.

Located at prestigious universities and hospital institutions across the country, CHTN divisions work directly with researchers and investigators to provide them with the deidentified/anonymized biospecimens and tissue processing services suited to their specific needs. Only eight institutions have ever been part of the CHTN.

The Southern Division of the CHTN is currently led by Duke Pathology’s BioRepository and Precision Pathology Center at the Duke University School of Medicine. Atlantic Health BioBank is the first subsite for the Southern Division, one of six divisions across the country.

Every day medical and surgical procedures across the country yield excess biological material. This material can be invaluable to researchers searching for the next breakthrough in fighting diseases, including cancer. The collaboration between Atlantic Health System and NCI will help provide clinical researchers with the resources they need to advance the science of medicine.

The Atlantic Health BioBank is a centralized resource to safely collect de-identified biological material that would otherwise be disposed of as medical waste, including tissues, blood and blood components, and genetic material. The BioBank team carefully stores and preserves the material with all patient identifiers removed until it can be shared with research partners including academic institutions, pharmaceutical and biotech companies, and Atlantic Health System’s Atlantic Center for Research. Currently holding thousands of deidentified/anonymized specimens, collected over many years, the Atlantic Health BioBank is capable of storing and providing material useful to research in a variety of areas including cardiovascular and gastrointestinal diseases and oncology. Several of the first samples shared were collected decades ago.

“Atlantic Health’s mission is to design and deliver high quality, innovative and personalized health care to build healthier communities and improve lives for patients, their loved ones and caregivers. This exciting partnership presents an opportunity for us to help support the next generation of medical breakthroughs,” said Suja Mathew, MD, Executive Vice President, Chief Clinical Officer, Atlantic Health System. “By partnering with the Cooperative Human Tissue Network’s Southern Division we are opening our doors to cancer researchers from across the globe so that we can drive the innovations that protect more people from disease for years to come.”

“The CHTN was created by the National Cancer Institute decades ago ‘to stimulate, for the good of the public, cooperative efforts to collect and distribute human tumor tissues for cancer research,’ said Shannon McCall, MD, Principal Investigator for CHTN at Duke University and Director of the Duke Biorepository & Precision Pathology Center. “As the Southern Division of the CHTN, we are excited to expand the pool of human tissue specimens available to support biomedical research through our new partnership with Atlantic Health Biobank.”

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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