Diabetes and obesity are epidemic diseases worldwide, and much research effort is appropriately focused on these and related metabolic diseases. However, studies in cell and animal models may have limited applicability to human disease, so validation of key results in human tissue is increasingly important. Anonymous tissue banks are centralized IRB-approved resources to conduct research with human tissue without the need for individual investigators to obtain regulatory approval or undertake human subject recruitment and consent. For metabolically relevant tissues like adipose tissue and liver, few resources exist despite a growing need for human translational research.

The Human Metabolic Tissue Bank is a repository created and maintained for the collection and distribution of human tissue materials and blood samples for research purposes. The HMTB is available for use by both basic science researchers who will use the tissue to extend their observations made in non-human systems; and clinical and translational scientists will use human tissue samples and blood samples to investigate disease progression and examine potential biomarkers of health and disease.

Specimens are handled in one of the following ways, according to the needs of the requesting investigator or for the purpose of archiving:

(a) Frozen en bloc in liquid nitrogen and stored for later analysis and distribution.

(b) Immediate distribution of fresh tissue to investigators who require this for their studies.

Our study team collects adipose tissue samples from consented surgical patients at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania:

  1. Bariatric surgery (paired abdominal subcutaneous and omental samples from obese subjects, many with diabetes and metabolic syndrome)

  2. General gastrointestinal surgery (paired abdominal subcutaneous and omental samples from lean and obese subjects)

  3. Body contouring plastic surgery (subcutaneous samples only, from lean and obese subjects)

For inquiries and specimen requests, please contact our research coordinator, listed below.

Clinical Research Coordinator:
Katherine Yerkes
Phone: 215-573-5675
E-mail: katherine.yerkes@pennmedicine.upenn.edu