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Atlantic Health System Delivers First Human Tissue Specimen from BioBank to Accelerate Medical Research and Advance Discoveries

April 26, 2023

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


APRIL 26, 2023, MORRISTOWN, NJ – 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 de-identified/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 de-identified/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.”

To learn more about the Atlantic Health BioBank, visit the Atlantic Health System website. To learn more about the Cooperative Human Tissue Network, visit

About Atlantic Health System

Atlantic Health System is at the forefront of medicine, setting standards for quality health care in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the New York metropolitan area. Powered by a workforce of more than 19,000 team members and 4,800 affiliated physicians dedicated to building healthier communities, Atlantic Health System serves more than half of the state of New Jersey including 12 counties and 6.2 million people. The not-for-profit system offers more than 400 sites of care, including its seven hospitals: Morristown Medical Center in Morristown, NJ, Overlook Medical Center in Summit, NJ, Newton Medical Center in Newton, NJ, Chilton Medical Center in Pompton Plains, NJ, Hackettstown Medical Center in Hackettstown, NJ, Goryeb Children’s
Hospital in Morristown, NJ, Atlantic Rehabilitation Institute in Madison, NJ and through its partnership with CentraState Healthcare System in Freehold, NJ.

Atlantic Medical Group, comprised of 1,000 physicians and advanced practice providers, represents one of the largest multi-specialty practices in New Jersey and joins Atlantic Accountable Care Organization and Optimus Healthcare Partners as part of Atlantic Alliance, a Clinically Integrated Network of more than 2,500 health care providers throughout northern and central NJ.

Atlantic Health System provides care for the full continuum of health care needs through 23 urgent care centers, Atlantic Visiting Nurse and Atlantic Anywhere Virtual Visits. Facilitating the connection between these services on both land and air is the transportation fleet of Atlantic Mobile Health.

Atlantic Health System leads the Healthcare Transformation Consortium, a partnership of six regional hospitals and health systems dedicated to improving access and affordability and is a founding member of the PIER Consortium – Partners in Innovation, Education, and Research – a streamlined clinical trial system that will expand access to groundbreaking research across five health systems in the region.

Atlantic Health System has a medical school affiliation with Thomas Jefferson University and is home to the regional campus of the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Morristown and Overlook.