Our History

The GRCF Biorepository & Cell Center was established in 1989 as a core resource established to produce immortalized cell lines from human blood (EBV transformations). Continued success has enabled the lab to open its doors to the Hopkins community at large and to expand its services to include cryogenic storage in an on-site biorepository, bioprocessing such as mammalian cell culture and blood processing and domestic / international bioshipping.  In 2013 the GRCF Biorepository & Cell Center proudly received the international recognition of CAP (the College of American Pathologist) Accreditation. This voluntary program demands that a laboratory go well beyond acceptable quality and regulatory compliance measures to help achieve the highest standards of excellence in our services. Our mission in the GRCF Biorepository & Cell Center is to bring high quality, cost effective services to facilitate clinical and basic science research needs to investigators throughout the Johns Hopkins scientific community.


Meet Our Team

GRCF Director:  Melissa V. Olson, Ph.D. 410-955-6327,  mvolson@jhu.edu

Dr. Melissa Olson, Director of the GRCF and GRCF Biorepository, has more than 15 years of cell culture and biorepository experience.  She oversees the activities of the GRCF Biorepository & Cell Center staff and ensures that cultures, blood processes and long-term cryogenic storage are handled in a timely and expert manner. In addition, she offers assistance to faculty in the design and implementation of projects involving maintenance or storage of cultured cells.


Cell Center Director: Kakali Sarkar, Ph.D., 410-614-5201, ksarkar4@jhmi.edu

Dr. Kakali Sarkar, Director of the GRCF Cell Center, has more than 20 years of Cell and Molecular Biology experiences. She has been responsible for overseeing Cell Center’s bioprocessing activities across a range of areas including Clinical research support services, cell line expansion and cryopreservation, establishment of cell lines to meet productivity, quality goals and timeliness of the deliverables. She serves as Cell Center’s representative to clinical and basic research scientist to shape solutions according to their project needs.  Additionally, she aids faculty for initiating 10X Genomics single cell RNASeq service and to facilitate the workflow through the pipeline.

Biorepository Coordinator: Patrick Catterson

Biorepository, Bioprocessing & Bioshipping Expert Staff:   Karen Horner, Emily DeAngelis, Randy Guertin and Jonathan Juba

The lab can be reached at:



 Bioprocessing @jhmi.edu

Biorepository @ jhmi.edu

Bioshipping @jhmi.edu


Mailing Address:

GRCF Biorepository & Cell Center, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutes, 600 N. Wolfe Street, Blalock 1017, Baltimore, MD 21287

Payment for Services is accepted as follows:

  • John Hopkins investigators: IO / CC (budget) number or credit card (VISA or MasterCard)
  • External U.S. customers: P.O. or credit card (VISA or MasterCard)CAP
  • External foreign customers: P.O., check or credit card (VISA or MasterCard)

*Listed pricing is for Johns Hopkins investigators; all other customers will have a 16% administrative fee added.