Cole Drifka

CTSI appoints new Biorepository and Laboratory Services Manager

Cole Drifka, PhD, recently joined CTSI as Biorepository and Laboratory Services (BLS) Manager. 

In this role, Dr. Drifka will manage and develop a state-of-the-art integrated biorepository to serve the needs of investigators who require access to human specimens for their research.

Previously, Dr. Drifka earned a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison working in the Laboratory for Biological Interactions with Materials and Laboratory for Optical and Computational Instrumentation (LOCI). His research focussed on better understanding the pancreatic cancer microenvironment through a combination of histopathology, cell-based tumor models, advanced microscopy, and digital image analysis.

As part of his work, he spearheaded efforts related to human specimen research, including regulatory compliance, surgical workflows, tissue processing, and biobanking. He also served as a critical liaison between clinicians, engineers, biologists, and other diverse personnel and established  productive partnerships with multiple research core facilities.

In his role as Biorepository and Laboratory Services (BLS) Manager, Dr. Drifka will:

  • Manage efforts to collect and process human specimens for investigators and establish links to clinical data in collaboration with CTSI’s Biomedical Informatics Program (BMIP), formerly known as Biomedical Informatics (BMI) core. 
  • Oversee and expand BioNet, a University Institutional Review Board (IRB)-approved tissue procurement and histology facility that collects and processes biospecimens from patients who have consented to have their tissue be used for research. 
  • Work with CTSI leadership to strategically expand the research service portfolio within the Biorepository and Laboratory Services (BLS) branch of CTSI.

Dr. Drifka can be reached at [email protected] or 612-273-6652.