About the Service

• TACMASS home page

The Tissue Acquisition and Cellular/Molecular Analysis Shared Services provides support and pathology-related services to Arizona Cancer Center and University of Arizona researchers on a fee-for-service basis. We strive to maximize research dollars through customized, cost-effective and quality-controlled services.

The Service’s Directors and Co-Directors are board certified anatomic pathologists with many years of clinical and experimental research experience.

TACMASS Director Lisa M. Rimsza, MD, works as a diagnostic hematopathologist. She is the Director of Flow Cytometry, and the Directory of the Molecular Genetic Pathology Fellowship at the University of Arizona Medical Center. Her primary research focuses on the biology of diffuse large B cell lymphoma, particularly the investigation of prognostic biomarkers and mechanisms of lost tumor immunosurveillance. She also has collaborative research projects in the field of neonatal thrombocytopenia.

Each member of the TACMASS team brings many years of experience and expertise to the shared service.

Priority of Access

Preference in scheduling services is given to UACC Members and Investigators with peer reviewed and competitively funded grants, to UA Investigators and then to external entities.

Biohazardous samples

All biological materials are potential biohazards, some more than others.

As a courtesy, please include relevant information about potential biohazardous samples or conditions on the Request Form.

Notify the lab staff if your samples present any undue biological hazard.

TACMASS does not accept

  • Radiolabeled material
  • Fresh material with known infectious agents (AIDs, hepatitis, etc)
  • Fresh tissue without making prior arrangements with staff
  • Cell pellets on Fridays without prior arrangements


TACMASS is equipped with technology and reagents to perform routine histology including:  TissueTek tissue processor, embedding station, two rotary microtomes, Microm HM550 cryostat, a Benchtop Solvent Recycler (CBG Biotech) and refrigerators/freezers. 

Tissue specimens are handled in a ThermoScientific Shandon Tissue Grossing Station. Blood and urine are centrifuged in a Sorvall Legend RT Refrigerated Benchtop centrifuge and aliquotted in a NuAire Biological Safety Cabinet Class II Type A/B3.  A Shandon Cytospin 2 is used to prepare cytospin cell preps. Two rolling carts containing equipment and supplies to fix and snap freeze tissue are available. Frozen biospecimens are stored in four -80°C freezers located in the basement of the Salmon Building. This room is equipped with backup emergency power and an emergency alarm system which is monitored by UA Facilities Management. 

The majority of IHC assays are performed on the Discovery XT Automated Staining platform for IHC and ISH (Ventana Medical Systems, Inc, Tucson, AZ). Equipment for manual staining immunostaining is also available.

The Arcturus VeritasTM Laser Capture Laser Microdissection instrument is available for use by investigators. TACMASS provides technical support to prepare samples for LCM and trains users to harvest RNA, DNA and protein by LCM to address issues of tissue heterogeneity.  A Qiagen BioRobot EZ1 for harvesting DNA from blood samples is also available.

Photomicrography and molecular imaging equipment includes: 

  • An Olympus BX50 microscope and CellSens DP72 imaging camera/software for both light and fluorescence viewing.

  • Nikkon microscope with a digital camera and PaxIt imaging software.

  • BioImagene iScan Coreo Au slide scanning and quantitation instrumentation.

Review an updated TACMASS Equipment List

Outside investigators and commercial biotech companies please contact the TACMASS Staff  

Review a list of 2003-2008 TACMASS Select Publications