Johns Hopkins All Children’s Pediatric Biorepository

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Johns Hopkins All Children’s Pediatric Biorepository
Outpatient Care Center, 4th Floor
501 6th Ave South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Email: achbiorepository@jhmi.edu
Phone: 727-767-4341

Meet Our Team

Biorepository Medical Director

Hector L Monforte, M.D.

Hector Monforte, M.D., is the director of the pediatric biorepository at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. He is also the director of anatomic pathology at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, where he was an attending pathologist from 1991 through 1993 and then returned in 2005 after 12 years as an attending pathologist at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Dr. Monforte’s primary areas of interest within pediatric and adolescent pathology include oncologic surgical pathology of solid tumors, gastrointestinal pathology, including Hirschsprung disease, and intraoperative consultation and frozen section diagnosis. His expertise includes optimal methods of specimen procurement, allocation and maximization of tissue derived resources for diagnostic, research and archival applications.

Dr. Monforte worked closely with Margaret Penno, Ph.D., a biorepository expert with Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, who was the interim director of the pediatric biorepository at JHACH until her retirement in March 2016. She will continue to share her expertise in a consulting role.

A native of San Diego, California, Dr. Monforte was raised and educated in Mexico and is a graduate of the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara School of Medicine. He came to the United States in 1985 for a residency in anatomic pathology at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida, followed by a fellowship in oncologic pathology at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. In addition, he completed a pediatric pathology fellowship at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

He is certified by the American Board of Pathology in anatomic pathology and in pediatric pathology. Dr. Monforte is active in several professional societies, and has contributed and presented clinical research at national and international meetings.
 

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Biorepository Manager

William Schleif, MS, MT

William Schleif, MS., grew up in Clearwater, FL and received his Bachelor of Science in Biology from Florida State University. He received his graduate education in Biology at the University of South Florida, and began his career at All Children’s Hospital in 2008 as a translational research scientist. He also served in a supporting role in the ACH Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Department before moving back into research to help build the state-of-the-art, hospital-integrated biorepository in 2013.

In his position, he manages biorepository operations and helps with the implementation of a diverse portfolio of clinical and investigator initiated studies into the hospital setting, designed around industry best practices and College of American Pathologists Biorepository standards for biospecimen processing, storage and distribution. He has a focused interest in biorepository science and applied genetics research in medicine, and has a medical technologist license in Molecular Pathology in the state of Florida. William is an active member of the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER), and has presented or published original work in several medical fields.

Biorepository Technologists

Jennifer Ross-Wilkinson, MS, MLS(ASCP)CM

Jennifer Ross-Wilkinson began her career at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital as a biorepository technologist in 2014, where her 16 years of diverse clinical and research laboratory experiences played a critical part in the development of the biorepository.
 
Jennifer earned her Bachelors of Science degree from Marshall University in West Virginia and her Masters of Biomedical Sciences degree from the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine. Upon graduation, she immediately accepted a position as the Threat-Preparedness Coordinator, a BSL-3 microbiologist/molecular technologist position, for the West Virginia Department of Health’s Threat-Preparedness Laboratory.
 
After serving four years in a public health laboratory, Jennifer served as the laboratory manager and molecular research technician for the Marshall University Forensic Science Department’s Bacterial Source Tracking Project. While employed at Marshall University, she earned her Bachelors of Applied Science degree from the Marshall University Medical Technology program. She then converted her expertise to the clinical arena by accepting a position as a medical technologist to aid in the development of the Clinical Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory at Cabell Huntington Hospital.
 
Jennifer is also a clinical volunteer on the ACH Ebola Response Team in which she participates in routine training and drills to prepare for handling of specimens from patients suspected of having the Ebola virus.
 
Jennifer is currently certified through the American Society for Clinical Pathology BOC as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist. Her professional memberships include American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS) and International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER).
 

Bryan Lopes, BS

Bryan Lopes joined Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in 2014. During his time, he has contributed to process standardization and improvement to help develop the pediatric biorepository into a College of American Pathologists accredited core. Bryan also shares his particular expertise in all complexities of sample processing and quality control to help ensure biospecimens will meet future research needs.
 
Bryan has a Bachelors of Science in Biology and is currently working on his Masters of Applied Clinical and Preclinical Research (MACPR) from The Ohio State University, an interdisciplinary program that provides an advanced graduate immersion into design of study protocols, advancement of scientific knowledge and the regulations applying to clinical research.
 
Bryan has significant biorepository experience working as a research associate at the Biopathology Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, where he supported numerous oncology studies through the Children’s Oncology Group, Southwest Oncology Group and the Gynecologic Oncology Group. He also worked as a research associate supporting neonatology research at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

Developer, Founding Committee Member and Special Academic Affiliate for the Johns Hopkins All Children's Pediatric Biorepository

Sue Penno, Ph.D.

Sue Penno, Ph.D., is a biorepository specialist who led the design, development and implementation of the pediatric biorepository at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in 2013. She also led the facility through successful accreditation by the College of American Pathologists.

The pediatric biorepository plays a key role in research endeavors, including a three-year $717,000 National Cancer Institute grant to develop innovative techniques for using saliva samples to screen for chemotherapy drug levels and their overall use in biorepository science.

Dr. Penno's background is in tumor cell metastasis, and for 25 years she led the Biorepository and Cell Center at Johns Hopkins Genetic Resources Core Facility, which serves as a repository and worldwide shipping center for hundreds of cell lines that are invaluable to researchers worldwide.

In 1992, Dr. Penno established The BioTechnical Institute of Maryland, Inc. that provides technical training and job placement for highly motivated high school graduates in Baltimore city. The tuition-free program derives its funds from public and private grants and its professional workshops.

During a 2008 sabbatical, Dr. Penno helped to establish the TB Research Laboratory at Macha, a P2/P3 bio-containment research laboratory in Zambia, Africa. Since 2011, she has been a consulting member of National Institutes of Health "Human Heredity and Health in Africa" initiative, which aims to facilitate the study of genomics and environmental determinants of common diseases with the goal of improving the health of African populations.

Dr. Penno retired in March 2016 after 33 years with Johns Hopkins University, where she was an associate professor of medicine. She continues to share her expertise with the biorepository team as a consultant.
 

Associate Vice Dean for Administration, Office of the Vice Dean for Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital

Sylvia Powell, M.B.A.

Sylvia Powell joined The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in July 2011 as assistant vice dean of administration in the Office of the Vice Dean for All Children's Hospital. Drawing upon more than 35 years of administrative experience in academic medicine, she is helping to lead the academic transformation of Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital.

Based in St. Petersburg, Ms. Powell provides administrative oversight of the development and growth of clinical, translational and basic research programs at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital. She has guided the establishment of a new Clinical and Translational Research Organization and the Johns Hopkins All Children's Pediatric Biorepository. She is also responsible for academic affairs and played an integral role in the inception of the All Children's Hospital pediatric residency program along with fellowships in pediatric general surgery, surgery research and cancer research. In addition, Ms. Powell oversees faculty development and recruitment initiatives.

During more than 30 years at the University of Miami School of Medicine, Ms. Powell held several administrative roles focused on academic affairs, research administration, professional services and contracting, including serving as vice chair of administration for the Department of Neurology.

From 2008-2011, she was director of administration for the Children's Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, part of the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. In this role she was responsible for all research, philanthropic, professional practice and service line operations of the Children's Center, overseeing a $119 million budget.

Ms. Powell holds an M.B.A. from the University of Miami.