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Margaret B. Penno, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Associate Professor of Medicine


  • Associate Professor
  • Associate Director, Johns Hopkins Genetic Resources Core Facility (GRCF)
  • CoDirector, Johns Hopkins GRCF Biorepository and Cell Center
  • Interim Director, JHM Pediatric Biorepository at All Children's Hospital
  • Associate Professor of Medicine

Centers & Institutes

  • JHM Pediatric Biorepository at ACH

Research Interests

Biorepository Science

Technology Expertise

Cellular adhesion and chemotaxis, Cellular invasion of the basement membrane, Cell surface adhesion molecules, Cell Culture


Dr. Penno is a biorepository specialist with a background in tumor cell metastasis. She has international experience in design and management of biorepositories for clinical and basic research. She launched the Biorepository and Cell Center at Johns Hopkins Genetic Resources Core Facility ( and is Interim Director of the JHM Pediatric Biorepository at All Children's Hospital. The GRCF Biorepository is a CAP-certified core resource that specializes in the establishment and banking of cell lines and blood fractions from thousands of research participants enrolled by Johns Hopkins University faculty each year. In addition to lymphoblast and fibroblastoid lines, the GRCF Biorepository also serves as a repository and worldwide shipping center for hundreds of tumor cell lines. Dr. Penno also founded the BioTechnical Institute of Maryland, Inc. ( ;, which delivers professional technical instruction around the world while selecting and training highly motivated Baltimore city residents for technical jobs in the biosciences. During her sabbatical in 2008, Dr. Penno helped to establish the TB Research Laboratory at Macha, a P2/P3 bio-containment research laboratory in Zambia, Africa ( .


  • English
Additional Resources +
  • Education +


    • B.S., Pennsylvania State University, 1977
    • Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University, 1982
  • Research & Publications +

    Research Summary

    Pediatric Cancer Saliva Biorepository

    Drug monitoring in saliva combined with pharmacogenomics allows unprecedented opportunity to monitor and investigate drug metabolism as it relates to toxicity in children.  To develop saliva as an optimal repository matrix, this research will optimize saliva collection, stabilization, processing, storage, and drug assay protocols thereby creating a pediatric saliva biorepository dedicated to the study of chemotherapy in children.

    Selected Publications

    Penno, MB, Dvorchik, BH, and ES,Vesell 1981 Genetic Variation in Rates of Antipyrine Metabolite Formation: A study in Uninduced Twins Proc Natl Acad Sci 78:5193-5196.

    Penno, MB, and ES Vesell, 1983 Monogenic Control of Variations in Antipyrine Metabolite Formation: New Polymorphism of Hepatic Drug Oxidation J Clin Invest 71:1698-1709.

    Vesell, ES and MB Penno, 1983 Intraindividual and interindividual variations In Biological Basis of Detoxication J Caldwell and W Jakoby, Eds Acad Press Inc, New York, pp 369-410.

    Nash, R, Stein, L, Penno, MB, Passananti, G and ES Vesell, 1984 Sources of interindividual variations in the metabolism of acetaminophen and antipyrine Clin Pharm Ther 36:417-426.

    Vesell, ES and MB Penno, 1984 Impact of multiple dynamically interacting genetic and environmental factors on methods to detect new polymorphisms of hepatic drug oxidation In Banbury Report 16, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, pp 117-130.

    Kimberling, WJ, Goldgar, DE, Penno, MB, and ES Vesell, 1987 Pharmacogenetic applications of methods from population genetics Clin Pharm Ther 41: 3-10.

    Penno, MB, Passaniti, A, Fridman, R, Hart, GW, Scott, AF, Kumar, S, and C Jordan, 1989 In vitro galactosylation of a 110KDa glycoprotein by an endogenous cell surface galactosyltransferase correlates with the invasiveness of adrenal carcinoma cells PNAS 86:6057-6061.

    Fridman, R, Scott, AF, Muller, D, Reich, R, and MB Penno 1990 The role of cell adhesion and migration in the In vitro invasiveness of mouse adrenal carcinoma cells Invasion and Metastasis 10:208-224.

    Penno, MB and De Maio 1992 A murine model for evaluating metastatic potential: Characterization of a 90-110 kDa metastasis binding protein Exper Geront 27: 493-501.

    Jiang, M S, Passaniti, A, Penno, MB, and Hart, GW 1992 Adrenal carcinoma tumor progression and penultimate cell surface oligosaccharides Cancer Research 52:2222-2227.

    Guarnieri, FG, Arterburn, LM, Penno, MB, Cha, Y, and August, TA 1993 The motif Tyr-X-X-hydrophobic residue-COOH mediates lysosomal membrane targeting of LAMP-1 protein J Biol Chem 268:1941-1946.

    Penno, MB, Krueger, M, and Ray, T 1993 Cryopreservation of whole blood and isolated lymphocytes for B-cell immortalization J Tissue Culture Methods 15:43-48.

    Scott, AF, Elizaga, A, Morell, J, Bergen, A, and Penno, MB 1994 Characterization of a gene co-amplified with K-ras in Y1 adrenal carcinoma cells that codes for a putative membrane protein Genomics 20: 227-230. Cover Photograph, Penno

    Penno, MB, August, TA, Baylin, S, Mabry, L, Linnoila, RI, Lee, V, Croteau, D, Yang, XLand Rosatta, C 1994 Expression of CD44 in human lung tumors. Cancer Research 54: 1381-1387.

    Penno, MB, Askin FB, Ma, H, Carbone, M, Vargas, MP and Pass, HI 1995 CD44, hyaluronan, and human mesotheliomas 1995 The Cancer Journal 1: 196-203.

    Penno, MB, Krueger, M, and Ray, T 1995 Cryopreservation of human blood for B-cell immortalization in Cell and Tissue Culture Laboratory Procedures J Wiley and Sons Griffiths, J, Doyle, A and Newell, D eds, 26G:21-29.

    McKee, CM, Penno, MB, Cowman, M, Burdick, MD, Strieter, RM, and Bao 1996 C J Clin Investigation 98: 2403-2413.

    Bozarth, JM, Penno, MB, and Mousa, SA 1997 An improved method for cellular migration: Role of aVb3 integrin in endothelial and smooth muscle cell migration Methods in Cell Science 19:179-187.

    Suhara, Y Izumi, M, Ichikawa, M, Penno, MB, Ichikawa 1997 Y Peptide-sugar hybrids: Tetrahedron Letters 38: 7167-7170.

    Penno, MB 1998 CD44, hyaluronan, and lung cancers In Cell Adhesion Molecules and matrix proteins: Role in health and diseases Mousa, S ed Springer-Verlag and Landes Co.

    Penno , MB, Krueger, M, and Ray 2000 Cryopreservation of human blood for B-cell immortalization in  Cell and Tissue Culture for Medical Research J Wiley and Sons Doyle, A and Griffiths, J, eds Pp179-186.

    Penno, MB, 2004 Psychomotor Assessment Test United States Patent #6705870 Penno,

    Guarnieri M, Carson BS, Khan A, Penno M, Jallo GI 2005 Flexible v Rigid Catheters for Chronic Administration of Exogenous Agents into Central Nervous System Tissue J Neuroscience Methods 144:147-152, 2005.

    Lee J, Jallo GI, Gaurnieri M, Carson BS, Penno M 2005 A Novel Brainstem Tumor Model:   Functional and Histological Characterization Neurosurg Focus 18(6): Article 11.

    Jallo, GI, Penno, M, Sukay, L, Liu, J-Y, Tyler, B, Lee, J, Carson, BS, and Guarnieri, M, 2005 Experimental models of brainstem tumors: Development of a neonatal rat model Child's Nerv Syst 21:399-403.

    Beck, LA, Tancowny, B, Brummet, M, Asaki, SY, Curry, SL, Penno, MB, Foster, M, Bahl, A and Stellato, C 2006 Functional Analysis of the Chemokine Receptor CCR3 on Airway Epithelial Cells J Immunology, 3344-3354.

    Lee, J, Jallo, G, Penno, MB, Gabrielson, KL, Young, GD, Gillis, EM, Rampersaud, C, Carson, BS, Guarnieri, M 2006. Intracranial drug delivery scaffolds: Evaluation of sucrose acetate isobutyrate gels. Toxicology and Appl. Pharmacology

    Jallo, G.1; Volkov, A.;  Wong, C.; Carson, B.; and Penno, M. Child's Nervous System, Volume 22, Number 12, December 2006, pp. 1519-1525(7).

    L. Yurtsever1, J. van Dijk3,4, M.G. van der Poel1, P.C.A.M. Buijtels2, D. Van Soolingen5, M. Hamahuwa3P. Sikwangala3, D.J. Spurrier4, J.L. Nouwen1 and M.B. Penno  Assessment of TB Methods in Rural Zambia. Presented at the 39th Union World Conference on Lung Health (16-20 Oct) 2008, Paris.

    Penno, M. The BTI model: Tuition-free training of a skilled bioscience workforce. Video for Life Technologies, 2011. CNN Visits BTI and the BTI Story

    CORE Facilities

    Genetic Resources Core Facility (GRCF)

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    Professional Activities

    Biorepository Expert for NHGRI H3Africa Project (2012-present). The Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) Initiative aims to facilitate a contemporary research approach to the study of genomics and environmental determinants of common diseases with the goal of improving the health of African populations. To accomplish this, the H3Africa Initiative aims to contribute to the development of the necessary expertise among African scientists, and to establish networks of African investigators. (Learn more)
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    • Medicine

    For Research Inquiries Contact

    Phone: (410) 818-8117 Fax: (410) 614-9635 Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Institute of Genetic Medicine Genetic Resources Core Facility Blalock Building, Room 1031 600 N. Wolfe Street Baltimore, Maryland 21287-3914

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