Human Mammary Epithelial Cell (HMEC) Bank Website


This website provides information on the human mammary epithelial cell (HMEC) resources developed in my laboratory at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of California.  Many of these cell types are made available for distribution.  Information is provided on the cell types available, the derivation of these cells, appropriate procedures for cell culture, and some data and models obtained using this HMEC system.

As part of my ongoing research program since 1976, my laboratory has developed and stored frozen a variety of normal, benign, tumor-derived, and in vitro transformed cultures of HMEC. To facilitate scientific investigations using HMEC, our laboratory makes these cells available to other researchers.  Descriptions of the cell types available can be found in "Human Mammary Cell Types Generated".  A brief introduction to the derivation of these cultures, including our current models of how these HMEC overcome senescence/tumor suppressor barriers  to become immortal and malignant can be found in “An Overview”. The “Review” section contains more details of our long-term program; however, this section has not been updated since 2003. The “Procedures” section contains detailed protocols for how to grow these cells.

Please keep in mind the limits of what we can provide:

If you would like to obtain HMEC from us, you are welcome to contact me for assistance in determining which cells might be the most appropriate for addressing your scientific questions. Contact me (not Tech Transfer) first, by email; further discussions by phone may follow.  Please look over the "Human Mammary Cell Types Generated" and “An Overview” sections prior to discussion about cell types to use.

To obtain cells, you will be asked to:

  1. Send me a brief (1 page) letter as a Word attachment (not a pdf) that contains ALL the following in Word format (please be careful to include ALL or I will ask you to redo):

  2. Cindy Chang (; 510-495-2306) is the person in our Innovation and Partnerships Office who will handle our University of California MTA legal forms. She will contact your represenative after I receive and pass on your information.
  3. For shipments outside the US, you will need to ensure that all proper customs forms and delivery arrangements are made.
  4. I would also welcome receiving pdfs of any of your papers relevant to the proposed research.  I can be reached as follows (contact by email first; phone calls may not be returned):

Martha Stampfer
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
1 Cyclotron Road, Bldg. 977
Berkeley CA 94720-8174

Phone-office: 510 486-7273
Phone-AZ home: 928-828-3479
Phone-CA home: 510-339-2032
Phone-Jim Garbe, 510 486-6390


Human Mammary Cell Types Generated

An Overview of Growth, Aging, Senescence, and Immortality

Review of the Human Mammary Epithelial Cell (HMEC) Culture System
(last revised January 2003)


Additional Websites of interest for mammary gland biology:

Biology of the Mammary Gland provided by the National Institute of Health
LaBarge Lab Website
Komen Tissue Bank

This web site was developed with support from the Department of Defense (94MM4530). Additional support has been provided by NIH grants CA24844  and CA112970, and the Director, Office of Science, Office of Biological & Environmental Research, of the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231.