Pathology & Biorepository Shared Service

Director: Olga Ioffe, MD
Associate Director: Paul Staats, MD


The mission of the Pathology and Biorepository Shared Service (PBSS) at UMGCC is twofold. First, the PBSS provides access to consistently excellent-quality banked patient samples (tissue and other preparations) while maintaining patient confidentiality. Through access to tissue specimens, investigators can perform analyses (such as genomic or proteomic studies) aimed at understanding the biology of normal and diseased tissues, ultimately translating knowledge gained to diagnostic and clinical applications. Second, the PBSS provides pathology, histology, and histotechnology consultation services to assist clinical investigators in the procurement, analyses, and clinicopathologic correlation of human tissue specimens.

Impact to the Cancer Center

The PBSS possesses the infrastructure and expertise to provide the UMGCC community with access to high-quality banked patient sample and the services to analyze them. This is the only tissue bank shared service for specimens removed at surgery on the campus. The PBSS has an integrated relationship with the Anatomic Pathology Laboratory of the Department of Pathology, which is essential for obtaining well-characterized tissue samples as well as pathology and histology expertise. The frozen tissue archives of the PBSS comprise over 7,000 frozen tumor samples, 5,900 of which are paired with normal tissue from the same patient, and over 1,260,000 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue blocks with various pathologic diagnoses obtained at the UMMC from 1991 to present. The database for these samples contains patient demographic, epidemiologic, pathologic, and followup information.

Specific Aims

  1. Provide the infrastructure and expertise to collect, process, and distribute (with Institutional Review Board approval) high-quality tissue. Many specimens include tumor and matched normal tissue, and all have significant linked patient information.
  2. Provide pathologist consultation for protocol development and tissue evaluation and technical expertise for routine histological and immunochemical analysis of research specimens as well as digital image analysis and tissue microarray construction.
  3. Interface with other UMGCC shared services to facilitate studies utilizing banked tissues, such as genomic analysis or identification of novel biomarkers.
  4. Offer members educational resources, consultation, and training opportunities to increase their ability to more effectively use banked tissue resources in their research programs.

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