Pitt Biospecimen Core

Our Services

The Pitt Biospecimen Core is funded and operated through a partnership between the Department of Pathology within the School of Medicine, the Office of the Senior Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC).

The Pitt Biospecimen Core (PBC) provides central support for University of Pittsburgh research programs needing tissue materials for research from patients seen at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). The main objectives of the PBC are: (1) to provide a mechanism to simplify and streamline the process of research tissue accrual and disbursement, and (2) to provide efficient research pathology support services. 

The tissue accrual and disbursement function of the PBC has been in existence since 1991, when the service focused on genitourinary cancers. The resource has substantially expanded and now procures and disburses tissue materials, as well as other biological specimens from patients with diverse pathology. The PBC provides support to major research projects such as the Lung Specialized Program Of Research Excellence (SPORE), Early Disease Research Network (EDRN), the National Mesothelioma Virtual Bank (NMVB), the Lung Tissue Research Consortium (LTRC), the Gynecological Cancer Center and the Cancer Genome Atlas Project (TCGA) research efforts as well as small programs and everything in between. Please contact us to work with your program to strengthen your research initiatives. 

The Repository

The PBC contains over 800,000 biological samples from about 80,000 patient visits to the UPMC hospitals over the past 25 years. These samples are frozen surgical excess tissue and biofluids for cancer, other disease states and normal. Contact us to find out more about gaining access to specimens that match you research goals.



Prospective Tissue Collection and Banking

We have developed an extensive infrastructure that positions us to obtain specimens for your research projects from surgical cases seen at the UPMC hospitals. Our staff members will work with you to determine your criteria and assist you to identify cases and obtain samples.



Honest Broker and IRB Services

The PBC has a full service IRB-approved Honest Broker System, HB015, to ensure research integrity. HB015 is a cross divisional, collaborative broker service used as the "gold standard" model by the UPMC/University IRB.



Research Histology

The PBC is a full service research histology services facility that can perform your tissue processing, staining, immunohistochemistry and other services for frozen and FFPE tissue.  





The Pitt Biospecimen Core should be acknowledged in all publications, posters and presentations. Please include the following statement in the acknowledgement section: This project used the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center and Tissue and Research Pathology/Pitt Biospecimen Core shared resource which is supported in part by award P30CA047904.