Health Sciences Tissue Bank

Honest Broker and IRB Services

The HSTB is an IRB certified Honest Broker facility and has served as the IRB GOLD standard since May 2003

This Honest Broker System has been developed primarily to support faculty, staff, and graduate students who perform collaborative research with the following inter-related groups: the University of Pittsburgh Department of Biomedical Informatics (DBMI), UPMC Department of Pathology, Health Sciences Tissue Bank (HSTB), UPMC ISD/Pathology Informatics, UPMC ISD/Oncology Informatics and the UPMC Network Cancer Registry/ UPMC Cancer Centers Registry Information Services (RIS). 

Mission of the Honest Broker Service

To assure OHRP, IRB and HIPAA compliance for the release of human tissues and related information involving data stored in applications developed, managed and/or utilized by the Department of Biomedical Informatics, the Center for Pathology Quality and Healthcare Research, the Health Sciences Tissue Bank and/or the UPMC Network Cancer Registry. 

Rationale for a Collaborative Honest Broker Service

  • Enhance Collaborative Research Efforts Between Centers
  • Monitor Requests for Tissue & Data Use Practices
    • Quality Assurance and Process Improvement
    • Preparation for Research
    • Non-Human Subjects Research (IRB Exempt)
    • IRB-Approved Research
  • Purpose
    • De-identification
    • Honest research
  • Functioning
    • Tissue banker has the linkage codes
    • Strips identifiers (de-identifies)
    • Provides additional clinical/ pathology information​

Management and oversight of the Honest Broker Systems/Process is regulated by:

Sharon B. Winters, MS, CTR
Director, Registry Information Services, UPMC CancerCenter
Manager, HSTB/RIS/DBMI Collaborative Honest Broker System (IRB#HB015)
Adjunct Instructor, University of Pittsburgh
Past President, Pennsylvania Association of Cancer Registrars (PACR)
​PACR Distinguished Member
​Shadyside Place
First Floor, Suite 110
580 South Aiken Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
T  412-647-6390
F  412-623-2230
C  412-849-1478