Freezers in the SPH Biorepository

Considering the funds and effort invested in epidemiological studies, it is crucial to make provisions for upcoming biomarker studies, and to minimize future research costs by maximizing information obtained from banked samples. A new School of Public Health Biorepository was established in 2003.

The main goals of the SPH Biorepository are to create a centralized facility in which to store samples from many projects; to more effectively use the available storage space; to develop new database management tools; and to ensure the quality of sample processing and banking. While maintaining ultimate control of the samples accumulated in their research projects, PIs can be assured that they will receive competent handling of their biological samples, reliable access, safe storage, and expert advice from the Biorepository personnel. In the long-term, the Biorepository will provide:

Over 330,000 various biological and environmental samples have been stored and archived through 46 projects including CHAMACOS, VHEMBE, CRELES, CHDS-PHI, and Pediatric IBD. The Biorepository (under the direction of Dr. Holland) has accumulated substantial expertise in the development of customized databases to barcode and monitor sample location, transfer, and use.

When samples are received by the SPH Biorepository, they are processed by biorepository employees and separated into smaller volumes before they are stored (click to view a sample flowchart for CHAMACOS blood processing). Aliquots are labeled with unique IDs and added to a database that tracks and stores the locations of all biorepository samples.

Barcode labels are applied to aliquots, and aliquots are stored at -80C.