A variety of biospecimens are available from the Pathology Network Shared Resource (PNSR). Fresh and frozen tissues are collected by the tissue procurement lab. Formalin Fixed Paraffin Embedded (FFPE) tissue and Tissue microarrays (TMAs) are built using the remnant blocks from the Paraffin Archive Resource (PAR). All tissue used for research is collected under remnant tissue protocol I 115707. The BioRepository Bank provides resources to investigators with IRB-approved protocols.

The following biospecimens are provided by the PRN.


DNA and RNA are isolated from tumor and matching non-tumor tissues in the biobank. DNA and RNA are primarily extracted from frozen tissue samples, but DNA can be extracted from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue as well.

Please note that the numbers reported on this link are approximate. Please contact for a further assessment of samples available for your project.

DNA Frozen

Genomic DNA is isolated using the Gentra DNA Purification Kit. QC: 260/280 ratios are evaluated and DNA is run on an agarose gel to confirm the presence of high molecular weight product.

RNA Frozen

RNA is isolated using a Trizol extraction procedure. QC: 260/280 ratios are examined and an RNA aliquot is run on the Agilent bioanalyzer to evaluate RNA integrity. Specimens with an RNA Integrity Number (RIN) of 7 or greater are generally suitable for expression analysis while those with a value of 5 to 7 yield less than optimal results for array studies. Specimens with a RIN less than 5 are not suitable for array studies, but may yield results for RT-PCR.

FFPE tissue

Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) blocks from surgical pathology tissues are archived and can be accessed for research purposes. Our archive of paraffin tissues is extensive, having approximately more than 200,000 cases dating back to 1993 that can be electronically searched and used for research purposes.

Fresh and Frozen Tissue

Fresh and frozen remnant tissues are from surgical specimen. These tissues can be stored and distributed for research purposes. Our biospecimens are procured by certified Pathologist Assistants and then stored in -80C freezers that are protected by state-of-the-art monitoring systems and 24/7 emergency contact schedules. Requests for fresh or frozen tissues are guided by the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) and are integrated with other shared resource facilities, (e.g., the Genomics Shared Resource).

The number of biospecimens available in the biobank varies by disease site and their utilization, which is subject to DSRG approval and prioritization. Specific details for samples in the biobank including inventory, surgical events, tumor dimensions, and the numbers of tissues procured, banked, and distributed per disease site are available on the LIMS dashboard at

TMA library

Tissue microarrays (TMAs) are constructed by using a hollow needle to remove very small tissue cores from multiple tumors of interest which are then inserted into a recipient paraffin block in an arrayed fashion. This format permits the screening of a large number of patient samples on a single slide. TMAs are an efficient and effective way to screen potential biomarkers and are typically used in conjunction with immunohistochemical (IHC) staining or fluorescent in situ hybridization.

The PRN has constructed more than 200 different TMAs representing a wide variety of disease and tissue types. Currently, our TMA library contains over 50 breast TMAs, 30 TMAs from gastrointestinal tissue, and 20 with prostate tissue. Several other tissue types for which TMAs are constructed include lung, head and neck cancers, gynecological cancers, brain cancers and melanoma.

View a list of all TMAs currently in use by the PRN with details regarding tissue type and patient population.

Please contact Ms. Liz Brese at 716-845-4085 or at for questions regarding biospecimens availability for your project.