Research

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Biospecimen Core

Purpose & Overview

The Biospecimen Core Laboratory (BCL) is a part of the Louisiana Cancer Research Center (LCRC) infrastructure.  The goal of the repository is to support LCRC programmatic research in order to further improve our understanding of those molecular factors that contribute to cancer and that may lead to prevention, early detection, and cure.

The mission of the BCL is to collect high quality samples of normal and diseased human material (e.g., whole blood, cellular blood components, bone marrow, plasma, serum, urine, benign and tumor tissue) with appropriate pathological data and to make this material available to qualified researchers at the LCRC while ensuring ethical informed consent, safety, donor anonymity, and all regulatory safeguards are in place.
  The BCL Co- Directors, Dr. Krzysztof Moroz and Dr. Arnold Zea, oversee this facility, with day-to-day procurement coordination and staff supervision provided by the BCL Manager, Alex Alfortish.

Access

Access to biospecimens and corresponding data will be restricted to LCRC investigators who have successfully petitioned the IRB of their home institution and filed an application through via our online form to be reviewed by the Tissue Utilization Review Committee (TURC).

LCRC Tissue Utilization Review Committee

The TURC consists of leading scientists and physicians from Tulane University and LSU Health Sciences Centers. The TURC will govern the release of tissues & fluids based on availability and priority. Priority will be given to LCRC investigators who have received peer-reviewed grant support, start-up funds from LCRC, and Bridge, Seed or Competitive Advantage Funds from LCRC. The TURC is appointed by the LCRC co-Directors upon recommendation by the LCRC Scientific Executive Committee.  Investigators will have access to the biospecimens once the IRB (at the investigator’s home institution) and the TURC approval of the proposed studies has been made. Once approved, a Research Agreement will be signed by the investigator initiating the request. This agreement will be binding, requiring the investigator to adhere to appropriate ethical conduct in regards to the biospecimens and/or corresponding clinical information. Priority for specimen distribution will be determined by the TURC. Adjudication of dispute in priority is the responsibility of the Scientific Executive Committee (SEC).

 

Equipment:

Thermo Cryoplus Series Liquid Nitrogen Storage System

The CryoPlus Liquid Nitrogen Storage system has a storage capacity of 13,000 vials (2.0 ml) and features a vacuum insulated storage tank with stainless steel interior. The counterbalanced lid with 100% clearance incorporates high density, foamed-in-place urethane insulation with dedicated vent (patent pending). Two independent flexible gaskets reduce the migration of moisture into the chamber to reduce icing. For maximum product security, both series provide front-mounted key lock, rear mounted, recessed power switch and re mote alarm contacts. Both series are UL listed, CSA Certified, bear the CE mark and meet the requirements IEC 1010

Cryostat

The Leica CM 1860 cryostat is used for sectioning frozen tissues at sub-zero temperatures as a QA/QC.

Services:

Tissue Procurement

This includes general procurement and specific investigator-directed procurement of fresh frozen, formalin-fixed paraffin embedded malignant and non-malignant tissue (including tumor tissue and adjacent or distant non-tumor tissue from the same surgery).

Blood Procurement

This includes general procurement of blood and plasma samples from patients bearing tumors and from normal controls.

Quality Assurance/Histopathologic Review

Histopathologic verification of collected tissue samples will be performed in the Histopathology Laboratory of the Department of Pathology at Tulane University School of Medicine.  The BCL pathologist, Dr. Moroz, verifies each collected sample for their representation of a pathologic process. The use of a clinical histology lab assures the highest standard in tissue processing and compliance with federal and state regulations (CAP, CLIA).

Biospecimen Storage

Samples can be stored in the liquid nitrogen storage system for a fee for investigators choosing to do so. Biospecimens collected for specific studies will be kept in distinctly separated locations so as to keep them separate from the general TB.

To Request Specimens:

Service List & User Fees

 

Contact & Location:

The Biospecimen Core is located on the 8th floor (Room 828) of the Louisiana Cancer Research Center.  All tissue and blood samples are processed in the 8th floor laboratory and half of all specimens are stored there.  The remaining samples are stored in Baton Rouge at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center as a disaster preparedness precaution.

Co-Director: Arnold H. Zea, Ph.D.
: azea@lsuhsc.edu
Phone: 504.599.0906

Co-Director: Krzysztof Moroz, M.D.: kmoroz@tulane.edu
Phone: 504.988.6199

BCL Manager: Alexandra Alfortish
 email: aalfortish@lcrc.info
Phone: 504-210-3524 or 504-296-3134