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Biorepository and Molecular Pathology

Please visit the BMP site for information about services, pricing, and policies. 

The Biorepository and Molecular Pathology (BMP) Shared Resource supports cancer investigators by seamlessly integrating biorepository, histology and state-of-the-art molecular diagnostic services in support of clinical, translational, and basic science research at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) and the University of Utah. The BMP consists of three distinct sections: 1) Biorepository, 2) Research Histology, and 3) Molecular Diagnostics.

The Biorepository Section of the BMP is responsible for collecting, storing, tracking, processing, and distributing human tissue and blood biospecimens. The College of American Pathologists (CAP) Certified Biorepository currently tracks more than 30,000 specimens through a Biospecimen Tracking Database called itBioPath, which links important clinical and pathological information with collected specimens. The vast majority of cancer patients (>90%) undergoing surgery at HCI consent to donate tissue and blood for research purposes. The Biorepository’s mission is to provide high-quality, clinically annotated specimens and superior service to the broad University of Utah (U of U) research community. Cancer specimens of all types are collected by the Biorepository under IRB #10924 Molecular Classifications of Cancer. This protocol was established to streamline the process of collecting, tracking, and utilizing cancer biospecimens for researchers at the U of U. Collection of fresh tissue for research is a priority. On average, the Biorepository procures approximately 20 percent of tissues as fresh frozen. In addition, clinical specimens, archived as formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue, are readily accessible for research from the Pathology Department on all consented patients. Samples collected by the Biorepository primarily come from within the U of U; however, protocols are in place for collection of specimens at other hospitals within the greater Salt Lake City area. The Biorepository’s IRB protocol is linked to several clinical and research databases at the U of U, including the Data Warehouse, the Tumor Registry, and the Utah Population Database. Thus, the integrity and accuracy of clinical data associated with specimens collected by the Resource are ensured by established quality-control measures.

The Research Histology Section performs all manners of routine and specialized histology services including, processing, embedding, sectioning and staining of formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) specimens.  Research Histology will also section frozen specimens and will generate tissue microarrays.  In addition, the Research Histology Section can retrieve archival FFPE specimens for patients consented on clinical trials.  Please contact the Biorepository to verify consent if you would like to use archival FFPE tissue from patients consented on HCI’s general tissue collection IRB #10924 Molecular Classifications of Cancer Protocol. 

The Molecular Diagnostics Section provides cutting-edge molecular diagnostic tests utilizing the latest technologies.  The Molecular Diagnostics laboratory works closely with the Biorepository and Research Histology Sections to quickly obtain specimens from patients consented on clinical trials.  This enables researchers to integrate real-time molecular testing into clinical trial protocols helping to bring new research discoveries to patients. Currently, the Molecular Diagnostics laboratory offers a variety of services including DNA isolation from FFPE specimens, SNP Genotyping and Somatic Mutation Profiling with the Sequenom MassArray system for both research and clinical trial specimens.

BMP Governance

HCI Senior Director Oversight
Neli Ulrich, PhD

Medical Director
Eric Snyder, MD, PhD

Biorepository Director
Chris Fillmore, PhD

Molecular Diagnostics Director
John O'Shea, PhD

Research Histology Director
Lindsey Fairbourn, BS

Faculty Advisory Committee Chairs
Philip Bernard, MD
Joshua Schiffman, MD

Faculty Advisory Committee Members
Randy Jensen, MD, PhD
Michael Deininger, MD, PhD
Charles Murtaugh, PhD
Howard Colman, MD, PhD

If use of this resource results in a publication, please acknowledge the Cancer Center Support Grant by using the following text: "The project described was supported by Award Number P30CA042014 from the National Cancer Institute. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Cancer Institute or the National Institutes of Health."