The Tissue Procurement Core (TPC) provides SCC research programs and researchers with a centralized resource to collect, process, store and utilize human biospecimens for translational cancer and general biomedical research. The TPC aims to provide a general archive of annotated frozen tumor and patient-matched non-malignant tissues for pilot, retrospective correlative science studies, assist investigators in the prospective collection and storage of biospecimens from participants enrolled on specific clinical studies, and facilitate the use of human biospecimens and their derivatives for molecular and genomic research. Dedicated staff and facilities are used to generate bio-fluid derivatives (serum, plasma, cell isolates), nucleic acid (DNA and RNA) and histological derivatives (embedding/sectioning) from patient-derived specimens. The TPC also provides pathology consultation services to facilitate tissue-based translational research. An archive of snap-frozen biospecimens (tumor tissue, non-malignant tissue, serum, plasma) and corresponding de-identified pathology and demographic data from patients with a variety of solid and hematologic malignancies are also available for IRB-approved investigator studies through the TPC General Specimen Bank Registry. Currently, the tissue bank contains more than 800,000 specimens and greater than 95% of the banked tissue is in support of life science and biomedical research.

Core Description

The Tissue Procurement Core (TPC) at the Siteman Cancer Center operates under the direction of Dr. Mark Watson, MD, PhD (Director), Bran Goetz (Laboratory Manager), Heidi Miers (Laboratory Supervisor, Quality Assurance Manager) and is staffed by a compliment of laboratory professionals supporting clinical specimen processing, histology and molecular services. The TPC biorepository is accredited through the College of American Pathologists Biorepository Accreditation Program; ensuring that the highest standards of laboratory best practices are maintained and provided to the Washington University research community.

The TPC occupies ~5,000 sq ft of wet-lab space on the fifth floor of the BJC Institute of Health (BJCIH) and an additional 2,800 sq ft of space at an off-site facility that supports biospecimen storage. The laboratory provides facilities and technical resources to support collection, processing, annotation and intermediate to long-term storage of human-derived biospecimens for life science and biomedical research. The TPC provides traditional clinical specimen processing, as well as histological services, access to a Board certified Pathologist for specimen and project review and molecular preparative services to generate molecular derivatives in support of Next-generation genomic, transcriptomic, metabolomic and proteomic analyses. In addition to providing fee-for-service technical support the TPC also manages an archive of snap-frozen biospecimens (tumor tissue, non-malignant tissue, serum, plasma) and corresponding de-identified pathology and demographic data from patients with a variety of solid and hematologic malignancies. Upon request, and with appropriate IRB-approval, the TPC can make these specimen available for investigator-initiated studies. The TPC laboratory is equipped with standard instrumentation for blood processing, histology, nucleic acid isolation and specimen quality assessment. The laboratory has refrigerated, ultralow and standard mechanical freezers and LN2 vapor storage tanks for intermediate to long-term biospecimen storage. All storage units are connected to a Rees Scientific environmental temperature monitoring system and the laboratory has a sufficient number of refrigerated back-up units, and 24 hour a day staff monitoring, to ensure that proper storage temperatures are maintained for all biospecimens.


Service available to Washington University only.

Priority service for All entities, including for-profit organizations.

Additional information:

Priority is given to Siteman Cancer Center members.​


  • Preparation and distribution of protocol-specific biospecimen procurement and shipping kits
  • Processing, storage, and distribution of solid tissue and fluid biospecimens (frozen tissue, fixed tissue, blood, serum, plasma)
  • Coding and distribution of fresh tissue biospecimens and clinical pathology case material (‘Honest Broker’ service) for research use
  • Extraction and quality assurance of nucleic acids from solid tissue, cell and fluid biospecimens
  • Single cell and single nuclei isolation from snap-frozen and OCT embedded tissue
  • Tissue processing (fixation and embedding), histological sectioning, and routine staining of fixed and frozen tissues
  • Access to an archive of frozen serum, tumor, and non malignant tissue specimens for pilot studies
  • Pathology interpretation/slide review
  • Scientific consultation regarding specimen collection and biobanking
  • Consultation regarding informed consent/ IRB procedures


  • Ultralow mechanical freezers
  • Liquid nitrogen storage systems
  • Specimen freezing baths
  • Cryostats
  • Microtome
  • Tissue processor
  • Paraffin embedding station
  • Clinical centrifuges
  • Molecular centrifuges
  • Standard light microscope
  • Agilent 4200 TapeStation
  • Nanosight NS300 Nanoparticle Assessment Device
  • Nanodrop fiber optic spectrophotometer
  • Qubit 2.0 Fluorometer
  • gentleMACS Octo Dissociator
  • Equipment and supplies for standard histological staining
  • Equipment and supplies for nucleic acid isolation and quality assessment
  • All refrigerators, mechanical freezers and liquid nitrogen storage systems are connected to a 24 hour Rees Scientific automated environmental temperature monitoring system
  • Biospecimen data entry and tracking is accomplished using the web-based OpenSpecimen, housed within the WUCON network and maintained by the Center for Bioinformatics Core (CBMI)


Pricing is subject to core verification

Core has a charge-back structure where specimen procurement, processing, distribution and storage services are charged to the investigator.

Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences (ICTS)
Siteman Cancer Center (SCC)