About the BioBank

What do we bank - How do we bank - How does it work - BioBank Review Committee - Opening ceremony of the BioBank on April 23rd 2015 in honor of Dr. Hu


About Us

The BioBank is a core facility of the Pathology Department and the Cancer Center at Stony Brook Medicine. It archives and provides biological specimens collected under informed consent to Stony Brook researchers and their collaborators. 

What do we bank?

Any material derived from a patient obtained under informed consent remaining after diagnosis:

Bodily fluids (blood, urine etc)

  • Tissues
  • Organs
  • Viable cell lines
  • Paraffin blocks
  • RNA/DNA/HPLC extracts

We collect any biomaterial whether collected for research purposes or as residual specimens from diagnostic, therapeutic or surgical procedures.

How do we bank?

All biomaterial acquired is first processed by the resident/attending physicians and pathology assistant of the pathology grossing room to ensure that diagnosis is never compromised by banking.

We also do ‘runs’ to the Operating Rooms (ORs) for time-sensitive materials and specific studies.

We use the most stable methods of preservation for both molecules and tissue morphology: liquid nitrogen vitrification (LN2 - cryogenics)

Tissue is brought to -180° C, one degree per minute, so that freezing (which damages the cells) never occurs. Instead, the material is brought to the physical state of glass (vitrification), rather than solid. This process minimizes structural and molecular damage by preventing hydrolytic and oxidative stress that is encountered at -80° C

We also offer a choice of cryoprotectants (DMSO) and buffers (RNA/DNA LaterTM), based on the future use and the harvesting method. 

(see the BioBank Services page for more details)

Tissue data, both electronic (medical history, diagnosis, digital images, etc.) and physical (PDF scans of consents forms, etc.), are also archived in a day-to-day, secure database, Freezerworks UnlimitedTM (See the BioBank Services page for more details).

Why do we bank?

To document the specimen's present (diagnosis), validate its past (clinical information) and make it available for the future (researchers). BioBanks are at the center of medical and biological research. Without biological specimens, biomedical research would be at a standstill. Each specimen acquired and archived hold the potential cure for a known, or even yet unknown, disease.

BioBanks also serve as vouchers of good science, as researchers can archive the physical results of their experiments for later re-exploration or for peer-review.

How does it work?

Samples are only collected from patients who consented to have their tissues banked for future research. The tissue samples are acquired as part of the procedure the patients undertake, and tissues are only banked if there remains enough after diagnostic purposes.

The data and consents are held in a secure, hospital-based and protected database. No PHI (protected health information) is released. For more information about the patient's rights and IRB policies, see the Stony Brook University Office of Research Compliance Human Subjects in Research page.

To request tissue samples, researchers must submit a request form to the BioBank scientific and medical directors. The request form requires an explanation of the tissue requested (type, number of samples, justification), description of the study, IRB approval and Principal Investigator's authorization. The biobank directors review each request for feasibility before presentation to the BioBank Review Committee:

BioBank Review Committee

Kenneth Shroyer, MD, PhD

Yusuf Hannun, MD

Richard Kew, PhD

James Davis, MD

Ute Moll, MD

Thomas Bilfinger, MD

Andrzej Kudelka, MD