Overview

The Bioprocessing Laboratory integrates clinical and laboratory activities through full specimen lifecycle management. 

The Bioprocessing Laboratory and Trial Logistics Support Group partners with intramural and extramural investigators to translate clinical workflows into practical specimen collection, processing, and storage procedures.  These procedures result in high-quality, well-annotated specimens suitable for their primary purpose and as bioresource collections for future research. 

The laboratory specializes in multi-institutional collections for large groups of participants, providing standardization of methods, normalization of data, and continuity for trials and studies that last for years or decades. This specimen collection, transport, receiving, processing, storage and post-storage distributions is full life-cycle management. 

We also generate quality control material for clinical projects, pooling and blinding study specimens, or generating reference sets from blinded study specimens. Moreover, the laboratory works closely with the Frederick National Laboratory Research Donor Program to create normal donor materials for assay development purposes. 

The Bioprocessing Laboratory incorporates the National Cancer Institute Best Practices for Biospecimen Resources into all projects. 

Innovations

The Bioprocessing Laboratory participated in the Biorepositories & Biospecimen Research Genotype Tissue Expression (GTEx) project, developing the specimen collection and transport kits and associated protocols that have been published online. These include a novel whole human brain transport container. 

The Bioprocessing Laboratory collaborated with the United States-Latin America Cancer Research Network (US-LACRN) in creating sustainable biobanking and bioinformatic solutions in support of clinical research in five Latin American countries. This activity included database design, training, site visits, and equipment selection. 

Focus

Biospecimen collection and storage 

  • Designing specimen collection and transport kits, managing logistics for the transportation of biospecimens, and managing relocation of existing studies. 
  • Manage donor specimen collections. 

Biospecimen processing and handling 

  • Perform nucleic acid extraction and quantitation. 
  • Thaw, aliquot, relabel, and distribute DNA and biospecimens such as: 
    • Urine 
    • Serum 
    • Plasma 
    • Buffy coat 
    • Red blood cells 
    • Saliva 
    • Buccal cells 
    • Stool 
    • Slides 
    • Frozen tissue 
    • Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue blocks 
  • Map and manage sample data.

Project and program management 

  • Oversee scientific program and project management. 
  • Provide quality control and quality assurance support. 
  • Generate standard operating procedures, including cross-laboratory procedure standardization. 
  • Support clinical, laboratory, and repository database integration.

Technology

DNA Quantification 

  • Nanodrop OD 
  • Qubit fluorometer 
  • BioTek Gen 5 PicoGreen 

Liquid Handling