The Bioprocessing Laboratory integrates clinical and laboratory activities through biospecimen 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. 

Biospecimen collection, storage expertise 

The Bioprocessing Laboratory participated in the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) Program, developing specimen collection and transport kits as well as the associated protocols, which were published online. Our contributions also included development of a novel transport container for a complete human brain. The laboratory collaborated with the United States—Latin America Cancer Research Network (US-LACRN) to create 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.

Standardizing and optimizing the process 

The laboratory specializes in multi-institutional collections for large groups of participants, providing standardization of methods, normalization of data, and continuity of support for trials and studies that last for years or decades. Specimen collection, transport, receiving, processing, storage, and post-storage distribution comprise full lifecycle management. We generate quality-control material for clinical projects, pooling and blinding study specimens or generating reference sets from blinded study specimens. The laboratory works closely with the Frederick National Laboratory Research Donor Program to create normal donor materials for assay development. The Bioprocessing Laboratory incorporates the National Cancer Institute’s Best Practices for Biospecimen Resources into all projects.  

Our capabilities and specializations

Additional Content

Biospecimen collection, storage, processing, and handling 

We oversee the full lifecycle for biological specimens, from collection to processing. Our laboratory designs specimen collection and transport kits, manages biospecimen transport logistics, and manages relocation of existing studies. We extract and quantify nucleic acids and manage the thawing, aliquoting, relabeling, and distribution of DNA and other biospecimens such as urine, serum, plasma, buffy coat, red blood cells, and buccal cells. Through these processes, we provide sample data mapping and management. 

Additional Content
  • NanoDrop OD spectrophotometer

  • Qubit fluorometer  

  • BioTek Gen 5 PicoGreen 

  • Opentron OT-2 liquid handler