Tissue Resources Laboratory

The Tissue Resources Laboratory processes and archives tumor tissue, normal tissues, and body fluids for use in clinical and basic research.  The resource maintains  banks of cryopreserved cell suspensions, frozen tissue blocks, DNA samples, and frozen serum.  Materials from this resource are available  to investigators who attain approval from the institution's Tissue Resource Committee.

Tissue Processing Procedures

  • Processing bone marrow and blood to isolate, distribute and store white blood cells
  • Processing solid tissues (tumor and normal) to distribute and store samples
  • Processing blood samples to separate serum or plasma for distribution and storage
  • Cryopreservation of solid tissues, body fluids and cells for storage
  • Differential counts of samples
  • Packing and shipping of human tissues to other places within and outside the institute

Tissue Archives

The Archives contain samples of human solid tumors, normal tissues and aliquots of white blood cells collected at diagnosis, and at various subsequent points. Serum and plasma collected at diagnosis and at intermittent periods are also banked. Tumor tissues are stored in aliquots of cryopreserved single-cell suspensions (teased tissue), frozen tissue blocks and extracted DNA.

Access to Archives

Any faculty member of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital may contact the TPL for types and availability of stored tissues, and subsequently petition the Tissue Resources Committee (TRC) for the samples. Investigators from other institutions may contact TRC with requests for tissues only if they are involved in collaboration with a St. Jude faculty member. Protection of patient confidentiality and respect of patient autonomy are among the most important ethical principles of TPL. All dispensed tissues are strictly anonymized and are consented for by the patient or their legal guardian.

Tissue Resource Committee

The Tissue Resource Committee consists of at least six St. Jude faculty members and is charged with:

  • Governing and reviewing the activities of the TPL, and soliciting feedback from users of this facility
  • Ensuring appropriate patient consents are obtained for tissues banked
  • Ensuring the confidentiality of the tissue specimens distributed and used for research
  • Reviewing written requests by investigators for archived human tissue, and either granting or denying the requests
  • Reviewing and maintaining yearly progress reports from the investigators who received or are receiving banked tissue and/or body fluids for research throughout the duration of their research
  • Maintaining records of requests for archived tissues and body fluids from the TPL
  • Presenting an Annual Report of the committee and TPL activities to the Institutional Review Board (IRB)

Key Contacts

Charles Mullighan, MD, Medical Director
Sheila Shurtleff, Technical Director