Specimen Management

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UCSF Resources for Specimen Management and Research Assay Core Services

High-quality biospecimens are a cornerstone of the world-class biomedical research being achieved at UC San Francisco and are essential for precision medicine, a key priority for UCSF.

The UCSF Biospecimen Resources (BIOS) Program supports excellence in biobanking activities and provides high-quality human biospecimens and data for research. It works across the campus to strengthen and coordinate UCSF’s biobanking activities and provides a suite of biospecimen-related services and infrastructure to UCSF investigators.

More campus resources for investigators who collect and/or store specimens, tissues or fluids in their lab or elsewhere:

Repositories for Biospecimens and Specialized Core Services at UCSF

AIDS Specimen Bank (ASB)
The ASB has been providing biobanking services to the UCSF community since 1987 and houses over 400,000 samples including whole blood, serum, plasma, leukocytes, fresh frozen and fixed tissue, urine, saliva, semen, cerebrospinal fluid, oral and vaginal mucosal swabs, and cervico-vaginal lavage. 

Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center Tissue Core
The Tissue Core banks primarily solid tissue and is available to all UCSF investigators.  Specialized services include tissue preparation for paraffin-embedding, tissue sectioning and routine H&E staining, and tissue microarray services. 

Clinical Research Services Sample Processing Core
Performs high quality specimen processing at eight CRS Sites, including PBMC, blood, and urine.  Services are customized to the needs of each individual protocol, and include state-of-the-art specimen tracking and inventory.  

DNA Bank
The DNA Bank provides DNA extraction services from clinical samples.  

Neurosurgery Brain Tumor Research Center Tissue Bank
Established in 1978, the Brain Tumor Tissue Bank has an organized repository of characterized tissues that have been collected and maintained in a manner useful for a wide range of studies.          

Freezer Specimen Storage at Oyster Point
The Oyster Point facility can house customers’ ultra-low mechanical freezers and vapor-phase liquid nitrogen freezers at this time. We provide the assurance of an on-site back-up power generator (NIH compliant) and a multi-purpose 24/7 security system.

Research Resource Program (RRP)
UCSF RRP is a central campus program leading the coordination and support of centralized research core facilities including biobanks.  A link to the searchable campus database of shared research support facilities, originally created by the CTSI, can be found at the RRP home page.

For more information about biobanking, please email Julie Auger, Executive Director, or call 415-476-9179.


Clinical Labs Research Specimen Transportation Service - Research specimens may be dropped off at Parnassus and picked up at either China Basin and Mission Bay locations.

Cancer Center ITR Specimen Transport SOP includes policies stated in UCSF's Environmental Health & Safety Biosafety Manual Chapter 11. If you are including this SOP in your regulatory binder, please make sure to add version and date controls.

Additional Guidance & Resources

International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) provides information regarding the technical, legal, ethical, and managerial issues relevant to repositories of biological and environmental specimens. Please visit ISBER Best Practices For Repositories published in 2012 for guidance.

2016 NCI Best Practices, published by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), is intended to provide current and detailed recommendations related to biospecimen and data quality.