BioLibrary Research Services

With more than a million available samples from thousands of donors the OHSU Knight BioLibrary stands ready to meet your biospecimen needs.

The BioLibrary contains more than 500,000 cases, represented in approximately 3 million individual samples deriving from 230 anatomical sites. Data is stored in a customized Laboratory Information Management System that is 21 CFR Part 11 compliant. Donor authorization and the full lifecycle of every specimen is fully tracked. The BioLibrary has been accredited by the College of American Pathologists since October 2012, and has a complete set of policies and procedures in place governing consenting, acquisition, storage and distribution practices.

Specimen Types: Tumor tissues compose the majority of specimens, but matched non-cancerous tissue and/or blood derivatives are also available. In addition, tumor mutation data are available for many specimens. Common specimen types include:

  • Fresh tissue, flash frozen in liquid nitrogen.
  • Formalin fixed, paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissue with paired hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) slide.
  • Optimal Cutting Temperature (OCT) embedded tissue for cryosectioning.
  • Frozen blood derivatives: serum, plasma, buffy coat, white blood cells, and isolated nucleic acids.
  • Prospective collection of fresh tissue, whole blood, or other specimen types available by request.

Donor Consent & Authorization: The BioLibrary was established with the express intent of collecting residual clinical specimens so that they may be offered for use in unspecified future research. All OHSU patients are presented with a research opt-out notice and informational brochure to authorize the collection and use of residual materials. The BioLibrary also has a disease-agnostic repository protocol utilizes a traditional opt-in consent that authorizes a broader range of activities including:

  • Collection of new biological specimens including whole blood, marrow aspirates, saliva, and others.
  • Access to complete medical records, including health surveys and questionnaires.
  • Storage and use of existing specimens, either clinically collected or from other research studies.
  • Authorization for future –omic (genomic, proteomic, etc.) studies on specimens without re-consent.
  • Re-contacting of participants for longitudinal follow-up and study referrals.

Data Services: Basic patient demographics and specimen data are available on all samples. De-identified pathology and imaging reports, genetic testing results, treatment histories and clinical outcomes are also available on request.

Digital Slide Scanning: The BioLibrary has invested in the following equipment to provide high quality digital images of existing slides.

Aperio AT2 Digital Pathology Slide Scanner: fast, flexible and reliable, the Aperio AT2 is easy-to-use and consistently delivers high resolution, high quality images

  • Easily loads and captures images of an entire carousel in less than 8 hours
  • Highly reliable autoloader with 400-slide capacity
  • High scan quality and resolution with 99% first time scan success rate
  • Images up to 40x
  • Average scanning time of 50 slides/hour for 20x magnification

Digital Image Hub (DIH): a world leading digital pathology management software solution

  • Securely access images through DIH's high performance viewing options; integrated web viewer, SlidePath Gateway iPad, or SlidePath Gateway client viewers
  • Scalable image management solution

Services Request Process

  1. Please send all new inquiries to
  2. Service Request Forms:
  3. One of our staff will be assigned to your inquiry, working with you directly to establish your needs. New clients will receive a copy of our licensing agreement template for review and comment.
  4. We will query available specimens and/or case presentation rates to provide a feasibility estimate and quote.
    • Retrospective: existing specimens meeting requestor’s needs are identified.
    • Prospective: estimated accrual rates are generated by analyzing past patient presentation frequencies. 
  5. Returned redline licensing agreement will be reviewed by our Business Development team before  being returned for signature. Once the partially signed agreement is received back, full execution typically occurs within 72 hours.
  6. Project startup and fulfillment.
    • Retrospective: identified specimens are pulled and undergo final quality control prior to shipment.
    • Retrospective: following receipt of necessary supplies and project initiation call recruitment and collection activities begin.

The Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University is a pioneer in the field of precision cancer medicine. The institute's director, Brian Druker, M.D., helped prove it was possible to shut down just the cells that enable cancer to grow. This breakthrough has made once-fatal forms of the disease manageable and transformed how cancer is treated. The OHSU Knight Cancer Institute is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center between Sacramento and Seattle – an honor earned only by the nation's top cancer centers. It is headquarters for one of the National Cancer Institute's largest research collaboratives, SWOG, in addition to offering the latest treatments and technologies as well as hundreds of research studies and clinical trials.

Learn More