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Human Genetics Sample Bank

The Human Genetics (HG) Sample bank was established in 1999. The HG sample bank is located at The Ohio State University Polaris Innovation Centre. The HG sample bank has a proven infrastructure for the production of samples for use in human genetics research. A powerful database is available to keep patients’ clinical and family history information linked to the sample information.


Researchers interested in learning more about our services should contact:

Sample banking services contact:
Sample Bank Managers
Lori Nelsen & Chris Bigley
Phone: 614-293-4685


Study coordination services contact:
Heather Hampel, MS, LGC
Certified Genetic Counselor
Phone: 614-293-7240



  • Coring Paraffin-embedded tissue blocks
  • DNA extraction from blood, mouthwash, lymphoblastoid cell lines, paraffin tissue, buccal cells or saliva
  • RNA extraction from blood, saliva, lymphoblastoid cell lines or paraffin tissue core
  • Transformation of lymphocytes from fresh blood to produce LCLs
  • Plasma
  • Colon crypt isolation

 Additional services

Quality Control (QC)

Human Genetics Sample Bank maintains stringent quality control and assurance procedures, while retaining flexibility to meet the changing needs of the biomedical research community.

  • All lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) are free of mycoplasma, bacterial and fungal contamination.
  • All cryopreserved LCLs are viability tested.
  • Cryopreserved LCLs are stored in multiple locations, including a remote backup site.
  • New kits, reagents and protocols are validated before routine use.
  • Continuing education, training and safety programs are provided to all Sample Bank personnel.
  • Sample Bank personnel are on call for rapid response to equipment or facility alarm conditions.
  • The concentrations of all of the Nucleic Acid samples are measured using the Nanodrop ND1000 for sample QC.


To meet the strategic objectives of ongoing and future projects of the genetics community, we designed and constructed an expanded technologically advanced facility.

  • 1200~ square foot state of the art facility in an academic setting.
  • Separate biosafety cabinets for level II laboratories for cell culture and DNA processing.
  • Sample Bank currently has one 370 liter capacity and one 756 liter capacity liquid nitrogen (LN2) storage tank on site.
  • Backup site for all cryopreserved cell lines.
  • -80C and -20C freezers for storing DNA and RNA samples.
  • Critical equipment electronically monitored and on emergency power backup.



The Division of Human Genetics has ongoing protocols for the collection of samples from breast cancer patients and controls for use in human genetics research. Accompanying clinical and family history information is also available.

Breast Cancer Patient Samples: These samples are from incident breast cancer cases diagnosed in Columbus, Ohio. We currently have approximately ~2000 peripheral blood DNA, RNA, plasma and cell line samples. We also have samples from paraffin embedded tissues (tumor and adjacent normal tissue DNA and RNA and tissue microarrays with tumor and adjacent normal cores) for 837 of these patients. Race, age at diagnosis, first degree family history information and pathology information (stage, grade, ER/PR/Her2-neu status, histology) are available. We are currently collecting treatment and outcomes data on a subset of approximately 600 of these patients. Contact Rob Pilarski, MS, LGC at 614-293-7774; or robert.pilarski@osumc.edu.

Control Samples: Our disease-specific sample collections become more valuable with the availability of these population-matched controls accrued through primary care clinics in the OSUMC system. Over 1500 control samples are currently available from patients unselected for a personal or family history of cancer. An average of 50-60 new subjects are added each month. Available tissues include peripheral blood DNA, RNA, plasma and cell lines. Samples have information on age, sex, personal and family health history, and self-identified race and ethnicity. Specific efforts are made to recruit numbers of participants, with respect to race and ethnic background, that are representative of the Columbus, Ohio area. Contact Amy Sturm, MS, LGC at 614-293-2605; or amy.sturm@osumc.edu.

Use of Specimens by Investigators: Interested researchers will complete an application form and provide documentation of having an IRB-approved protocol that discusses the use of the requested samples. Investigators will have the option of requesting samples with specific characteristics such as gender, age, clinical features, family history, presence or absence of specific diseases, etc. We also provide sample processing and banking services for patients that you accrue to your own protocols.

Sample Pricing