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Biospecimen Repository

Banking the DNA of many individuals will lead the way to new discoveries in genomic research and personalized medicine. At NorthShore, we’ve long safeguarded and responsibly disseminated the biospecimens (human tissue and bodily fluids such as blood and urine) donated by our patients for the purposes of current and future medical research.

NorthShore has nearly three decades of experience securely storing biological material to support innovative research projects both nationally and internationally in our state-of-the-art Biospecimen Repository. Noted for our uniquely expansive collection, we have provided samples to investigators around the world for the study of a wide array of diseases and conditions from cancer to the flu.

More than 20 active research projects help add to the robustness of our repository’s three major collections: cancer, microbiology and genetics.

  • The Cancer Collection contains tissue samples as well as blood components (plasma or serum, for example) of patients with all types of cancers such as breast, prostate and pancreas.
  • The Microbiology Collection holds bacterial isolates and clinical specimens such as blood cultures, swabs, stool and tissues. 
  • The Genetics Collection houses blood components of non-cancer patients as well as those biospecimens collected from the thousands of participants in NorthShore’s far-reaching Genomic Health Initiative (GHI). Launched in March 2014, this initiative aims to better connect the dots between the many genes in the human body and the influence genetic variations from individual to individual can have on disease development and treatment.

Our cancer and genetics collections provide a rich resource for genomic research.

Integrated with our comprehensive electronic medical record, the Biospecimen Repository is linked to the essential pathologic and clinical information associated with the banked biological samples. This combination of quality biospecimens with complete annotation to real-time health information is key to forging new paths in individualized healthcare.