Remnant human tissue specimens not required for diagnosis are collected prospectively and may also be banked from routine surgical resections and autopsies. Specimens available include normal, benign, malignant, or diseased and can be provided to investigators:

  • Fresh in media or saline
  • Snap frozen or OCT-frozen
  • Fixed in liquid fixative
  • Paraffin blocks and/or slides

Those wishing to apply for services from the UAB-TBR should complete the UAB-TBR application and provide a copy of IRB approval or documentation of IRB review for the project for which the requested specimens will be utilized. Services provided by the UAB-TBR include:

Our trained personnel will assist in identifying, collecting, processing, storing, and distributing human tissue specimens for your specific needs. Routine surgical and/or autopsy resections will be identified from which remnant tissue, not required for diagnosis, will be identified for your needs and processed to your specifications.
Special Project Banking – On a fee-for-service basis, the UAB-TBR serves as a repository for banking of tissues for special projects. Additionally, the UAB-TBR provides services for tissue collection, processing, storage, and distribution of samples of your projects. To inquire about project banking services, please send an e-mail to the UAB-TBR Associate Director, Kathy Sexton (

Routine Banked Specimens: The UAB-TBR has retrospectively banked frozen solid tissue and biofluids (plasma, serum, buffy coat, saliva, urine, and urine pellet) that are made available to investigators as requested. These banked inventories include thousands of tissue specimens and fluids that were collected for specialized banks for UAB Breast, Ovarian, and Pancreatic SPOREs and for other programs. In addition, the UAB-TBR has an inventory of banked, formalin- fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) blocks that can be made available or from which stained or unstained sections can be prepared by the UAB-TBR Histology Laboratory. In addition, the UAB-TBR has prospectively banked specimens for which there are not currently active requests. Investigators interested in accessing banked specimens and annotated information should submit the UAB-TBR application.

Identifying Banked Specimens for Your Project: Investigators interested in identifying banked material can search i2B2 or contact us directly.
Faculty who are experienced in anatomic pathology and tissue sciences direct the UAB Tissue Biorepository (UAB-TBR). All specimens are subject to an immediate gross examination by an anatomic pathologist or Pathology Assistant (PA) to assure that only remnant tissue, not required for diagnosis, is made available for research. At no time will the pathological diagnosis of a specimen be compromised to obtain tissue for research purposes. Pathological diagnosis and patient care are priorities over the use of any specimen in research. Quality control is fundamental to the successful operation of any service that provides tissues for research. In addition to the immediate gross examination by Anatomic Pathology staff, a representative piece of tissue from the material provided for research is fixed in 10% neutral buffered formalin and processed in the UAB-TBR histology laboratory to a paraffin-embedded block (FFPE). From the FFPE block, histologists prepare an H&E stained slide that is reviewed by an anatomic pathologist, who renders a quality control (QC) diagnosis of the material identified for research. That QC diagnosis and a de-identified copy of the pathology report is made available to investigators who select Level C service, or to those who request banked material with QC diagnosis. With the exception of fresh specimens, the diagnosis of each specimen is confirmed before the specimen is released to the investigator. Fresh specimens are provided to the investigator with a preliminary diagnosis. Investigators wishing to receive the QC diagnosis are informed of the QC and final pathologic diagnosis as soon as that information becomes available.
Our research histology laboratory provides routine histology services for human and animal tissues. Services include preparation of paraffin-embedded blocks, paraffin-embedded sections on slides, frozen sections, routinely stained or unstained slides, slides with special stains, and identification of FFPE blocks for the building of Tissue Microarrays (TMAs). UAB investigators requesting histology services should utilize the UAB-TBR application form. In addition, unstained or H&E stained sections and the building of Tissue Microarrays (TMAs) and immunohistochemistry services are available from archival diagnostic blocks through the Pathology Core Research Laboratory.
The UAB Tissue Biorepository (UAB-TBR) provides additional/advanced histology and study-specific services/collaborative avenues for researchers.
  • Collaborative Studies – We will provide additional histology services, including immunohistochemistry, construction of tissue microarrays, multiplex immunoassays, micro- and macro-dissection of tissues, pathologic diagnostic consultation, and information beyond that provided in a typical pathology report.
  • Letter of Support – For collaborative activities, a personalized letter of support for grant and/or contract submissions can be provided.
For Collaborative Activities, please contact Dr. Sameer Al Diffalha and Dr. Upender Manne. Both e-mails are to be included in the communication:

The UAB-TBR coordinates and manages a number of different human tissue biorepository operations, including:

Educational Endeavors
Clinical Trials Protocol Support
Airway Tissue Procurement (ATP)
Tissue Procurement Shared Facility (TPSF) of the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center