The Biospecimen Processing Core (BPC) provides laboratory support (clinical sample collection, handling, processing, and barcoding) for intramural clinical studies and functions as a biospecimen repository. All samples are processed (per standard operating procedures and according to the clinical protocol), barcoded and cataloged into a state-of-the-art secure database management system and stored frozen for future analyses. The BPC also coordinates the shipment of samples to intramural and extramural laboratories.
The BPC provides a broad range of services including the development and validation of procedures for specimen processing, analyses, DNA/RNA extraction, and cell free DNA isolation, as well as processing for viable cells to establish protocols that optimize specimen integrity and consistency.
In addition to laboratory services, the Core serves as a resource for clinicians seeking advice on study design including specimen collection and storage methods as well as all protocol-associated study worksheets related to data and sample collection. BPC staff provides support to clinical teams throughout the life cycle of their protocols including assistance with ensuring time-sensitive samples are collected appropriately and with provision of sample data and shipment logs. To date, the BPC has supported over 400 clinical trials at the NIH Clinical Center. This service is available to all NIH investigators.
The BPC is staffed by eight employees including a facility manager, quality control specialist, and database manager providing coverage during normal business hours (7:30am to 10:00pm). For studies that have extensive correlative studies with validated time-sensitive assays that require immediate processing, after-hours and weekend/holiday coverage can be arranged on a trial-to-trial basis.