Information for Pathologists

In recent years, cancer research has started to shift from using cell lines and animal models to human tissues. Due to the change in the pattern of research, investigators often request that pathologists provide human tissue that is to be discarded. Through the establishment of the tissue core facility, the tissue can be stored in a manner suitable for the use by investigators.

College of American Pathologists (CAP) in their feature story of March 2003 quoted "You now need human tissue to mine the data that have evolved from the human genome project". It also states that the need for human tissue for research is constantly increasing.

Tissue for Research Purposes

Tissue Services Core can provide tissue for research purposes as follows:

  • Tissue Core Facility - To provide an organized and monitored process for collecting, processing, archiving, and distributing human tissueand biological samples with relevant clinical data for research.
  • Utilization of Archival Paraffin Embedded Tissue for Research - To provide an organized and monitored process for processing, archiving, and distributing Formalin Fixed Paraffin Embedded Tissue (FFPET) with relevant clinical data for research.

Tissue Core Facility

After acquiring proper IRB approval, solid tissue will be transported as soon as possible from operating room, on ice, to the pathology grossing room. A pathology assistant or resident pathologist will examine the tissue, for gross abnormalities. Tissue required for diagnosis will be collected. Remaining tissue that is not required for diagnosis will be cut into small aliquots for snap freezing in liquid nitrogen, frozen after embedding in OCT, stored in culture media and stored in formalin.

Body fluids will be collected and transported to the facility where they will be processed and stored according to a standard protocol.

Relevant clinical data will be collected from the medical records.

A request from an investigator for tissue and/or body fluids will be submitted to the Tissue Services Core. After proper evaluation by TSC advisory committee the tissue and clinical data without any Protected Health Information (PHI) will be distributed to the investigators.

Utilization of Archival Paraffin Embedded Tissue for Research

Formalin Fixed Paraffin Embedded Tissue (FFPET) represents a valuable and vast resource that allows investigators to apply modern molecular biological approaches to address important pathological questions. Recently FFPET has been successfully utilized for gene expression studies. Utilization of paraffin blocks for research depends on various factors such as storage guidelines issued by regulatory agencies, medical/legal issues, and database management. Clinically acquired FFPET is usually stored for 10 years following guidelines issued by the College of American Pathologists. Many pathology groups discard the blocks after that time. To prevent loss of this valuable resource, TSC sorts, archieves and utilizes the blocks for research.


  • The tissue that is to be discarded after grossing will be collected, processed and used for research.
  • IRB approval for the Tissue Core Facility is required before starting tissue collection.
  • Investigators would receive required tissue and relevant clinical data without PHI.
  • Tissue will not be sold. Processing and administrative cost will be charged to the investigators.
  • Instead of discarding the paraffin blocks, they will be used for research purposes.

tissue sample

Contact Us

Tissue Services Core

Dr. Anand Kulkarni
Director, Tissue Services Core
930 Madison Avenue, Suite 500
Memphis, TN 38163
Phone: (901) 448-3545
Fax: (901) 448-6979