Biobank Core Facility

The Biobank Core Facility provides fresh-frozen surgical resection specimens of tumor and (as possible) normal tissues to the University of Vermont Cancer Center and Medical Center researchers. Tumor biobanking has been ongoing at UVM for more than 25 years. The Biobank Facility was extensively revised during 2014.

Currently, the Biobank has a collection of more than 3,700 tumor samples from a wide range of anatomic sites; and over 600 dermatology samples from Mohs surgeries. New specimens are obtained monthly for each collection. Samples are graded according to the time interval between surgical excision and flash freezing: Gold: <15 min., Silver: 15-30 min., Bronze: 31-120 min., and Test: >120 min.


01072020PieChartAdditionally, the Biobank maintains storage for project specific collections. Access to these samples requires approval and/or collaboration of/with the PI who initiated the collection. Some examples are:

  • Lymph nodes flash frozen, embedded in OCT.
  • Serum from the MAPS prostate study
  • Archived, frozen blood samples from the Familial Cancer Program.
  • Blood samples from stage IA lung cancer

Accessing Biobanked Specimens

Any cancer research that involves human subjects requires UVM Cancer Center PRC and UVM IRB approvals and requires that investigators have completed the ‘Protection of Human Subjects in Research’ tutorial: Access to biobanked specimens requires the following:

  • Liaise with Biobank personnel to review available specimens necessary to investigate the research question; design protocol.
  • Obtain UVM Cancer Center PRMC approval. For most projects this will require submission of a ‘Laboratory Protocol’ (see Initial Protocol Submission).
  • Obtain IRB approval for PRMC approved project. For most projects this will require submission of Common Protocol Cover Form, Human Research Protocol, and Waiver Request.
    • Note: the use of coded Biobank specimens facilitates the IRB approval process.
  • Further to IRB and PRC approvals (and Biobank utilization sign-off approval), specimens are provided to researchers who sign a ‘terms of agreement’ form confirming that specimens will be used as per the approved project.


  • Services are provided at no cost to investigator.
  • Search of Biobank databases for specimens meeting research project needs.
  • Retrieval and distribution of de-identified/coded banked specimens.
  • Potential access to specimens at collaborating institution Biobanks (collaborating agreement with UMass in progress).
  • Potential for customized collection of specific sample types by consultation with Biobank personnel.
  • Guidance with respect to formalities concerning the protection of human subjects, tissue ownership, limitations to how tissues may be used and responsibilities to UVM.

Citing the Biobank Facility

Please include citation of the University of Vermont Cancer Center Biobank in your abstracts, publications and conference presentations. Citations indicate to local (UVM, UVM COM, UVM Medical Center, LCCRO) and national (NCI) bodies the importance of the Biobank facility to UVM cancer researchers: “This project utilized specimens provided by the University of Vermont Cancer Center Biobank Facility supported by the Lake Champlain Cancer Research Organization, the UVM College of Medicine, the UVM Medical Center and the UVM and UVM Medical Center Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine.”



Our Location

Health Science Research Facility
& Given Medical Building
Burlington, VT

Information & Forms

Biobank Brochure

Sample Inquiry Request Form

Biobank Personnel

  • Medical Director: Donald L. Weaver, MD
  • Assistant Medical Director: John DeWitt, MD, PhD
  • Technical Director:
    Mark F. Evans, PhD
    Email me
  • Senior Technologist:
    Christine Adamson
    Email me
  • UVM Medical Center Pathologist Assistants’ Team (Leader: Joseph Tessitore)
  • UVM Cancer Center Advisory Board (Leaders from the UVM Cancer Center, Medical Center, College of Medicine, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Lay Personnel)

Reference Links