Director: Michael E. Scheurer, Ph.D., M.P.H.

The Population Sciences Biorepository (PSB) was created to support a high-quality molecular epidemiology program in the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center and across Baylor College of Medicine. We also serve as a scientific resource for investigators on biospecimen collection and storage methods in their efforts to discover etiologic risk factors and deliver personalized medicine. 

Our goal is to provide necessary risk factor and clinical data collection and a centralized, cost-effective facility for biospecimen processing and storage of biospecimens from large epidemiological and clinical studies. The PSB provides services for individually funded investigators as well as for clinical centers wishing to bank specimens prospectively from their patients for future research projects. The PSB clinical coordinators can assist with consenting, phlebotomy, and data collection, if needed. The PSB Laboratory provides full fractionation and aliquoting for blood and urine samples, as well as DNA extraction from whole blood, buffy coat, or saliva. Our team can consult with you to plan the data and specimen collection and storage needs for your projects.

  • File: psbavailablespecimensforprojects6-30-14.pdf
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  • Description: PSB Available Specimens for Projects 6-30-14

The PSB has an ongoing recruitment protocol that recruits patients with the diagnoses listed in the table below. If you would like to develop a project using these samples, please contact the PSB director to learn about availability and the process for accessing these specimens.


To initiate a project, request forms will be filled out and submitted to the laboratory manager or director either on-line or by email. Prior to initiating a project, the shared resource director and/or laboratory manager will have a meeting with the investigator to discuss how the facility operates, to provide information on the technologies used, and to devise a strategy for the project. The investigator will be provided with a summary of the timeline for the project, estimated fees, and technologies to be used. After a project is initiated, the director, senior coordinator and laboratory manager will meet periodically with the investigator to evaluate progress and make adjustments, if needed. All services will be customized to fit the needs of the project or investigator.


Our team will provide consultation for issues related to:

  • Study set-up, planning initiation, execution and management
  • Estimation of the number of participants/samples and data available to meet specific criteria for grant or protocol submission
  • Epidemiologic questionnaire development
  • Informed consent
  • Specimen collection, labeling, transport and tracking
  • Reporting

Specimen Collection

Our coordinators will assist investigators and clinics, if needed, with identifying and consenting participants and will help with collecting whole blood from subjects for the bank. We will also transport the participants’ samples collected by our coordinators to the PSB laboratory for processing.

Sample Processing

The PSB shared resource is equipped with high-tech equipment such as the MAPI system (Cryo Bio System, France) to assist with aliquoting components of blood samples and the QIAcube (QIAGEN Inc., Valencia, CA) to fully automate the process of DNA, RNA and protein purifications. These machines help us produce consistent and standardized results and increase productivity. All of our parent and derivative aliquots are barcoded and data are stored in a caBIG-compliant LIMS for security and efficient tracking, reporting and analyzing.

Sample Separation and Aliquoting

  • Serum/Plasma
  • Clot/RBC pellet
  • Urine

DNA Extraction

  • Whole blood
  • Buffy coat
  • Blood spots
  • Saliva

RNA Extraction

  • Whole blood

Additional Services

Additional services will be offered, as needed, for individual projects/investigators.

  • DNA quantification (absorbance and PicoGreen fluorescence)
  • Whole genome amplification

Specimen Storage/Repository

We will provide storage using a combination of:

  • Cryo storage of plasma, serum and buffy coat in high-security straws (Cryo Bio System, France)
  • LN2 vapor freezer
  • Minus 80 degrees C freezer
  • Minus 20 degrees C freezer