Tissue-based research is increasingly contributing to the understanding of human disease, especially in genomics and proteomics based research. Tissue Banks make it possible to use human tissue in research. The West Virginia University Tissue Bank collects a wide variety of normal and diseased tissue from surgical resections and autopsies with Institutional Review Board approval and patient consent. Specimens are given to researchers without any patient identifying information. However, researchers may need to know basic demographic information which is collected and then deidentified (i.e.identifying information is removed) at the time of tissue banking. Approval from the Institutional Review Board and the Tissue Bank Board of Directors are required for all projects utilizing these tissues.
Skilled technologists work with surgeons, pathologists, and researchers to maximize the scientific value and quality of acquired tissue. They oversee designation of tissue so investigators can correlate pathologic features with their data while maintaining patient confidentiality. Tissues are obtained fresh, frozen in liquid nitrogen, embedded in the cryopreservative O.C.T., and/or fixed in formalin and paraffin embedded. Histology services are also available. The WVU Tissue Bank operates with a research facility to provide slides, stains or other technical assistance to the research community.