Tissue Procurement

Who can use Tissue Bank services?

Members of West Virginia University who have NIH funding have top priority for obtaining our services. However, all West Virginia University researchers, as well as those collaborating from outside institutions, can request tissue from the Tissue Bank for valid research purposes. Tissue obtained from the Tissue Bank may not be distributed to third parties. Tissue Bank technologists will work with each investigator to maximize the value of the tissue for a particular scientific study. There are minimal costs for Tissue Bank Services and project approval is subject to review by the Tissue Bank Board of Directors.

Charge/Fee Structure


Donating Tissue for Medical Research

Researchers at West Virginia University and their collaborators are striving to learn more about cancer and other diseases. Human tissue is commonly used to conduct this research. This resource will give you information about the use of human tissue in research and what it means to be a tissue donor.

Why is research done with human tissue important?

Research with human tissue is essential to discovering the causes, preventions and treatments of cancer. It can also help answer questions about other health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease and Alzheimer's disease.

Your care is always our first priority.

Any tissue removed from your body will always be used first and foremost to diagnose what, if anything, is wrong with you and how you can best be treated. Choosing to donate tissue does not require removal of any extra tissue or change the care you will receive in any way.

Who can donate tissue and where will the tissue be kept?

Anyone undergoing treatment at West Virginia University can become a tissue donor. Donated tissue is stored in the WVU Tissue Bank until a researcher who studies human tissue asks the Tissue Bank for a tissue sample. When a specimen is given to a researcher the tissue is deidentified and results can in no way be traced back to the patient.

What type of research will be done with your tissue?

Many different kinds of studies may be done on human tissue. Researchers may use tissue to develop new treatments and new tests for diseases.

Who will do research on the donated tissue?

Tissue is primarily by WVU researchers. However, there may also be collaborative efforts with other universities and biotechnology companies.

Will anyone have access to your medical records?

In order to understand the significance of the research done on your tissue, researchers may need to know some things about you, for example, your gender, age, health history, family history, and demographics. Basic information will be collected at the time of tissue banking. Non-identifying information will be given to the researchers by the Tissue Bank staff. Researchers will not have access to your medical records.

How is research subject privacy protected?

The WVU Tissue Bank staff take careful steps to protect any protected health information (PHI). Any identifying personal information is removed from records associated with the tissue before it is studied. This prevents linking any research results to the tissue donor.

Biohazard and Infection Control

Although the Tissue Bank attempts to avoid supplying tissues contaminated with highly infectious agents, such as hepatitis and HIV, all tissues are handled using standard precautions. The Tissue Bank accepts no responsibility for any injury (including death), damage or loss that may arise either directly or indirectly from their use.

The investigator assumes all risks and responsibility in connection with receiving, handling, storing, and using tissue supplied by the tissue bank. The researcher also assumes full responsibility for informing and training all personnel in the dangers and procedures for safe handling of these and other human tissues.

Additionally, the investigator must agree to indemnify and hold harmless the West Virginia University Tissue Bank and the Department of Pathology from any claims, costs, damages or expenses resulting from any injury (including death), damage or loss that may arise from the use of tissues provided by the Tissue Bank.