Biorepository Services at UB

centralized biorepository services at University at Buffalo

Innovation happens here – with facilities and experts. 

The University at Buffalo (UB) biorepository program is designed to advance discovery and innovation in healthcare by providing a unique, centralized resource of high-quality, deeply annotated biospecimens to support present and future research studies, diagnostic development, and the creation of new therapeutics.

Biorepository services are available to State University of New York institutions, private colleges and universities, research centers and industry partners.

University at Buffalo Biorepository Program

  • An enterprise-wide resource, serving the research community and industry partners through centralized and standardized services for the collection, processing, management and distribution of biological assets.
  • The biorepository enables critical clinical science research and diagnostic development, as well as the advancement of precision medicine through deep annotation and “big data” integration.
  • It fosters collaborative research and strives to facilitate cross disciplinary and/or multi institutional studies and trials.
  • The biorepository will be College of American Pathologist (CAP) accredited, Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) and Good Clinical Practice (GCP) certified, and CFR compliant.
  • The biorepository program provides biosamples suitable for use in downstream applications with academic, pharmaceutical and biotechnology partners.

Why use the biorepository?

  • Remain competitive from a grant and/or product development perspective
  • Make research dollars go further by not having to recreate/support significant infrastructure for biobanking operations
  • Ensure regulatory compliance of samples so none are restricted for current and future research 

Biorepository Services

  • Biomaterial collection and logistics
  • Biomaterial processing and preservation
  • Comprehensive pathology assessment and analysis
  • GLP/GCP/GMP sample management and storage
  • Enterprise level digital chain of custody for all samples and services

Biorepository Procedures and Standards

The biorepository program has implemented cutting edge technology and has created a quality program to ensure that all biobank services and facilities ensure:

  • Minimal variation in sample quality due to harmonized sample collection
    and processing
  • Increased accuracy of biosample identity through functional QC of each sample
  • Reliable and seamless integration between sample data and quality control metrics
  • Regulatory compliant facilities and processes designed to meet the needs of
    any biosample application

Biorepository Operations

The biorepository program supports four main operations to ensure complete digital and physical chain of custody: collection, processing, storage and distribution.


Biospecimen sample collection kits are manufactured to ensure reproducible and reliable collection. Through advanced barcode processing and scanning each sample is tracked at the time of collection and data transferred into the biorepository’s laboratory information management system (e.g. origin of the sample, time the sample arrived, etc.)


Automated pre-processing (i.e. blood fractionation, pathology services) and processing (i.e. nucleic acid extraction, PBMC processing) help minimize variation of primary biosamples and their analytes for banking.


Regulated sample storage environments are available and applied to all biosamples based on the sample type specific temperature and environmental requirements. All storage environments are highly regulated, monitored 24/7/365, supported by complete and continuous back up power, and are supported by redundant freezers for uninterrupted storage.  This critical piece of the service workflow ensures sample quality until the time any sample is requested for use.


The success of any biorepository is the use of the samples it houses. In addition, the ability to retrieve samples in a safe and timely manner is a critical component to the biobank service set.  Due to high quality sample storage information in the biobank LIMS and the utilization of automation friendly storage vessels the UB Biobank can support high volume sample requests on a moment’s notice.

State-of-the-Art Biorepository Equipment

Rees Environmental Monitoring System.

Rees Environmental Monitoring System

Environmental monitoring system tracks all cold storage, room temperature, lab humidity 24/7/365.

Phone and email trees are in place for when variances occur

Panasonic Freezers.

Panasonic Freezers

-80° storage all on back up power with supplemental HVAC to ensure proper environment for freezer compressors.

Control Rate Freezers.

Control Rate Freezer

Provides accurate and robust cryopreservation of all samples being processed for mechanistic or functional analyses.

Brooks Automation BioStore Cryo III.

Brooks Automation BioStore Cryo III

Automated cryo storage with inventory management. Maintains temperature of racks in tower while pulling samples.

Cryopods Filling Station.

Cryopods/Filling Station

Maintain -155° for collections directly from OR. Also used to transport specimens and maintain cold chain. Temperatures are monitored and tracked.

Hamilton EasyBlood.

Hamilton EasyBlood

Integration of imaging and liquid level sensing technologies to reproducibly separate sample fractions with complete accuracy and no risk of contamination. Barcode reader for both source/input tubes and destination tubes to track parent/child tube relationships.

Hamilton Star.

Hamilton Star

Automated liquid handling. Can start with any size or shape container. Barcode reader for both source/input tubes and destination tubes to track parent/child aliquot schemes.



Analytical Quality Control of DNA, RNA, and Plasma. Cuvetteless spectroscopy which gives results comparable to picogreen (due to contaminant profiling) in a fraction of the time. Also contains contamination profiles to show any type of impurities within the samples.

Agilent Tape Station.

Agilent Tape Station

Functional quality control for nucleic acid which determines fragment length using automated gel electrophoresis.

Fluidigm BioMark.

Fluidigm BioMark

With the Biomarkā„¢ HD system. Molecular fingerprinting of DNA. All DNA samples that come through the lab are ran on this equipment and compared to all other DNA samples to both check sample quality and check for cross contamination. Functional quality is also confirmed using the SNPTrace panel, which interrogates regions known to affect sample quality in downstream analyses.

BioMicrolab Volume Check.

BioMicrolab Volume Check

Non-contact volume measurement that eliminates the potential for sample contamination and is accurate down to several ul. Checks volume of an entire plate at 1 time.

PerkimElmer Chemagic 360 x2.

PerkimElmer Chemagic 360 x2

Nucleic acid extraction of specimens. Types of input material blood, tissue, and saliva. Can do as small a reaction as 10ul or as large as 10mL. Utilizes bead based extraction chemistry.

Faculty Experts

Norma Nowak genomics expert.
Faculty Spotlight: Norma J. Nowak, PhD, executive director, New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences

Norma J. Nowak is an acclaimed researcher – a recognized leader in the human genomics field – and an entrepreneur. Her research contributed directly to the Human Genome Project, as well as to genomic-based approaches to understanding heritable disorders and cancer. Nowak is also the founder and chief scientific officer of Empire Genomics, LLC, a molecular diagnostics firm focused on enabling personalized medicine.

John Tomaszewski.
Faculty Spotlight: John E. Tomaszewski MD, MASCP, SUNY Distinguished Professor and Peter A. Nickerson, PhD Chair of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences

Tomaszewski's research interests are translational and have been focused in the domain of genitourinary pathology.  He has been active in the work of many Pathology societies both as a speaker and in varied leadership roles. In 2011 he moved from Philadelphia to Buffalo to become Chair of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. 

Available Equipment and Services

Our services are customized to meet your needs. Our facility is one of the only institutions in the world that performs all aspects of cutting-edge epigenomics and metagenomics experiments starting from the biological sample.

The Proteomics and Bioanalysis Core specializes in proteomics, LC/MS (liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry) and bioinformatics. The facility includes a well-equipped wet-lab devoted to cell culture, biochemistry experiments (for Western-blotting, electrophoresis, ELISA, etc.), column packing, treatment of proteomic samples and preparation for quantitative analysis.

Life sciences resources at UB can help grow your research & development pipeline

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