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UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center


 Regina Gandour-Edwards, M.D. 

The mission of the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center Biorepository is to provide high quality, well-characterized cancer-related human tissue specimens and biological materials to collaborators. 

Video: Learn more about the expertise and resources offered to support Cancer Center researchers
from Dr. Regina Gandour-Edwards, leader of the Biorepository Shared Resource.


The specific objectives of the shared resource are:

biorepository © UC Regents

  • The procurement, preparation and preservation of malignant, benign, and normal human specimens in a centralized repository
  • To provide high quality annotated data (pathological and clinical) using a secure and interactive database system
  • To facilitate compliance with all mandated regulatory processes (IRB, HIPAA, SRC) thereby promoting ethical research by UC Davis researchers
  • To provide pathologic consultation to investigators using human specimens for scientific correlation
  • To efficiently prioritize, disperse and track specimens via a rapid and standardized approval and monitoring process
  • To provide TMA consultation and services for cancer center investigators and their collaborators
This facility offers several advantages over other national specimen repositories. They include:
  • Specimens are processed according to researcher specifications
  • The location at the UC Davis Medical Center is convenient
  • Surgical pathologists oversee tissue procurement
  •  De-identified clinical information is available
  •  Investigators, surgeons, clinicians, oncologists and surgical pathologists have opportunities for collaboration

Skilled personnel work with surgeons, pathologists, and researchers to maximize the scientific value of the acquired tissue without compromising diagnostic processing. The pathologist leader oversees designation of diagnostic histologic sections so investigators can correlate pathologic features with their data. In addition, the Biorepository provides investigators access to histopathologic parameters available from the final diagnostic report while preserving individual patient confidentiality.


This resource is funded by the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) awarded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI P30CA093373). Publications that have utilized facility resources, services or scientific data generated by the resource should acknowledge the resource or the assistance provided by resource staff and cite the NCI CCSG grant. Moreover, to comply with NIH Public Access Policy, you must ensure that the manuscript is deposited in PubMedCentral. An electronic copy of the publication should also be sent to the resource directors.

National Institutes of Health (NIH) public access policyarrow left


Fresh tissue (tumor and normal):

  • Dispersed to researchers between 20 minutes and three hours after surgical removal
  • Researchers can sign up on a specific tumor site notification list . Please contact Irmi Feldman at 916-734-3026
  • Every time pre-op consent is obtained from a patient, Irmi will notify researchers interested in this specific tumor site
  • After pathologic evaluation, specimens are put in RPMI media and kept in the refrigerator until picked up by the researchers

Frozen tissue (tumor and normal):

  • Dispersed to researchers within five working days after CCB Utilization Committee approval (when applicable)
  • Frozen tissues are stored at -170°C degrees in our MVE liquid nitrogen freezer in DNAase- and RNAase-free sterile vials


Biological fluids

Bone marrow aspirates:

  • Dispersed to researchers within five working days
  • Frozen at -70°C in DNAase- and RNAase-free sterile vials in a protective freezing solution to ensure cell viability


  • Dispersed to researchers within five working days
  • Dispersed in 0.5 milliliter aliquots
  • Coded specimens are stored at -70°C in sterile DNAase- and RNAase-free cryovials

Whole Blood (Pre/post-op):

  • Dispersed to researchers within 60 minutes of blood draw


  • Dispersed to researchers within five working days
  • Coded urine specimens are stored at -70°C in sterile DNAase- and RNAase-free cryovials

Tissue microarray (TMA)

Selected Organ Sites:

  • Unstained sections dispersed to researchers within five working days
  • We have an existing library of cancer organ-site TMAs including breast, colon, kidney, lung, pancreas, prostate, cancer cell lines and many more. Please call 916-734-3026 for more information.

Custom-made TMAs:

  • Require several weeks for design, preparation of slides/blocks and construction
  • Please contact us to discuss and design a TMA for your specific research question


Routine histology
  • Dispersed and/or returned to researchers within five to eight working days
  • Processing, embedding and sectioning of fixed wet tissue
  • Hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) stained paraffin sections
  • Unstained paraffin sections
  • 50-micron paraffin sections


Frozen sections
  • Dispersed to researchers within five to eight working days
  • H&E frozen sections
  • Additional frozen sections
  • Initial unstained frozen sections


Immunohistochemistry (IHC)
  • Unstained sections on slides suitable for IHC
  • IHC with commercially available/validated antibodies
  • Validation and optimization of IHC of new investigational antibodies
  • IHC on TMA sections
  • Turnaround times:
    • For staining with previously validated antibodies: samples are dispersed and/or returned to researcher within 10 to 15 working days
    • For staining with new antibodies that require validation: samples are dispersed and/or returned to researcher within 15 working days after receipt of the antibody


Consultative services
  • Administrative
  • Limited annotated data includes age, gender, race/ethnicity, and diagnosis
  • Extensive Annotated Data includes age, gender, race/ethnicity, diagnosis, medication and EMR recorded clinical outcome data. Requests for extensive annotated data may require several weeks
  • Paraffin block retrieval
  • Pathology consulting

The Biorepository offers the following services:

  • Consultation about the design of experiments and preparation of specimens for analysis
  • Acquisition of specimens on a fee-for-service basis

Biorepository Recharge Rates

Section Service Rate ($)
Tissue Fresh tissue (Immediate Dispersal) 20.00
  Frozen Tissue (Stored) 40.00
Validating IHC Antibody Primary antibody needs to be provided by the researcher 416.00
Submit Your Own Tissue (in Formalin) Processing wet tissue to paraffin blocks plus one H&E slide 19.20
Paraffin Sections 50 micron paraffin section 20.00
  H & E Stained paraffin section 7.40
  Special Stains #1 12.00
  Special Stains #2 15.00
  Special Stains #3 20.00
  Unstained paraffin section 5.00
Fluids Bone Marrow Aspirates 20.00
  Plasma (1 ml aliquot) 20.00
  Serum (1 ml aliquot) 20.00
  Urine 10.00
  Whole Blood 20.00
IHC Staining IHC Staining (per slide) 23.00
Tissue Microarray (TMA) TMA Paraffin Section 107.00
Consultation/Data Administrative Consultation (per hour) 44.00
  Extensive Annotated Data (per patient) *full diagnosis/age/gender/outcome status/treatment 25.00
  Paraffin block retrieval 5.00
  Pathologist Consultation (per hour) 100.00
Frozen Sections Additional frozen section 4.00
  Initial unstained frozen section 6.00
Other Services TMA Custom Call for estimate

Regina Gandour-Edwards, M.D., Director

Dr. Gandour-Edwards is board certified in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology. She is a professor in the UC Davis Departments of Pathology and Urology and vice chair of education for Pathology. She is clinical laboratory director for the Jackson Laboratory PDX program. She has more than 20 years of experience as a surgical pathologist and translational researcher. She has 90 peer-reviewed publications and has collaborated on 23 federally funded research grants.
Phone: 916-734-2571

Irmi Feldman, Senior Clinical Research Coordinator

Irmi has 11 years of clinical research experience including five at the Shriners Hospital for Children Northern California. Since July 2008, she has served as the Biorepository’s full-time coordinator. She is a Society for Clinical Research Associates (SoCRA) Certified Clinical Research Professional (CCRP) with extensive knowledge of IRB-related issues, as well as protocol development and implementation. Please call Irmi for Biorepository questions (fresh/frozen tissue and fluids).
Phone: 916-734-3026

Ramona Clarke, Histotechnologist III

Ramona is an American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Certified Histology Technician with 19 years of experience at academic (UC San Diego), community hospital and biotechnology laboratories. Her expertise includes histology, immunohistochemistry, surgical specimen grossing, cytologic preparation and tissue microarray. Please call Ramona for research histology questions.
Phone: 916-734-0613

Ordering Process

The Biorepository staff receives automatic email notification of requests submitted through the Shared Resources website. Database and Laboratory Information System (LIS) searches are performed diligently to ensure prompt completion of request. Once completed, the researcher is notified via email for pick-up and billed via the website.

Please login and create a secure profile to submit a request.

LOGIN to Shared Resources

For fresh tissue, please contact: Irmi Feldman at 916-734-3026.