The Biomarkers Shared Resource (BSR) is a joint resource of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center (HICCC) and Columbia?s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Center for Environmental Health. Directed by Regina Santella, PhD, the BSR provides a centralized, efficient, and cost-effective resource for receiving, processing, storing, inventorying and shipping human samples that are collected as part of research studies in molecular epidemiology and clinical cancer-related research. In addition, the BSR carries out biomarker profiling across multiple nucleic acid-based and protein-based assay platforms. Services provided include: (1) consultation on sample collection and processing, (2) preparation of kits for biospecimen collection, (3) processing and storage of blood components including cells and plasma, (4) storage of other body fluids, (5) isolation of DNA/RNA with quality controls; (6) maintenance of a sample inventory that tracks each vial and its contents, and (7) analysis of samples for a wide array of biomarkers using nucleic acid-based (DNA single nucleotide polymorphism [SNP] genotyping, DNA methylation profiling, and microRNA and mRNA expression) and protein-based (ELISA) assay platforms. The readily accessible, high-quality, affordable and high value services make the BSR a broadly used and highly cost-effective facility. Consultation is provided on all aspects of sample collection and processing for specific studies including sample collection, shipment methods, standard operating procedures for separation of specific blood fractions and aliquoting. In addition, the BSR stores tissue sections from tumor/adjacent tissues on microscope slides processed in collaboration by the Molecular Pathology Shared Resource. Coded samples are received by the facility and processed into appropriate fractions (e.g., serum, plasma, mononuclear cells, granulocytes, total white blood cells and red blood cells) and frozen in multiple aliquots distributing them into multiple freezers. A web-based database of the sample inventory is maintained and samples are retrieved following specific governing protocols as required by individual studies. Analytical services include genotyping for SNPs in candidate genes, analysis of DNA methylation and gene and microRNA expression. The BSR also supports quantitative testing of a wide number of biomarkers analyzed by ELISA. Samples from over 70,000 subjects participating in 145 different studies (of which 110 cancer relevant) are currently stored. The BSR will continue to provide state-of-the-art sample processing, storage, and analysis enabling HICCC members in the conduct of cutting-edge research. During the current project period (2014- 2019), the BSR was utilized by 56 HICCC members, (33% of entire membership), supported key data for 102 peer-reviewed publications including 12 papers in high impact journals (impact factor >10) and publications in reference cancer and cancer epidemiology journals such as British Journal of Cancer, JAMA Network Open, and Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers & Prevention. The BSR currently supports research in 11 NIH-funded research grants (seven of which are NCI grants).

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Subcommittee I - Transistion to Independence (NCI)
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Columbia University (N.Y.)
New York
United States
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