Use and Transfer of Human Biospecimens in Research


        31 MAR 2020   COVID-19 Biospecimen Repository Committee Letter


  • In a written announcement dated March 13, 2007, Dr. Arthur Levine, Senior Vice Chancellor for the Health Sciences, Dean, School of Medicine, notified faculty of the Health Sciences of a policy on the use of biological materials, as well as a requirement to register all sample collections. 

Tissue Policy

Updated  Biorepository Registration:

  • Register your biorepository with HBMC ( the repository must be registered for a transfer request to be approved).  Please visit Pitt Biorepository Database for more information.

    • Your Biorepository ID# will be emailed to you within 48 hours of completion of the registration.

    • If you already registered your biorepository and do not have the id number, you may obtain it at (accessible only from Pitt and UPMC computer networks). If you need assistance or a more rapid response, then contact Paul Wood

  •  If the biorepository that contains the samples that are being transferred has already been registered, then provide the Biorepository ID # via email

    • The Biorepository ID serves as  confirmation of registration of the repository  for CORID applications, Material Transfer Agreements and Office of Research Clinical/Research agreements.


Human biological materials represent a precious resource in the furtherance of biomedical research and, as such, always should be used in an ethical manner, with due care and diligence and in ways that will provide the most benefit to investigative endeavors and the generation of new information. Individuals who have so generously provided these materials are shown the highest level of respect when materials are utilized in a manner that maximizes the collective efforts of our investigators and new data generated. One of the ways to accomplish this is through sharing of available material within the Health Sciences community.

The types of human biological material include:

*Subcellular components such as DNA and RNA
*Cells or tissues from any part of the human body
*Organs (liver, kidneys, heart, etc.)
*Blood and blood products such as plasma, serum, red blood cells)
*Bodily products, such as hair, teeth, urine, and saliva

Immortalized cell lines are excluded.

Organisms such as bacteria and viruses isolated from human specimens are not human biological materials.