Biospecimen Core Resource About Us :: The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio

About Us

The BCR at Nationwide Children's Hospital is composed of six primary workgroups: Clinical Outreach, Logistics, Histology, Pathology and Virtual Microscopy, Molecular, and Informatics. This subdivision of workgroups creates a modular system which allows the BCR flexibility and variety in the functions it performs for any contracting group. The workgroups operate independently and cooperatively to achieve project goals, depending on the needs of a project. 
Clinical Outreach works with study-specific groups to identify the acceptance criteria for each disease/tumor category and what clinical data elements should be collected. This group then trains new Tissue Source Sites (TSS) on guidelines for submission of specimens and/or clinical data. Clinical Outreach maintains a customer-service based working relationship with each TSS to coordinate safe and timely receipt of specimens and clinical data. This relationship allows quick resolution to questions or problems while maintaining the highest integrity of specimens and clinical data received.
The Logistics team performs the biorepository functions of the BCR. This includes the in-bound shipment and accessioning of patient samples and out-bound shipment of DNA, RNA, and tissue for molecular and proteomic analyses. Logistics also maintains short-term storage of specimens during the qualification process, as well as long-term storage using best practices. 
Histology functions are performed by histotechnicians. The histotechs are responsible for sectioning samples and staining slides for pathology review of in accordance with CAP/Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) guidelines.  
Virtual Microscopy (Biomedical Imaging Team (BIT)) group, whole slide imaging scanning robots, scans pathology glass slides to obtain high resolution digital slide images. BIT also coordinates digital pathology review using web-based application serving slide images and project based review forms. The group also qualifies cases based on pathology reviews received back from certified pathologists. Click here to visit the BIT’s website.
The CAP/CLIA accredited Molecular lab co-isolates DNA and RNA from cases that pass pathology review, and ensures that resulting nucleic acids pass quality control metrics for quantity and integrity. As a final check, tumor and normal control samples are genotyped using a custom SNP panel to confirm both samples are from the same patient. The custom SNP panel verifies that the gender of the patient matches that provided in the biospecimen or clinical data submitted for the patient. The molecular group has also developed several project-specific procedures, including microsatellite instability and human papillomavirus (HPV) testing for select studies.
Informatics ties all these processes together and transforms the biospecimen and clinical data into transportable language for the Data Coordinating Center (DCC)/Genomic Data Commons (GDC). Informatics initiatives include development of clinical data forms, data validations, XML formats, and biotab formats for uploading of biospecimen and clinical data to the DCC/GDC.

BCR Leadership

Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000