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The Biomedical Research Support Core (BRSC) provides a robust infrastructure to support mechanistic, patient-oriented research. The BRSC manages the resource commitment associated with clinical studies, including supporting compliance with regulatory directives governing research in Human Subjects. Services include phlebotomy and blood product procurement, tissue microarrays, collection of pathological specimens and support for clinical studies. This includes data collection, storage and extraction, data quality control, site monitoring, regulatory reporting, and connection with statistical teams for data analysis.

Through our collaboration with the Histotechnology Facility, Wistar researchers also have access to tissue processing and advanced histology services for specimen analysis.


  • Phlebotomy: staff solicit and collect blood (10 ml – 500 ml) from healthy donors for research. An experienced phlebotomist coordinates the collection, performed under protocols approved by the Wistar Institutional Review Board. Through a contract with the American Red Cross we also provide spent leukoreduction filters, a cost-effective source of white blood cells.

  • Clinical study data management utilizes the CDETweb® system and can be customized to fit individual project needs. Staff provide consultation, training and assistance for trial design, regulatory compliance, grant application budgeting, protocol preparation, data management, planning, implementation, storage, monitoring, reporting and regulatory submissions.

  • Sample accrual is provided in collaboration with the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center (HFGCC) at ChristianaCare Health System. Through a joint Wistar-HFGCC Institutional Review Board, protocols are created for collection of fresh biospecimens, including fine-needle aspirate, biopsies, surgical resections, and biological fluids from cancer patients. HFGCC staff perform patient consent, sample collection, and delivery for Wistar investigators with approved IRB protocols. Pilot projects, up to 10 samples for proof-of-concept, are also available.

  • Support for clinical studies. BRSC supports clinical trials and other human subject research through the proprietary CDETweb® Electronic Data Management platform, validated in all aspects of clinical trial support.

  • Histotechnology services include fixation, processing and paraffin embedding of tissues for routine stains, immunohistochemistry (IHC) or in situ hybridization. Staff will perform routine hematoxylin and eosin staining, cut sections from paraffin or frozen blocks, prepare slides for IHC and/or in situ hybridization, and prepare tissue sections for DNA or RNA extraction. Staff will also assist investigators by optimizing IHC or fluorescent staining.

  • Tissue microarrays are created at HFGCC from a library of more than 5,000 formalin-fixed paraffin embedded donor tissue blocks, representing 58 tissues (e.g. ovary, skin, prostate, lung, breast). Tissue microarrays are provided free of charge for Wistar Cancer Center members. Orders for TMA are placed and monitored though a dedicated application in CDETweb® Toolbox, which requires an account. Procurement of single tissue section slides and scrolls from the same repository can also be arranged.


For pricing information, visit iLab or contact the managing director.

This facility is supported in part by a Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) awarded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to the Ellen and Ronald Caplan Cancer Center.

See recording of facility presentation.


National Institutes of Health (NIH) has introduced new standards for grant applications to address an increasing trend of reports of failure to replicate important basic/preclinical studies.

Contact Us

The Wistar Institute
Biomedical Research Support Facility
Room 487C
3601 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104


Luis J. Montaner, D.V.M., M.Sc., D.Phil.
Scientific Director

Livio Azzoni, M.D., Ph.D.
Managing Director

Kai Killebrew, MPH
Data and System Manager

Facility Hours

9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Monday – Friday