Pathology Research BioCore (PRB)

The PRB Shared Resource at the Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center (MCWCC) is a valuable resource for all aspects of experimental pathology for MCWCC members conducting basic, translational, clinical and population science research on human cancer. The PRB supports multiple aspects of cancer research by utilizing universal consenting for all MCWCC patients making tissues easily available for subsequent analysis, by offering its members competitive pricing on services including centralized banking and distribution of cancer tissues and blood, and by providing sophisticated tissue-arraying services and comprehensive molecular histocytometric analyses of cancer.

Services and EquipmentPathology Research BioCore (PRB)

The PRB consists of two arms:

Tissue Bank/Biorepository: The MCWCC Tissue Bank is a CAP-accredited biorepository which ensures high quality samples; vetted protocols and procedures; and knowledgeable, well-trained staff. The Bank offers three robust consent programs to patients of Froedtert Hospitals and clinics: the General Tissue Bank, the Maternal Bank, and the COVID-19 Bank. In addition to providing banked tissue to researchers, the Bank also provides services associated with human samples, including storage and processing.

Tissue Bank services include:

  • Biofluids samples and processing
  • Tissue procurement
  • Tumor biomarker analytic support
  • Storage, supplies, and other services

Histocytometry: The Histocytometry Analytics Laboratory provides state-of-the-art tumor histocytometry, which is quantitative single cell analysis of cancer cells and stromal fibroblasts, immune cells, and vascular endothelial cells within the spatially resolved tumor tissue architecture. This laboratory also provides tissue arraying services.

PRB Equipment includes:

  • An array of -80 freezers with 24/7 temperature monitoring for biostorage
  • Liquid nitrogen freezers and -150 freezer for cryopreservation of viable cells and tissues
  • Purigen Ionis Tachyphoresis nucleic acid extractor for FFPE specimens
  • Two automated immunohistochemistry stainers (Dako Omnis and Leica Bond Rx)
  • Akoya Vectra Polaris multicolor fluorescence and bright field scanner
  • Perkin-Elmer/3DHistech Panoramic 250 Flash fluorescence and brightfield scanner
  • Perkin-Elmer/3DHistech TMA Grandmaster high throughput automated tissue arrayer
  • Fluorescence microscope
  • Several dedicated servers for data analysis
  • Quantitative image analysis software (Definiens Tissue Studio; Akoya Phenoptics and Phenochart; qPath)
  • Central storage capacity for image data files

The PRB strives to provide the following services to MCW Cancer Center members:

Procure and distribute biospecimens from consented patients and de-identified annotated data to investigators through a streamlined, simple and compliant process. This includes viable tissue for patient-derived xenograft (PDX) modeling in vivo and 3D organoid cultures or cell line generation in vitro and fresh frozen or formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues for molecular studies. In addition, the specimen database securely and effectively links clinical annotations with specimens.

Provide access to specialized analytical technologies, services and expertise in order to enhance scientific interaction and productivity. This includes nucleic acid extraction and QC analysis, quantitative immunohistochemistry and histocytometric image analyses and related technical consultation.

Promote, design, perform, manage and interpret cancer-related research projects utilizing human cancer specimens at MCW that ensures stability, cost-effectiveness and quality control. This includes advanced tissue array generation services and tissue extraction services (nucleic acids and protein). Sample normalization and preparation for genotyping and expression studies are also provided.

Location and Hours of Operation

The PRB Tissue Bank is open M-F from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and is located in the Wisconsin Diagnostic Laboratory building.

Visit the MCW Tissue Bank Website

Contact Us

Mary Rau

Tissue Bank Manager
(414) 805-9569