CVC Cardiovascular BioRepository

The Cardiovascular BioRepository (CBR), in partnership with the MCW Tissue Bank, provides unified cross-disciplinary support for acquisition and distribution of cardiovascular tissue including tissue from cardiovascular patients for the MCW Tissue Bank. The CBR Board provides assessment of all requests for cardiovascular-related specimens in the MCW Tissue Bank in order to ensure optimal use of tissue by requesting investigators. In addition, it provides leadership for the most effective use of cardiovascular biospecimen resources under the governance of the MCW Tissue Bank Executive Committee.
General Sample Types Available

Aortic Body/Paraganglia

  • Benign or malignant-primary
  • Fixed tissue block or frozen tissue

Blood Vessel

  • Descending aorta, left arm, left leg, left lower extremity or unspecified
  • Normal
  • Fixed tissue block or frozen tissue


  • EDTA plasma
  • DSMO (10%) whole blood
  • Buffy coat
  • Peripheral blood mononuclear cells
  • DNA

Bone Marrow

  • Mononuclear Cells (RPMI, 10% DMSO) or fixed tissue block

Carotid Body

  • Benign
  • Fixed tissue block or frozen tissue


  • Apex, left ventricle, septum, mitral leaflet, aortic valve, aortic valve leaflet, mitral valve, unspecified valve or other
  • Normal or diseased
  • Fresh, fixed tissue block or frozen tissue


  • Normal, malignant-primary or unknown
  • Fixed tissue block or frozen tissue

Plaque, unspecified location

  • Diseased
  • Frozen tissue

Soft tissue

  • Right thigh or unspecified
  • Malignant-primary
  • Fixed tissue block or frozen tissue

If there is interest in samples not listed above, contact the CVC Tissue Bank at who will work with you to determine the feasibility of tissue procurement.

Tissue Specimen Request Application (DOCX)
*Please download and complete the application and email to

Policies and Procedures

Step 1: Request for use or procurement of CBR biospecimens is limited to MCW faculty and/or Cardiovascular Center members (membership application information) as per MCW Tissue Bank policy.

Step 2: A general inventory of blood and cardiovascular-related tissues will be posted on the Cardiovascular Center’s InfoScope webpage and/or is available via email ( for investigators prior to application.

Step 3: A Tissue Specimen Request Application is submitted by the PI to the CBR Board (email Within 1 month, the CBR Board will approve or disapprove (by majority vote) use of existing tissue or procurement of new tissue per the request.

The following criteria will be used by the Board to render a decision on a request:

  • Scientific merit of proposal
  • Fit with Cardiovascular Center strategic priorities
  • Availability and demand of tissue

Priority will be given to requests for tissues being used for extramural grant opportunities over purely internal projects.

Step 4: If the Tissue Specimen Request Application is approved, a letter is generated by the CBR Board agreeing to provide these specimens and is sent to the PI. This letter can be submitted to the IRB or other regulatory agencies.

Step 5: Specimens will only be released to an investigator once he/she has provided the CBR Board with his/her IRB approval, waiver, or exemption letter. Therefore, the PI must get IRB, biosafety, or other required approvals before gaining access to CBR specimens. Please note that per MCW Tissue Bank policy, an allowance of up to two weeks turnaround time for receipt of specimens should be expected. If more time is needed for processing, the PI will be notified.

If there are any changes made to the Specimen Request Form once the IRB application has been approved, the approved form must go through the Board review process again with the revised form.

Available Funding

The Cardiovascular Center is pleased to offer small grants to support CVC members who wish to procure cardiovascular tissue from the MCW Tissue Bank for cardiovascular research projects. These grants are made possible by a generous philanthropic donation of members of the CVC Board, high-profile business, professional, and civic leaders in Wisconsin who are committed to advancing cardiovascular research at MCW’s CVC through increasing community awareness and raising private funds. Awards are up to $2,000 per investigator.


  • Only a full-time or full professional effort MCW faculty member may apply. (Adjunct and part-time faculty are not eligible to apply.)
  • The PI must be a member of the CVC at the time of application.

Funding Requirements

  • Funds must be used for fees associated with the procurement or processing of tissue from the MCW Tissue Bank.
  • Projects must be cardiovascular-related.
  • According to MCW corporate policy, the PI will be primarily responsible for ensuring compliance with the scientific, safety, and ethical responsibilities of the grant award.
  • Abstracts, manuscripts, articles, oral presentations, or poster presentations related to the project must acknowledge the CVC as an affiliation (i.e., “Cardiovascular Center, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 53226”) and acknowledge the Cardiovascular Center as a funding source (i.e., “Supported by a Cardiovascular Tissue Bank grant from the Cardiovascular Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin.”). Please email a copy of articles to
  • Twenty-four months after funding is received, awardees must submit a short (<1 page) summary document (this information may be shared in CVC-related communications such as the CVC Pulse Newsletter, Facebook Page, etc.) containing the following information resulting from the award to
    • Progress or Final Findings
    • Grants/Leverage (if any): Grant Title, Funding Source (e.g., NHLBI, AHA-National, AHW, etc.), Status (in preparation, in submission, funded, declined by sponsor)
    • Names of Key Personnel of any grant applications
    • Publications (if any): Title, Status (in preparation, in submission, published), Journal Name, Citation (if published)
    • Presentations (if any): Conference/Meeting, Year, Type of Conference, Type of Presentation (i.e., oral, poster)
  • Funds must be used within two calendar years of award (date listed on award letter). No cost extensions are not permitted. Funds not used within two calendar years of award will be forfeited.

Tissue Bank Grant Application (DOCX)
*Please download and complete the application and email to

Cardiovascular BioRepository Board
  • David Gutterman, MD, Senior Director of the Cardiovascular Center, Chair
  • Zeljko Bosnjak, PhD, Department of Anesthesiology
  • Michael Yeboah, MBChB, PhD, Department of Medicine, Nephrology
  • Max Wohlauer, MD, Department of Surgery, Vascular Surgery