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URMC / Clinical & Translational Science Institute / Stories / November 2020 / Use the COVID-19 Biobank to Support Your Coronavirus Research

Use the COVID-19 Biobank to Support Your Coronavirus Research

Originally published August 4, 2020. Updated November 5, 2020. 

The COVID-19 Biobank, which was announced by the University of Rochester Clinical & Translational Science Institute at the beginning of June, is now ready for researchers to use.

The Biobank, which was created through a partnership between the UR CTSI and the Shared Resource Labs at the University of Rochester Medical Center, has collected samples from 259 unique donors, 176 of whom had PCR-confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses. Thanks to those donors, URMC researchers can now apply for access to nearly 6,489 vials of serum, 29 vials of plasma and 28 vials of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) – and these numbers are ever-growing.

For a near-real-time overview of donors and samples, visit the COVID-19 Biobank dashboard. Before requesting access, researchers can see if the Biobank will meet their needs by filtering the dashboard results by sample type (serum, plasma or cells), COVID-19 status, donor age and sample volume.

Snapshot of the COVID-19 Biobank from 11/5/2020The serum samples, which are leftover from specimens collected from hospitalized patients for COVID-19 tests, are supplied by the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. Plasma and PBMC samples are being collected from consented inpatients at three approximate time points (close to admission, three to five days after the first draw and eight to 10 days after the first draw) under a longitudinal, prospective study.

University of Rochester research faculty and staff can request access to samples and associated de-identified clinical data (like diagnoses, labs, medications, etc.) by filling out the UR CTSI Informatics Service Request form. These requests should be made prior to submitting an RSRB protocol for a COVID-19 study. Research proposals that plan to use specimens collected as part of the COVID19 Biobank should be submitted via the university’s central study interest form.

Requests are reviewed weekly and are evaluated based on the availability of the requested samples, significance and feasibility of the study’s aims, expertise of the study team and PI, funding and the value of the proposed research to the Rochester community.  

Learn more about how to use the COVID-19 Biobank and contact if you have any questions.


Startup funding for the Biobank was supplied in part by the Harry T. Mangurian, Jr. Foundation and the University of Rochester Clinical and Translational Science Award (UL1 TR002001).

Michael Hazard | 11/5/2020

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