Tissue Resources Core Facility

Director: Gregory T. MacLennan, MD
Professor, Pathology

Associate Director of IHC: Dawn M. Dawson, MD
Assistant Professor, Pathology

Medical Advisor: Joseph E. Willis, MD
Associate Professor, Pathology

  Tissue Group Wyza and MacLennan


The Tissue Resources Core facility is a specialized unit of the Human Tissue Procurement Facility (HTPF) that supports Cancer Center member researchers by acquiring, preserving, and distributing high quality human tissues and providing priority histology, immunohistochemistry, tissue microarray, and laser capture microdissection services for both human and animal tissues. Services are open to all Cancer Center members on an equal basis. Free parking is provided to members picking up samples who work off the CWRU/University Hospitals campus.

Samples are for research purposes only and may not be used for clinical diagnosis or implantation into humans. Clinical information relating to the samples and donors are collected and maintained in a secure database. Samples and data are de-identified or de-linked before release to the researcher unless he/she has specific IRB approval to gain access to this information.

Please note: Researchers must complete a formal application and have an IRB approval or exemption for the study to access human tissue from the Core.

Services available:

Tissue Procurement and Annotation

  • Tissue Procurement team works directly with surgical pathologists to obtain samples
  • Custom protocol development for tissue collection and processing
  • Quality control reviews on human tissue samples are conducted to verify diagnosis before release to investigators (unless needed immediately)

Types of Tissue Available

  • Normal, benign, diseased, and malignant tissues from surgeries and autopsies
  • Matched normal adjacent tissue and tissues from different organ sites of the same donor with special emphasis on accessing metastatic samples
  • Tissues are collected from over 50 anatomic sites
  • No samples are collected from individuals with known infectious illnesses
  • Fetal biospecimens are not collected due to state and local statutes

Standard Data

  • Patient confidentiality is strictly maintained through the use of sample code numbers
  • Coded Surgical Pathology or Autopsy Reports containing final diagnosis
  • Tissue type and histopathologic status, sample weight or dimensions
  • Demographics (age in years, race, gender)

Additional Data Available

  • Chart reviews performed upon request to obtain additional clinical information
  • De-linked specimens are not traceable, and as such no further information can be obtained for these samples.

Tissue Processing

  • Preparations according to user-defined protocols
  • Frozen specimens, OCT-embedded and paraffin-embedded tissues, sections, cores, and stained or unstained slides
  • Freezing in liquid or vapor phase of liquid nitrogen
  • Sterile dissection
  • RNA preservation
  • Custom QC sampling

Biospecimen Banking

  • Collection, annotation and storage of remnant human tissues, blood and other body fluids targeted towards cancer and other medical research, for current and future research projects
  • Long-term, controlled storage of biospecimens for specific researchers
  • Access to QC research blocks maintained by the HTPF
  • Peripheral blood and bone marrow samples from initial visits and follow-up procedures processed by Hematopoietic Stem Cell Core to obtain serum and cell fractions for storage

View chart of available samples in the biorepository

Access to Archived Clinical Blocks

  • Access to UHCMC clinical archives of paraffin blocks

Tissue Microarrays (TMAs)

  • Custom design and production of Tissue Microarrays

View list of available TMA slides in the biorepository


  • Fixation of researcher-supplied tissues
  • Paraffin, OCT or methacrylate embedding
  • Serial sectioning and custom orientations
  • Unstained slides, Hematoxylin and Eosin (H&E) staining, special morphological stains, and enzyme histochemistry available

Immunohistochemistry (IHC), Immunofluorescence and In situ hybridization

  • Routine immunohistochemistry and protocol development of commercially available and novel antibodies
  • Over 100 IHC assays available
  • In situ hybridization service

Microscopy and Digital Imaging

  • Light, fluorescence, and phase contrast microscopy
  • Digital imaging for Histology, IHC, & TMA prepared slides

Laser Capture Microdissection (LCM)

  • State-of-the-art LCM
  • Extremely versatile fluorescence capabilities
  • Achieve near 100% purity in the dissection and procurement of targeted tissue

Consultation and Training

  • Consulting services on tissue availability for different disease areas and what can be expected in terms of sample size, availability of matched normal tissues, and matched primary and metastatic tissues form the same donor
  • Information source regarding Institutional Review Board (IRB) requirements for research uses of discarded human tissues and patient privacy regulations (HIPAA)
  • Assistance throughout application process for access to biospecimens
  • Advice on histology and IHC stains that may be appropriate for a particular study
  • TMA design including cancer subtypes, positive and negative controls, physical layouts
  • Training on use of microtomes and cryostats, which are available on a rental basis
  • Consultation and training on laser capture microdissection


  • Fully equipped laboratories for tissue collection, processing, histology, and immunohistochemistry work
  • Six liquid nitrogen freezers with 40,000 total sample capacity, equipped with electronic monitoring, automated fill and alarm systems
  • Workstations for data collection and management; access to hospital databases
  • Daily access to Tissue Tek VIP automatic tissue processor
  • BioCare Medical Nemesis 7200 IHC Automated Slides Stainer (continuous access, 72-slide capacity)
  • BioCare Medical IQ3000 Kinetic Slide Stainer for temperature controlled incubations and in situ hybridization protocols (36-slide capacity)
  • Pathology Devices Semi-Automated Tissue Microarray Maker (TMArrayer) for both paraffin embedded and frozen tissues
  • Instrumedics Paraffin Tape Transfer System for sectioning and optimal tissue recovery from TMA blocks
  • Olympus BX41 Microscope with motorized scanning stage, light, phase contrast, fluorescence, and digital imaging capabilities
  • Two Leica 1850 Cryostats and one 1800 Cryostat all with Peltier cooling for preparation of frozen section slides
  • Leica RM2255 Full-Automated Microtome and several other microtomes for cutting of blocks and preparation of paraffin section slides
  • Hacker-Bright Model 5030 Microtome for cutting of blocks and preparation of methacrylate section slides
  • Leica LMD 7000 Laser Capture Microdissection System


View the list of fees

Policies of Operation

View Policies of Operation (PDF)

Instructions to Investigators and Links to Forms

Remember to acknowledge the valuable services provided by Cancer Center Core Facilities in your research papers and publications:
"This research was supported by the Tissue Resources Core Facility of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center (P30CA043703)."

Contact for Information

Locations: Wearn Building, Rm. 333 (Tissue Procurement, IHC and TMA Services) and Institute of Pathology, Rm. B-12 (Histology)

Director and Pathologist Concierge: Gregory T. MacLennan, MD

Associate Director of IHC: Dawn M. Dawson, MD

Director of Operations: Robert E. Wyza, MS
fax 216.844.4911

Tissue Procurement Manager: Wendi Barrett, BA

Histology Manager: Nancy L. Edgehouse, BS

IHC and TMA Services: Adam Kresak, BS

LCM Services: Patrick Leahy, PhD

Related Sites

Human Tissue Procurement Facility (HTPF)

Cooperative Human Tissue Network (CHTN)