image of an oversized computer monitor showing colorful microscopic images

Biorepository & Tissue Analysis Shared Resource

The Biorepository & Tissue Analysis (BTA) Shared Resource, a National Cancer Institute CCSG-supported shared resource, provides investigators with access to meticulously collected and annotated human specimens as well as advanced human and animal tissue analyses that require state-of-the-art instrumentation and expertise. The shared resource comprises several integrated components, including biospecimen and data repository and customized histology services such as immunohistochemical and multispectral analysis. Our facility comprises 1,052 sq ft dedicated to clinical sample processing and tissue analysis on the 7th floor of MUSC Hollings Cancer Center and 668 sq ft designated as a freezer farm for clinical sample storage on the 7th floor of the Basic Science Building.

Contact Information | Services | Equipment & Instrumentation | Publication Acknowledgement | Fee Schedules


Angela Yoon headshot


Angela J. Yoon, D.D.S., MPH, MAMedSci
Department of Biomedical & Community Health Sciences, College of Dental Medicine; Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, College of Medicine

Elizabeth O'Quinn headshot

Operations Manager

Elizabeth C. O'Quinn

Yuan Shao headshot

Research Pathologist

Yuan Shao, M.D., Ph.D.

Whitney Christians headshot

Histology Technologist

Whitney Christians, HTL

Jeremy Kuhlig headshot

Histology Technologist

Jeremy Kuhlig, HTL

Melriska Brown headshot

Laboratory Technologist

Melriska Brown

Deoshai Patterson headshot

Laboratory Specialist

Deoshai Patterson

Contact Information

Phone: 843-792-6017

MUSC Hollings Cancer Center
86 Jonathan Lucas St, 7th Floor
Charleston, SC 29425


The BTA Shared Resource offers a wide range of services for researchers.

Letter of Support

We can provide a letter of support (LOS) prior to submitting a grant proposal.

To request this service, log in to Infinity and select BTA Letter of Support.


For projects that involve BTA services, such as clinical sample collection, histologic service, and multispectral imaging, we offer consultation prior to initiation of the project.

To request this service, log in to Infinity and select BTA Consult Request.

Clinical Sample Request

When researchers request clinical samples linked with clinico-demographic data, the BTA Shared Resource will serve as an honest broker and provide de-identified clinical data to researchers upon receipt of appropriate Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval. The BTA Shared Resource maintains IRB approval for a blanket consent that permits the procurement of biospecimens for general banking to be used for future research. The blanket consent also allows patients to continue donating specimens that are stored for an unlimited amount of time unless the patient withdraws the consent.

Available Clinical Tissue and Blood Samples

Anatomic Site Number Available Anatomic Site Number Available Anatomic Site Number Available Anatomic Site Number Available Anatomic Site Number Available
Bladder 418 Kidney 873
Brain 1078 Spinal Cord
34 Pituitary Gland
Breast 389                
Bone 25                
Cervix 37 Uterus
Esophagus 29 Stomach, Small Intestine
Anal Canal
Head & Neck
161 Nasal
Larynx & Vocal Cord
Thyroid & Parathyroid
742 Salivary Gland
Leukemia 542                
Liver 230                
Lung 524                
Skin 93 Melanoma
Pancreas 387                
Prostate 908                
Sarcoma 147                

To request this service, log in to Infinity and select Biorepository Sample Request.

Prospective Tumor Sample Collection

For projects requiring prospectively collected fresh tumor tissue for patient-derived organoids, PDX mouse models, tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte harvesting, etc, the BTA Shared Resource will collect the sample of interest in the appropriate medium provided by the researcher. For such projects, either BTA consent or project-specific consent can be utilized. Clinician-scientist collaboration is required to identify the patient and inform the BTA Shared Resource of the surgical date and time to obtain a specific tumor sample.

Oral squamous cell carcinoma organoids

close up image of oral squamous cell carcinoma organoids

doi: 10.1002/cpsc.109

PDX orthotopic mice for glioblastoma

MRI scan with arrow indicating tumor location

doi: 10.1007/s00280-018-3684-7

To request this service, log in to Infinity and select Prospective Tumor Sample Collection.

Clinical Trial Sample Processing and PBMC Isolation

For clinical investigators engaged in clinical trials, the BTA Shared Resource will perform simple sample processing, such as buffy coat separation and PBMC isolation. Upon completion of processing, the investigator or the coordinators will be contacted immediately for pickup.

PBMC isolation can be requested for non-clinical trial projects.

To request this service, log in to Infinity and select Clinical Trials Sample Processing / PBMC Isolation.

Histology and Immunohistochemistry (IHC)

Both human and mouse tissue analysis require high-quality tissue and IHC staining to measure marker expression levels accurately. The research pathologist will first perform H&E-based histopathological quality control of tissues. This includes verifying disease, evaluating tissue quality, and assessing the percentage of tumors in each sample. Immunohistochemistry staining, scoring, and image capture will be performed in tissues that passed the quality control assessment.

The BTA Shared Resource also offers embedding of the tissues in paraffin or OCT, sectioning of paraffin-embedded and frozen tissues, H&E staining, deparaffinization, macrodissection of tissue, and antibody optimization. If applicable, please provide the antibody for IHC analysis. Review the list of antibodies already optimized and validated by BTA and if the antibody is not on the list, please select antibody optimization service in addition to IHC staining.

Activated checkpoint kinase 2 (pChk-2) IHC staining in human tissue

close up image showing IHC staining in human tissue

doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-07-0659

Ki-67 (proliferation marker) IHC staining in mouse tissue

close up image showing IHC staining in mouse tissue

To request this service, log in to Infinity and select Histology Services & IHC.

Multispectral Imaging

Quantitative multiplex immunofluorescence (qmIF) is a powerful technique that allows researchers to visualize and analyze multiple markers simultaneously on a single tissue slide. Multiple antibodies with fluorophores are utilized to detect target-specific proteins, allowing quantification of cells by their phenotypes. We offer 6-plex multispectral imaging (one DAPI, 6 markers).

example showing multiple markers on a tissue slide 
doi: 10.1136/jitc-2020-001219

Tumor-Infiltrating T-cell Panel

Markers Function
Pan-cytokeratin (CK) Carcinoma (tumor)
CD8+Granzyme B+ Activated cytotoxic T-cells
CD8+Granzyme B- Inactive cytotoxic T-cells
CD4+CD27-Foxp3- Activated helper T-cells
CD4+FoxP3+ Regulatory T-cells (inactive helper T-cells)
CD8+CRCR+ Memory (stem cell-like and central memory) cytotoxic T-cells
CD4+CRCR+ Memory (stem cell-like and central memory) helper T-cells


Please provide the primary antibody. The BTA Shared Resource will bulk purchase the Opal fluorophores on behalf of the investigators. Review the list of optimized antibodies and fluorophores, and if using fluorophores other than Opal, both the primary antibody and the fluorophores must be provided to BTA.

To request this service, log in to Infinity and select Multispectral Imaging.

Equipment & Instrumentation

The BTA Shared Resource is equipped with the technology to assist researchers in tissue analysis, tumor biospecimen and data repository, and the expertise to perform these services.

Available instruments include:

  • Cryostat
  • Light microscope
  • -80oC freezer (located in the freezer farm in Basic Science Building, 7th Floor). The investigator is responsible for placing, organizing, and retrieving the samples in the freezer, in the area designated by BTA. Please contact BTA before sample retrieval.
  • Phenochart: A slide viewer for scans created by PhenoImager to annotate the areas of interest for downstream analysis. *1-hour mandatory training prior to use.
  • InForm: An automated image analysis software for visualizing and quantifying biomarkers. *1-hour mandatory training prior to use.

To request equipment use, log in to Infinity and select Instruments.

If you are an investigator planning to develop a non-cancer-related biobank and wish to use FreezerWorks software to track the specimens, it is available for a shared renewal contract fee.

Publication Acknowledgement

If you publish a manuscript including research supported by the Biorepository & Tissue Analysis Shared Resource, the Hollings Cancer Center recommends the following text to be placed in the acknowledgement section: "Supported in part by the Biorepository & Tissue Analysis Shared Resource, Hollings Cancer Center, Medical University of South Carolina (P30 CA138313)."

Fee Schedules

Biorepository Fees

Biorepository Services Unit Fee
Letter of Support (LOS) request 1 $0
Project consultation 1 $0
Tissue and/or bodily fluid specimens (per aliquot) paired with clinical data 1x aliquot $30.00
Clinical sample consent and/or collection (per visit) 1x visit $25.00
Clinical sample simple processing (per sample) 1x sample $25.00
PBMC Isolation (per sample) 1x sample $90.00
Tissue processing & paraffin embedding (per block) 1x block $5.00
Paraffin or OCT block set up and facing (per block) 1x block $5.00
Deparaffinization (per block) 1x block $5.00
Paraffin tissue sectioning, scrolls, or blank side (per block) 1x block $4.00
Frozen tissue sectioning (per block) 1x block $4.00
H & E staining (per slide) 1x slide $5.00
Special staining (per slide) Gram, Safranin-O, Sirius Red, Trichrome 1x slide $43.00
Immunohistochemistry (per slide) 1x slide $34.00
Pathology verification and macrodissection of tissue sample (per slide) 1x slide $150.00
Antibody optimization (per antibody, three concentrations) 1x antibody $370.00
Multiplex immunofluorescence staining (maximum of 6-plex per slide)
*Please bring primary antibodies. The fluorophores will be bulk ordered.
1x slide $160.00
Brightfield scanning (per slide)
*The scanned image will only be stored for up to 6 months. Please bring a USB drive to export the image.
1x slide $25.00
Multiplex immunofluorescence scanning (per slide)
*The scanned image will only be stored for up to 6 months. Please bring a USB drive to export the image.
1x slide $45.00
Multiplex immunofluorescence analysis using InForm or Visiopharm (per slide) 1x slide $258.00
Pathology image taking (per hour) 1x hour $150.00
Pathology image analysis of tissues/IHC scoring (per hour) 1x hour $150.00

Instrument Fees

Instruments Unit Fee
Cryostat 30-min $20
Microscope 30-min $0
Clinical sample storage using -80oC freezer (per sample per month) 1x sample TBD
*The first hour must be training.
1x training
1x hour
*The first hour must be training.
1x training
1x hour