Use of Human Biospecimens in Research

Human biological materials represent a precious resource in the furtherance of biomedical research and, as such, always should be used in an ethical manner, with due care and diligence and in ways that will provide the most benefit to investigative endeavors and the generation of new information. Individuals who have so generously provided these materials are shown the highest level of respect when materials are utilized in a manner that maximizes the collective efforts of our investigators and new data generated. One of the ways to accomplish this is through sharing of available material within the Health Sciences community.

In a written announcement dated March 13, 2007, Dr. Arthur Levine, Senior Vice Chancellor for the Health Sciences, Dean, School of Medicine, notified faculty of the Health Sciences of a new policy on the use of biological materials, as well as a requirement to register all sample collections.

The types of human biological material include:

*Subcellular components such as DNA and RNA
*Cells or tissues from any part of the human body
*Organs (liver, kidneys, heart, etc.)
*Blood and blood products such as plasma, serum, red blood cells)
*Bodily products, such as hair, teeth, urine, and saliva


Immortalized cell lines are excluded.

Organisms such as bacteria and viruses isolated from human specimens are not human biological materials.

Clarification: Any sample collections and/or tissue banks where material has not been secured via the PITT Biospecimen Core, must be registered using this HBM Form  and e-mailed to OOAS.