Anatomic Specimen Requests, Procurement, Transport and Disposition Guidelines

This section provides information on the steps to follow for procurement of specimens as well as any transport that may be required for diagnostic testing or disposition.

Anatomic Specimen Requests and Specimen Procurement

  • Upon receipt of approval by the Committee for Oversight of Research and Clinical Training Involving Decedents (CORID) for research studies and educational/clinical training activities, complete an Anatomic Specimen Request form and submit to the Office for Oversight of Anatomic Specimens (OOAS) for internal review and approval.  NOTE:  CORID approval is not required for academic courses. 
  • Internal procurement of whole cadavers via the School of Medicine's Humanity Gifts Registry Program will be coordinated through the OOAS once the Anatomic Specimen Request form has been approved.
  • External procurement of required tissue from an approved tissue supplier will be processed through the OOAS.   
  • Lab space used in the conduct of research and educational/clinical training activities that utilize human cadaveric tissue must be approved by the University of Pittsburgh or UPMC Department of Environmental Health & Safety,(EH&S), as applicable.  If the lab has not yet been approved, the OOAS will coordinate with EH&S to conduct an inspection.
  • Prior to the start date of all research and educational/clinical training labs, Laboratory Guidelines Document must be read and signed by all persons who will be present in the lab.
  • All non-UPMC clinical personnel must provide a current Bloodborne Pathogen training certificate.
  • Signed Guidelines and BBP certificates must be emailed to the OOAS.
  • Upon completion of the study or training lab, final disposition will be arranged upon receipt of a completed Request for Disposition of Anatomic Specimens form by the OOAS for all specimens procured externally. 
  • For your information and assistance, Policy and Guidelines for the Procurement, Use and Disposition of Anatomic Specimens and the referenced forms links are available under Policies and Links above.


Guidelines for Specimen Transport and Disposition

All human cadaveric specimens/tissue utilized for education, clinical training and research must be ethically disposed of upon completion of activities. The guidelines are as follows:

All tissue procured from an approved tissue supplier through the OOAS on behalf of the Principal Investigator or Course Director must be cremated via the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine crematory located in Scaife Hall. This is mandatory in order to maintain accurate records for every specimen procured as well as to prepare disposition documentation that may be required by the supplier.

Additionally, whole organs must be cremated and not disposed of through the waste management systems of either the University of Pittsburgh or UPMC.

Sectioned tissue and small tissue samples originating from organ donation organization procurement, or received from another institution via an established Material Transfer Agreement, may be disposed of through either the University of Pittsburgh or UPMC Waste Management system.

Links above provide detailed information on required paperwork, packaging, as well as who to contact if transport services are needed.