BSRC Research Projects

Researchers and companies use biospecimens (biological materials) to better understand medical conditions, develop diagnostic tests and discover new or more effective treatments. We provide biospecimens to Aurora researchers, external research collaborators, and medical drug and device companies throughout the country.


Biospecimens to Advance Innovative Research and Product Development 

Researchers and drug and device companies use biospecimens (biological materials) to understand disease mechanisms, diagnose or predict disease and find potential treatments.

At Aurora Research Institute’s Biorepository and Specimen Resource Center (BSRC), we collect and store biospecimens, like blood and tumor tissue. Researchers and companies use these materials to discover:

  • Biomarkers: Researchers look for biological elements, like unusual proteins, within blood or tissue that indicate a disease or condition. If we can find a biomarker for a condition before a person has any symptoms, we may be able to prevent the condition from developing or manage it better.
  • Diagnostic tools: If we diagnose conditions more accurately or earlier, we may be able to treat the condition more effectively. Researchers and companies use biospecimens to test and evaluate new diagnostic tools and approaches.
  • Treatments: We use some biospecimens to find new treatments. Researchers grow cells from tumor tissue and use them to study drugs that slow or stop the tumor cell growth at our Discovery Laboratory.


The BSRC Advantage

Our mission is to support research and medical product development by providing high-quality biospecimens efficiently while maintaining Aurora Health Care’s high ethical standards.

We have the staff, protocols and safeguards in place to get projects up and running quickly.

The advantages of working with BSRC include:

  • Quick approval: Once your research project has Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval, you do not need to submit a new proposal to us. Also, BSRC has existing protocols that are already IRB-approved, allowing for the collection, storage and distribution of biospecimens without individual project approval. Our Biospecimen Utilization Committee can review the collection and provision of biospecimens based on the information you include on our BSRC request form.
  • Automated storage system: At the biorepository, we use robotic technology to locate the specimens you need. For example, if your research needs samples of blood from men between 50 and 60 who have had a heart attack, we can find appropriate specimens and retrieve them quickly.
  • Customized collection: We will identify and approach patients that meet your criteria. If they agree to provide specimens for research or product development, we will get the required consent and collect your biospecimens.
  • Consent: We collect biospecimens from people who give written consent to use their biological materials for research or product development. We do not pressure patients to participate.
  • Privacy: Every biospecimen has its own coded identification number. We keep these numbers separate from donors’ names and other personal details. Researchers and companies do not know who the materials come from and have no way to access that information.


Biospecimens Contribute to Important Research and Product Development Projects

We have provided biospecimens to Aurora researchers and for medical research across the country.

People who have consented to let us use their biospecimens to advance research or product development may have supported some of the following:

  • iSpecimen®: We began working with iSpecimen in 2013 to share blood products with researchers and companies throughout the country. Research studies include biomarker discovery and validation for different cancers, instrument testing for blood disorders and diagnostic tests for hypoparathyroidism.
  • AbbVie Stemcentrx: We have provided tumor tissue to researchers at Stemcentrx since 2014. They use our specimens to develop drugs targeting cancer stem cells — the cells that make tumors grow.
  • Celcuity: We provide Celcuity with tumor tissue and have also provided healthy breast tissue from patients undergoing breast reduction surgeries. They are developing diagnostic tests for different cancers. More accurate diagnosis can help determine the best treatment choices.
  • Conversant Bio: We began working with Conversant Bio in 2016, providing blood and tumor tissue. Conversant Bio connects patients, medical professionals, medical drug and device companies, and the research community to support advancements in treatments for disease.
  • Aurora research: Researchers at Aurora use biospecimens from our biorepository to study treatments and diagnostic tools for many diseases and conditions. Learn more about our specialty research programs.

If you have any questions about our research, contact us.

Simple Process

How to Get the Biospecimens You Need

We want to help you get your research up and running as quickly as possible.

To make the process quicker and more efficient, we handle all biospecimen approvals and collections across Aurora. This centralized process means researchers don’t have to approach and apply to numerous hospitals or clinics to get their biospecimens.

In collaboration with the Biospecimen Utilization Committee, BSRC has IRB permission to approve specimen collection without the researcher having to resubmit full proposals for approval. This cuts down on paperwork and saves time.

To apply for biospecimens for your medical research, complete the BSRC Request form (PDF download).

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Learn About Our Research

Find out more about our current research projects.

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Your donation can help fund critical research or help to develop new medical products.

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