FAQs for Researchers

How do I submit a Specimen Request to the Lowy Biorepository?

Researchers submit a request form to the Biorepository Manager to obtain samples. This form requires an explanation of the tissue requested (type, number of samples, justification), description of the study and HREC approval. Requests for tissue array slides are also received by the Biorepository Manager. Each request is reviewed for feasibility by the Biorepository Manager and for research conflict and priority by members of the Specimen Access Committee.

What's the difference between a Collection Protocol and a Specimen Request?

A Collection Protocol is an ongoing accrual and storage of specimens, undertaken by a Primary Investigator in association with the Lowy Biorepository. A Collection Protocol has defined specimen collection groups, time points and a predetermined specimen type and processing protocol.

A Specimen Request can be submitted to the Lowy Biorepository by researchers with HREC approval for their study. This is a one-off request that is subject to approval by the Primary Investigator of the Collection Protocol.

What kind of ethics approval do I need?

The Lowy Biorepository requires HREC approval for your Collection Protocol prior to the commencement of specimen collection.

Who reviews my Collection Protocol and requests?

Your Collection Protocol will be reviewed by the Biorepository Manager, and a portion of your samples (2% of any given Collection Protocol) may be included in an internal Biorepository audit. All specimen requests will be forwarded to you as the Primary Investigator of the Collection Protocol for review prior to specimen distribution.

How will I know if my Collection Protocol and requests have been approved?

The Biorepository Manager will notify investigators by email.

I am a non-UNSW investigator. Can I request tissue from the Lowy Biorepository?

Yes, all researchers with HREC approval for their study can request specimens through the Lowy Biorepository. All applications will be forwarded to the Primary Investigator of the Collection Protocol for approval (see: Information on how to apply for specimens from the Lowy Biorepository)

What does the Lowy Biorepository charge for its services?

The Lowy Biorepository has established a cost recovery scheme to cover our costs for maintaining samples and services. Please email the Biorepository Manager for more information: biorepository@unsw.edu.au.

How do I acknowledge the Lowy Biorepository in publications arising from the research I carried out using specimens obtained from the Facility?

The following acknowledgement statement should be used in the 'Materials/Methods' or 'Acknowledgements' section of your research publication:
Biospecimens and data used in this research were obtained from the Lowy Biorepository, Lowy Cancer Research Centre, UNSW Sydney Australia.