Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center
Flash Section
HICCC

Molecular Pathology

 

Hanina Hibshoosh, M.D., Director

Lin Yang, Manager

Tao Su, Ph.D, Macromolecule Service Director

 

 

The MPSR facilitates tissue based, human and experimental, basic science and translational cancer research through three integrated services; Histology, Tumor banking and Macromolecule platform (next generation banking). The facility is directed by its founder Hanina Hibshoosh, M.D. and has 10 full-time employees including dedicated/certified histotechnologists, immunohistoochemistry experts, dedicated pathologist, PhD level molecular biologist as well as database experts. It has over three hundred distinct PIs utilizing its services. It is one of the largest and most robust facilities in NCI’s network. All services are offered on a fee for service basis. See service description below and fee schedule in link. For all service inquiries send E-mail to histologyservice@columbia.edu


To all Molecular Pathology SR users: Beginning October 20, the Molecular Pathology SR will use the iLab Core Management System for service requests and billing. More information for users, PIs, and Financial Managers can be found here. To schedule equipment and make service requests, go to the iLab web site at https://cumc.corefacilities.org and log in with your UNI and password.


Histology Service
The histology service offers routine and specialized histology services including grossing, embedding, tissue processing, sectioning and staining, whether routine H&E or specialized. It operates on frozen and FFPE tissue. It also offers tissue micro array construction service and expertise, and an experimental immunohistochemistry/ immunofluorescence service. Last year it processed more than 13,000 blocks and an excess of 161,000 sections were generated. The service is known for its high quality, quick turn around time and dedicated personnel.

For all service inquiries send E-mail to histologyservice@columbia.edu
MPSR main Tel 1-212-305-1608

MPSR histology service location for drop off and pick up: Black Building 4-455

Tumor bank
The tumor bank procures, bar codes, stores, annotates, processes, and distributes to investigators tumor and normal frozen tissue for research purposes. It operates under IRB approval, is HIPAA compliant, and is licensed by the New York State Department of Health, follows NCI best practices for biospecimen resources and is governed by a tissue utilization committee. The bank contains more than 19,000 tumor cases and collects approximately 1,800 cases per year. Its database (Freezerworks 3.1.08.1 multi-user version) utilizes caBIG compliant terminology and we are recipients of “Connecting with caBIG Award”. The bank distributes over 1,000 cases to investigators per year.

For all inquiries send E-mail to tissuebank@columbia.edu

In order to address the many challenges associated with traditional tumor banking's utility, and to reduce barriers to research, in the molecular era, we developed in 2002 the Molecular Platform (next generation banking). For a brief description, see below.

Macromolecule Platform (next generation banking)

MPSR Macromolecule service director: Tao Su Ph.D.

For all inquiries send E-mail to: ts283@columbia.edu tel 1-212-851-4505

The macromolecule platform is a research platform designed to facilitate, Columbia University wide and beyond, cancer research and foster collaboration by evaluating systematically the procured frozen tumors in our tumor bank. This is done by providing a set of thoroughly characterized frozen tumors and normal tissue, corresponding DNA/RNA (macromolecules extracted, quantified and assessed for quality, purity, diagnosis, size and stored), corresponding tissue micro-arrays, whole section banks of formalin fixed slides corresponding to cases, frozen tissue for Western blots/IHC, database (linked clinical/pathological and basic science characteristics) as well linkage to related cases (primary removed piece meal, recurrent and metastatic cases), professional services and expertise in tissue based analysis (extraction, storage, expression, and immuno and molecular genetic characterization). All is offered in an “off the shelf” ready to use format. By keeping track of users projects and at times primary research results, it allows for leveraging the disparate research efforts of independent investigators. This creates a research “ecosystem” that fosters collaboration (intended and unintended prospectively and retrospectively). The bank relies on frozen (fn) and archival formalin fixed (fx) tumor and normal tissues collected at Columbia University Medical Center. Furthermore, the bank utilizes a multidisciplinary approach to maximize value by integrating the work of Tao Su PhD and Xiaomei Wang in molecular biology/database maintenance/development, pathologists Hanina Hibshoosh M.D. - Director and Aqeel Ahmed M.D. and statistician.. Through its open, non-proprietary, multidisciplinary, large scale, “off the shelf”, highly characterized, robust, ‘macromolecule bank”, discovery and collaboration are enabled and accelerated. Barriers to research are markedly reduced. This platform currently focuses on systematic evaluation of all tumors collected in our tumor bank corresponding to breast, prostate, bladder and pancreas. The platform contains hundreds of tumors in each organ ready for biomarker analysis and correlation. It is next generation banking at its best and has already become the backbone of much of our organ based cancer research effort.

Molecular Biology Services

MPSR molecular biology service director: Tao Su Ph.D.
For all inquiries send E-mail to: ts283@columbia.edu tel 1-212-851-4505

We also provide molecular biology services on a project-specific level to investigators operating on fresh/frozen or FFPE tissues or analytes prepared by our next generation biobanking service. These include:

  • High throughput RNA/DNA/protein extraction service: With our recently purchased Qiagen QIAsymphony SP allowing for 96 samples extraction/4 hours from fresh, frozen or FFPE tissue and blood.
  • Affymetrix/Agilent microarray labeling
  • Quantitation of macromolecules (RNA/DNA/protein) utilizing Agilent bioanalyzer, Qubit 2.0 and Nanodrop 8000 will provide researchers flexible but accurate quantification and quality assessment.
  • Realtime PCR and RT-PCR service.

 

Lastly, during the past few years we introduced full cycle project management service, which allows researchers to send a cohort list (patients) and the facility will carry out and return biomarker analysis - managing the full cycle of pre-analyte retrieval, analyte isolation, biomarker analysis, reporting and storage. As an example, following receipt of a cohort of patients and their controls we retrieve the corresponding H&E slides and blocks from the Department of Pathology, match them to frozen tissue, review H&E slides for desired lesions (usually a specific cancer type), make either TMA or slide banks (for IHC, 10X 10 micron slide bank for RNA or DNA extractions or protein), perform IHC/extract DNA/RNA/protein (for array based expression, RNAseq, copy number, methylation studies, RPPA), evaluate IHC, and report out results.

 

In summary, the MPSR provides professional, efficient, and cost effective services that have helped produce numerous high impact scientific publications, contributing to prevention, biological understanding, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

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