vials of blood in a lab

The ISR BioSpecimen Lab


Project Summary

The biospecimen facility is designed to inventory, analyze, and provide short-term storage of biological samples collected by ISR researchers. This continues ISR’s leadership in the collection and analysis of representative, population-based data with the goal of providing social science in the public interest.

The BioSpecimen Lab Advantage

  • The lab provides ISR researchers with much better control over the processing and inventorying of biological samples as they come in from the field;
  • Biospecimens have a place to be stored properly and prevent degradation of samples, preserving the samples for the next generation of research;
  • The lab is ideal for pilot tests that will position us to propose innovative data collections;
  • It will also serve as an important instructional tool for ISR student-affiliates, staff, and faculty new to biological data collection as the integration of biological data collection into surveys continues.

The ISR BioSpecimen Lab provides both consultation and specimen processing services, including:

  • Consultation on planning studies in which biological samples will be collected, including linking specimen type to goals/planned analyses, best collection practices, material lists, protocols, procurement, IRB, and shipping;
  • Receipt and inventory of biospecimens (Dried Blood Spot cards, whole blood products, saliva, hair, urine, etc.) for short term storage;
  • Routine processing and analyses on small samples;
  • Perform pilot analyses to inform design of larger or new studies;
  • Evaluation of biospecimen analytic labs and long-term biospecimen storage services;
  • Purifying DNA or RNA from saliva.


  • The laboratory is 385 square feet in size, with an additional 180 square feet of space devoted to specimen storage in eight -80° Celsius freezers;
  • Freezers are monitored by remote sensor phone alarms;
  • Electronic inventory management system logs specimen receipt, enters data, and manages freezer inventory space;
  • Staffed full-time by a laboratory manager and licensed phlebotomist;
  • Access to lab restricted to authorized staff and faculty only;
  • Lab is directed by Dr. Colter Mitchell and Dr. Jessica Faul, both of whom have 10+ years of experience with biospecimen collection in large, population-based samples.

Contact: [email protected]


Colter Mitchell, Jessica Danielle Faul

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