Experimental Tissue Resource


Overview of Services

UCI HRP Policy 15 and the UCIMC Anatomical Pathology/Surgical Pathology - Procedure Number: S-23 click here for a list of exempt specimens) states that no tissues removed from patients at UC Irvine Medical Center may be taken directly from operating rooms or clinics without prior examination by a pathologist, who will determine that which is necessary for diagnostic purposes, and will determine what tissues are remnants that can be used for research purposes.

We can provide the following services:

  1. Fresh human tissues and fluids samples for research purposes or therapeutic clinical trials: Following examination by the on-service or on-call Pathologist, excess tissue is disbursed to investigators or to approved third-party, in accordance with their approved protocol.
  2. FFPE tissue blocks Tissue sections or re-cuts of these tissue blocks may be considered by request for research or second opinion consultation. Coring of blocks for TMA production is permitted under certain circumstances. The release of entire case requires the patient’s signature on the S-14-2 Authorization Release Form (English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Vietnamese).
  3. Routine tissue histology/immunohistochemistry (IHC) standard histological services, including embedding, FFPE and frozen block sectioning, staining (including cytochemical stains) preparation of recut slides or tissue shavings for nucleic acid extraction and IHC staining. We also provide automated immunohistochemical (IHC) staining (click here for a complete list of available antibodies), optimization of non-standard IHC protocols and electron microscopy via the Pathology Department’s division of Histology. A 7-10 day turn-around time should be expected. Ventana Roche automated whole slide scanning is available -at 2-3$/slide, under service F. ETR consultation time.
  4. User-searchable Pathology Database of Archival tissue: Queries of the UCI surgical pathology case database can be made back to 1984. The search platform is a customized script that returns a spreadsheet of each result including Final diagnosis, a research identifier that links back to the patient demographics (for retrieval by ETR staff operating as Honest Brokers),  and other non-PHI-containing fields. UCI researchers can perform their own cohort discovery based on clinical parameters using the new TriNetX platform, request access by email: ori@uci.edu
  5. Pathology Reports can be provided upon request, depending on the level of IRB approval.
  6. Consultation for grants or IRB submission.  Investigators are encouraged to contact ETR concerning the availability of tissue prior to submitting projects for IRB approval.
  7. Feasibility/costing for clinical trials/ grant submissions involving tissue collections.
  8. Mouse pathology services: Dr. Rob Edwards has over 20 years of expertise with mouse pathology and is a board-certified medical pathologist.  ETR manager Dr. Delia Tifrea has approximately 15 years of animal tumor model experience and is also available for consult, to perform or to teach mouse necropsy (gross necropsy, trimming and slide prep with routine H&E, gross and/or microscopic photos, histopathology evaluation with final report). Xenograft and orthotopic inoculations of tumoral cell lines as well as PDX models are available (PDX Tumor Implant - 1-5 Mice: Includes supplies such as anesthesia, media, and consumables, and labor, first month monitoring, collection of tumor for passage or freezing. All procedures will be performed under the investigator's own IACUC protocol.)


Compliance with HRP Institutional Review Board (IRB)Investigators will need to provide along with a request the following documents. ETR is required to maintain a copy of all active IRB regulatory documents. Please provide all compliance documents at the time you order service to avoid delays.

  1. Protocol Narrative, or Non Human Research Determination Form (click here for more information)  or a written exception from IRB (including the Exempt Specimens)
  2. IRB Approval Letter
  3. Signed Informed Consent (if required by the protocol)
  4. Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)


  • Submit the request and the required documentation.
  • When the tissue becomes available for research, the ETR Manager will notify the research team. For UCI Campus users - the orders will be sent by courier - MedSci D, room 440 pick-up time is 11:00 a.m. daily .
  • A Sign-out Form receipt must be signed by investigator at the time of fresh tissue collection – found in the Grossing Room.

If the priority of tissue utilization or the exhaustion of the tissue available is in question, certain requests will need approval of the ETR Tissue Utilization Advisory Committee.

Priority tier for histology services

  1. Clinical trials - Cancer Center
  2. Clinical trials - Center for Clinical Research or outside of UCI
  3. Cancer Center members requests – non-clinical trial research: human and animal tissue    
    1. -cancer related projects  
    2. -non-cancer related projects
  4. Non- Cancer Center members – non-clinical trial research: human and animal tissue
    1. -cancer related projects  
    2. -non-cancer related projects

Cost to Investigator: The activities of the core are underwritten in part by funds from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the form of a Cancer Center Support Grant and by the Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine. UCI investigators are recharged for the marginal costs associated with processing the request; rates are commensurate to sister institutions’ cores and are subject to annual institutional review.


Acknowledgement Guidelines: It is very important to the continued funding of the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center (CFCCC) that the productive collaboration of CFCCC-supported Shared Resources is acknowledged in publications and presentations, and that resulting publications are processed by the National Institutes of Health Manuscript Submission (NIHMS) to obtain a PubMed Central reference number (PMCID), per NIH Public Access Policy.

Please visit the CFCCC website to learn more about Acknowledging the Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) and Shared Resources.



Robert Edwards, MD, PhD Co-Director 949-824-8576 redwards@hs.uci.edu
Wendy Cozen, DO, MPH Co-Director 714-456-5153 wcozen@hs.uci.edu
Delia Tifrea, PhD, MBA Manager 714-872-1093 dtifrea@hs.uci.edu



Links and Resources

  1. http://www.pathology.uci.edu/research-services-core-facility.asp
  2. http://www.cancer.uci.edu/research/research-resources/shared-resources


Name Role Phone Email Location
Delia Tifrea, MBA
ETR Manager
Douglas hospital, room 3631, UC Irvine Medical Center
Jeffrey Kim
Research Histotechnologist
Building 55, room 334, bay 5 and 6, UC Irvine Medical Center
Farah Akhtar
Electron Microscopist
Building 54 Room 1107
Rodriguez, Christopher
Research Histotechnologist
Building 55, room 334, bay 5 and 6, UC Irvine Medical Center