The UNSW Biorepository has the knowledge and infrastructure to provide a complete service for the life cycle of your specimens.

  • Planning: Collection Protocols tailored to your specimen requirements are set up in conjunction with the Biorepository Manager.
  • Collection/Processing: Thorough, consistently applied standard operating procedures are in place to ensure dependable and reproducible specimen processing. These processes can be tailored to your Collection Protocol requirements.
  • Storage: Integrated management of specimens, including a complete chain of custody once the specimen enters the secure Lowy Biorepository facility and storage in temperature-controlled equipment which is monitored and linked to an alert system to ensure continuous protection.
  • Retrieval: Specimens requested through the Lowy Biorepository are retrieved and dispatched within 48 hours with cold chain logistics put in place to ensure temperature-sensitive samples are constantly monitored and properly packaged during handling and shipping. The Lowy Biorepository facility is located adjacent to a secure area for the receipt and shipping of specimens.
  • Disposal: We offer a specimen destruction service for closing studies for which we have maintained a Collection Protocol, or for those specimens which are no longer able to be stored or used.
We also offer a research grant application assistance service, for researchers requiring costs of biospecimens and associated health data for inclusion in their grant applications. See below for further details.

Request Specimen

Researchers wishing to request specimens from the Biorepository should submit an enquiry via email to the Biorepository Manager at

Specimen Collections

The Biorepository processes and stores samples of tumour tissue, normal adjacent tissue, peripheral blood and saliva. Our specimen preparation techniques include:
  • DNA/RNA from RNALater-preserved tumour/normal adjacent tissue
  • Paraffin-embedded tumour tissue
  • Fresh/frozen tumour/normal adjacent tissue
  • DNA/RNA from peripheral blood/buccal swab.
We also collect detailed information on all specimens, including:
  • Participant demographic information (e.g. age, sex, vital status)
  • Initial diagnosis
  • Sample collection details (e.g. collection date, processing time)
  • Pathology and diagnosis details (e.g. histology, size of tumour, grade).
Samples currently available
Please contact the Biorepository Manager directly for specimen availability:
We soon hope to provide researchers with a mechanism to view available tissues online.

Specimen Storage

In addition to providing specimens for research, the Biorepository offers a long-term specimen storage service for researchers.
We offer a variety of temperature ranges at one facility to accommodate the exact temperature requirements of your biospecimens:
•    Ambient (18° C to 25° C)
•    Ultra-Low / Ultra-Cold (–80° C to –95° C)
•    Vapour Phase Liquid Nitrogen (–135° C to –196° C)
•    Dry-nitrogen shippers to transport frozen samples.
Complete and submit the Specimen Storage Cost Estimate Request Form to receive a quote for storage of your biospecimens at the Biorepository.

Set up a Collection Protocol

Grant Application Assistance

The UNSW Biorepository offers a grant application assistance service for researchers wanting to include the costs of biospecimens and associated data that are a direct requirement of your research project for 2013 grant rounds, such as NHMRC.
We can provide you with a quote for specimen access and storage, and a description of Biorepository services and benefits, to include in your application.
Please complete our Research Grant Cost Estimate Form and we will respond to your request within five working days.
Contact the Biorepository Manager for further information about this service: