Central Biorepository: COVID-19

Graphic showing latest CBR COVID updates7/8/20 UPDATE: The oversight of the Emphasis on COVID-19 Related Research Biorepository has now transitioned to the Central Biorepository. To learn more about sample availability and how to access, click here
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5/19/20 UPDATE: The Central Biorepository (CBR) will transition from essential and COVID-19 research-related operations to regular business.  The team will do so in conformance to guidance from University of Michigan Office of Research (Research Re-engagement) and the Medical School Office of Research (Medical School Research Reactivation Process).

An overview plan for the CBR reactivation can be found on the CBR Reactivation Plan webpage here.

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4/30/20 UPDATE: The Clinical Trials Support Office (CTSO), Michigan Clinical Research Unit (MCRU), and Central Biorepository (CBR) have created the Emphasis on COVID-19-Related Research Biorepository to collect, process, and archive biospecimens from both residual clinical samples and prospective participants with SARS-CoV2 infection. 

The coordinated effort allows us to centralize recruitment and sample collection efforts in order to minimize staff exposure, reduce burden on patients and their families, conserve PPE, and facilitate timely and equitable access to samples for researchers.

See how to access the samples and the interactive guide for COVID-19 research HERE

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4/15/20: Current approved research activities include working with the Clinical Trials Support Office (CTSO), Michigan Clinical Research Unit (MCRU), and our HITS colleagues to implement a COVID-19 Biorepository. 

The process for obtaining access to COVID-19-related biospecimens is as follows:

  • PI submits a UMOR COVID-related Research Prioritization form
  • PI submits an IRB application
  • After UMOR priority designation, interested PIs will receive a form to provide details regarding sample needs and contact information
  • After IRB approval, PIs can reach out for sample* pickup

Sample selection and distribution happens in coordination between the PI's team, MCRU, and the CBR. In the near term, samples will be distributed through MCRU at the Frankel Cardiovascular Center (CVC). In the longer term, the CBR will manage these activities according to CBR SOPs and governance.

*Samples are dependent on availability

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The Central Biorepository (CBR) has reduced operations in response to the Covid-19/SARS-Cov-2 crises. Non-essential activities have been suspended, and only critical operations are being maintained, in accordance with our Continuity of Operations Plan. The following four critical activities will be maintained, as appropriate to the Coronavirus outbreak:

  • Maintenance of a safe work environment
  • Control of in-transit biospecimens
  • Maintenance of biospecimen temperatures
  • Maintenance of the LabVantage database

In response to the pandemic, a safe work environment includes additional disinfection procedures, social distancing, and pausing non-essential activities to limit the number of staff on campus.
 
CBR has already received biospecimens that were in-transit prior to reduced operations, and they have been accessioned into the appropriate long-term storage environment. Thanks for your partnership in communicating your needs and working with our team to send samples to CBR.  Until further notice, we are no longer receiving regular shipments of biospecimens.  However, certain projects are operating with critical status. CBR has made arrangements with those teams to continue to receive shipments from them.
 
CBR critical staff will continue to manage all controlled temperature units. Activities include ensuring delivery of liquid nitrogen to cryogenic freezers, supply of compressed gas as backups to mechanical freezers, and local and remote monitoring of temperatures. As a reminder, all critical systems in CBR are connected to the emergency power grid at NCRC, should we experience a power failure in primary systems.
 
We do not believe that the LabVantage database is at risk as a result of the Covid-19/SARS-COV-2 outbreak. However, if there are issues, the CBR and our HITS partners have backup systems in place, as well as documented downtime procedures.
 
Please do not hesitate to reach out to the CBR with any concerns or questions at cbr.requests@umich.edu.  You may reach the CBR director, Vici Blanc, on her cell phone at 734-730-1851.

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In compliance with directives from the University of Michigan Office of Research, the Central Biorepository (CBR) will switch from normal to emergency operations, no later than March 20, 2020.  Non-essential activities will be suspended, keeping only critical activities operational.  The Continuity of Operations Plan for the CBR included four critical activities:

  • Maintenance of a safe work environment
  • Control of in-transit biospecimens
  • Maintenance of biospecimen temperatures
  • Maintenance of the LabVantage database

In response to the pandemic, a safe work environment includes additional disinfection procedures, social distancing and now, a pause in  non-essential activities, and limiting the number of staff on campus.
 
CBR has already made arrangements to receive most, if not all,  in-transit biospecimens and accession them into the appropriate long-term storage environment.  Thank you for your partnership in communicating your needs and working with our team to send samples to CBR.  If you have not yet made arrangements for CBR to receive your samples, please do so now, so that we may receive and accession them by March 20, 2020.
 
CBR critical staff will continue to manage all controlled temperature units.  Activities include ensuring delivery of liquid nitrogen to cryogenic freezers, supply of compressed gas as backups to mechanical freezers, local and remote monitoring of temperatures.  As a reminder, all critical systems in CBR are connected to the emergency power grid at NCRC, should we experience a power failure in primary systems.
 
We do not believe that the LabVantage database is at risk as a result of the Covid-19/SARS-COV-2 outbreak.  However, if there are issues, the CBR and our HITS partners have backup systems in place, as well as documented downtime procedures.
 
Please do not hesitate to reach out to the CBR with any concerns or questions at cbr.requests@umich.edu.  You may reach the CBR director, Vici Blanc, on her cell phone at 734-730-1851.