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aids specimen bank

About the UCSF AIDS Specimen Bank

The AIDS Specimen Bank is located on the Parnassus campus of UCSF and is directed by Dr. John S. Greenspan and Ms. Yvonne De Souza. The ASB is also the Specimen Bank Core for the UCSF/GIVI Center for AIDS Research, which supports translational research, including small pilot translational studies, at UCSF and the Gladstone. The ASB provides repository services to cohort studies such as the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), Primary HIV Infection Study, Staying Well Study, clinical trials performed at UCSF, and others. The majority of ASB clients are HIV investigators, but the bank also processes and stores specimens collected from some non-HIV studies.
The mission of the AIDS Specimen Bank is to provide the following:

  • Processing and handling of specimens
  • Short-term or long-term storage (includes ultra-low temperatures and liquid nitrogen)
  • Data management
  • Well-characterized specimens to qualified investigators for translational research
  • Consultation to investigators inquiring about specimen collection and storage
  • International resource for HIV research
  • Networking tool within the research community

Careful specimen management ensures that our collections are available for investigators seeking specimens to be used for the identification of novel biomarkers, molecular studies, genomics, toxicology, immunoassays, and other technologies. All body fluids—sera, plasma, saliva, vaginal lavage, etc.—are stored as 1-milliliter aliquots in ultra-low freezers (-70°C). PBMCs are processed and stored in liquid nitrogen. All equipment involved with the processing of specimens (centrifuges and Coulter counter) is calibrated by trained technicians. The ASB is a participant in the Adult AIDS Clinical Trials Group PBMC Cryopreservation and Viability Panel, in which sets of processed and frozen PBMCs are sent to the Immunology Quality Assessment Program (IQA) testing lab for viability and cell counts. Our laboratory has participated in the IQA program for three years, and all samples have proven to be acceptable to their standards. The ASB is compliant with Good Laboratory Practices guidelines.

New: Specimen Return Policy PDF

The AIDS Specimen Bank is housed in the Department of Orofacial Sciences of the UCSF School of Dentistry.

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