Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute

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 Research Centre for Women’s and Infants’ Health 






Frequently Asked Questions



1. What steps are required to access the RCWIH BioBank specimen archive, or to request collection services?
The RCWIH BioBank application process is described under the heading How to Apply, along with links to the application forms. For additional information please contact our office.

2. How long does the RCWIH BioBank approval process take?
Investigators should be aware that the duration for the approval process is subject to the volume of applications received by both the RCWIH BioBank and Mount Sinai Hospital Research Ethics Board. However, the typical processing time for successful applications is approximately one month after the initial consultation with the RCWIH BioBank. Investigators should allow for a minimum of 6-8 weeks when planning project timelines.

3. If I am receiving fully anonymized samples and clinical data, do I still need to apply for ethics approval from the Mount Sinai Hospital Research Ethics Board?
Yes, all projects receiving samples from the RCWIH BioBank require the approval of the Mount Sinai Hospital Research Ethics Board to ensure that the samples will be used for ethically-appropriate research and in a manner consistent with the donors’ intent.

4. If I am not affiliated with Mount Sinai Hospital or its Lunefeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute can I still apply for ethics approval from the hospital’s Research Ethics Board?
Yes, the RCWIH BioBank is a publicly accessible biorepository and tissue collection program and researchers do not need to be affiliated with Mount Sinai Hospital or the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute.

5. Do I have to re-apply for RCWIH BioBank Governance Committee and MSH REB approval each time I request access to the specimen archive or collection services as part of the same research project?
No, if the research project has not changed significantly there is no need to re-apply for new approval. However, ethics approval received from the MSH REB is only valid for one-year and must be renewed on an annual basis. For further information please contact our office.

6. My laboratory is located outside of the Greater Toronto Area - can I still receive samples from the RCWIH BioBank?
Yes, the RCWIH BioBank can ship frozen or fixed specimens to all destinations within Canada as well as internationally. To find out more about the availability of fresh specimens outside of the Greater Toronto Areas please contact our office.

7. Do RCWIH BioBank Clinical Research personnel attend other hospitals within the Greater Toronto Area for sample collection?
No, the RCWIH BioBank program is based solely at Mount Sinai Hospital and does not offer coverage of deliveries at outside institutions.

8. How do I identify samples in the BioBank specimen archive that are appropriate for my research?
Upon consultation with the RCWIH BioBank, your project’s inclusion/exclusion criteria will be discussed and used to perform queries of the RCWIH BioBank specimen archive to identify suitable samples for your research. For additional information on the contents of the specimen archive please contact our office.

9. How much tissue is provided in one cryovial of snap-frozen tissue?
Each cryovial contains between 1-2 g of tissue.

10. Are entire blocks of fixed tissue available for distribution?
Distribution of fixed tissue blocks is offered only for prospective collections upon request. Investigators requesting access to existing fixed tissue blocks can only request preparation of fixed tissue slides.

11. Do I need to acknowledge the RCWIH BioBank program in publications or presentations describing findings that are based on samples collected by BioBank Clinical Research personnel?
Yes, acknowledgement of the RCWIH BioBank in presentations or publications reporting results generated using RCWIH samples is required as a condition of the 'Material Transfer Agreement'. A suitable acknowledgement is as follows:
The authors thank the donors, RCWIH BioBank, the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, and the Mount Sinai Hospital/UHN Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology for the human specimens used in this study (".

12. Are there publications using samples collected by the RCWIH BioBank?
As of January 2017, there were 104 publications that used samples collected by the RCWIH BioBank. To see the full list, please click here.








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