Frequently Asked Questions

Pathology and Biorepository Core

Can I donate my body to research?

VARI does not have a program specifically for organ and body donation. Many hospitals and universities do have these donation programs; however, the process can be lengthy and costly. We recommend consulting those organizations as early as possible to discuss your options.

VARI’s Biorepository does accept tumor tissue samples according to specific guidelines. If you would like to donate tumor tissue to VARI, please consider discussing the option with your physician and ask him or her to reach out to Core Director Dr. Scott Jewell. VARI has a sample collection agreement with Mercy Health St. Mary’s Health System in Grand Rapids and can work with other institutions to assess the best options for donation.

How do I request samples from the biorepository?

Please visit our Services section for specific information on each service.

How much do services or biospecimens cost?

Cost depends on a number of factors such as the sample type and preparation requested as well as additional processing requirements. This is best determined through the application process. For more information, please visit our Biorepository page.

How do I access CrossLab (formerly iLab)? Who do I contact with questions?

VARI staff that need a login (or further CrossLab support) should contact Lori Moon and MSU staff that need a login should contact Erica Lange. External users that need a CrossLab account/login can go here for account creation. After logging in, external users should click “list all cores” under the Core Facilities section in the left menu and scroll down to “Cores at Van Andel Institute.

How should I acknowledge the Core in my publication?

Please acknowledge us as:
“Van Andel Research Institute, Pathology and Biorepository Core, Grand Rapids, MI”

What types of samples are stored in the biorepository?

We store a variety of biospecimens including serum, plasma, saliva, cells, and tissues that are formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) and frozen. We also store their respective molecular analytes such as DNA and RNA or pulverized tissues for proteomics.

Can you store my sample collection in VARI's biorepository?

If you are a VARI investigator or fund a disease specific biorepository, we would be interested in storing your biospecimens. To find out if this option fulfills your interest, please contact us at pbc@vai.org.