New search tool for tissue samples available for cancer researchers

The biolocator search engine currently contains over 100,000 specimens from about 8,600 patients.

The OHSU Knight BioLibrary recently introduced a biolocator search engine that provides cancer researchers with a new tool for requesting specimens. For the first time, researchers—whether at OHSU or outside institutions—can do an online search of the repositories that are part of the BioLibrary. The eight searchable repositories currently contain more than 100,000 specimens from about 8,600 patients.

Highlights include:

  • Automated process: All specimen requests are now handled directly through the search engine. After each submission, researchers can log onto the biolocator to check the status of their request.
  • Increased search functionality: Researchers can search by disease, anatomic source, sample type, presentation and patient demographic data.
  • New wish list feature: New specimens are added to the database every month. If a researcher can’t find a particular specimen, they can submit a wish list request. A BioLibrary employee will then search the specimen repositories that aren’t yet online and get back to the researcher when a requested sample is available.
  • Remote access: The biolocator is available to researchers working remotely as well as external clients. That means accessing the search capabilities does not require a connection through the OHSU network.

The following collections are currently searchable:

  • Knight Tissue Bank
  • Pancreatic Cancer Registry
  • Esophageal Cancer Registry
  • Colorectal Cancer Registry
  • Leukemia & Lymphoma (LLS SCOR Interface)
  • Prostate Study
  • DNA Bank (Prostate)
  • Molecular Profiling Tissue Resource

While the collections contain cancer-related specimens exclusively, other collections will be added over the coming months. If a tissue collection is not currently searchable online, researchers may contact BioLibrary staff by calling 503-494-9648 or emailing for assistance.