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Biospecimen Science Group

The Biospecimen Science Group at NIST Charleston implements best practice standards in long term sample preservation adopted by the global biobanking community; develops cryogenic reference materials through unique expertise and capabilities; and advances cryogenic storage technology for stability and reproducibility of critical measurements.


Group 646.06

This Group develops and optimizes methods, protocols, and standard operating procedures for biospecimen collection, processing, and archival with integrity and quality control for long-term preservation. It is critical to establish and maintain best practice standards from cradle to grave to ensure the biospecimen, and its associated data, is of the highest quality, remains stable, and is reproducible in order to support critical measurements. By determining pre-analytical variables associated with each step of specimen handling, specimens can and are used for monitoring and research, including retrospective scientific studies. In addition, this Group provides the expertise for the cryogenic production of Standard Reference Materials® (SRMs) and control materials to support community-driven needs. Advice, training, and biorepository services are provided to other government agencies (federal and state), scientific organizations, and American industry; including collaborations with the other partners of the Hollings Marine Laboratory in Charleston, SC. Collaborations are also maintained with international organizations to establish comparability of best practice standards and advance biobanking technology and capabilities. These collaborations result in programs geared towards promoting the development of cooperative scientific research for a better understanding of the long-term archival of biospecimens, specifically as they pertain to marine resources and marine environmental health. Operations of the national cryogenic facility, the NIST Biorepository (formerly known as the Marine Environmental Specimen Bank), as well as the Cryogenic Reference Material Production Facility, are also managed and maintained by the Biospecimen Science Group at NIST Charleston.


Freezer Pictures
Credit: Alex Holt

NIST Biorepository (formerly known as the Marine Environmental Specimen Bank)

NIST Unscripted: Rebecca Pugh
NIST Unscripted: Rebecca Pugh

News and Updates

Projects and Programs

Data Tools for Environmental Metrology

A major goal of the NIST Biorepository is to address large scale interdisciplinary questions about the environment. Each sample contained in the bank can be



Press Coverage


Group Leader

Office Manager