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 Environmental Specimen Bank Group at NIST Charleston.