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Research Requiring the Services of the Johns Hopkins Blood Bank or Bone/Tissue Bank

October 2018

What is the Blood Bank?

The Blood Bank is a clinical laboratory that is licensed to perform blood compatibility testing and to provide blood components to patients at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

What is the Bone and Tissue Bank?

The Bone and Tissue Bank is licensed to store and to distribute tissue products (such as skin, bone, cardiac homografts, fibrin glue, etc).

Where are these Banks located?

The Blood Bank and the Bone and Tissue bank are located in the same physical space on the third floor of the Zayed Tower.

What services do these Banks provide?

The Blood Bank is responsible for the evaluation, storage, or release of any licensed or investigational blood component for research or routine clinical purposes. The Bone/Tissue bank is responsible for the evaluation, storage, or release of any licensed, “361”, or investigational tissue product for routine or clinical purposes.

Both laboratories are required to maintain extensive records regarding the disposition of blood or tissue, in large part to ensure that any recall of blood or tissue can be traced back to the patient who received it. Institutional policy requires that all receipt, storage, and distribution of any blood, bone or tissue product be managed solely through these Banks. Vendors are expressly disallowed from bringing any blood, tissue or bone product into the institution without having it first go through the appropriate bank. The decision as to whether a product qualifies as a blood, tissue or bone product is for the bank to decide, not an individual investigator.

Who do I contact if my study requires support of the Blood and/or Bone/Tissue Bank?

Researchers requiring services of the Blood and/or Bone/Tissue Bank should contact Eric Gehrie, MD at egehrie1@jhmi.edu as well as TMTissueTech@jhmi.edu with their proposal.

Am I required to obtain approval from the Blood and/or Bone/Tissue Bank before submitting my protocol to the IRB?

You are not required to obtain approval from either Bank prior to submitting your protocol to the IRB. However, investigators are advised to consult with these Banks early in the protocol development process. If a proposed research protocol falls outside of the routine work of either Bank, research protocols may need to be modified to ensure that they fit into the flow of the clinical mission.

Are there any costs for using the Blood and/or Bone/Tissue Bank?

The Blood and/or Bone/Tissue Bank will do everything possible to support research. Although every effort is made to avoid adding cost or inconvenience to research protocols, there may be some scenarios where changes to research protocols or resource support for the blood bank or tissue bank would be needed prior to starting a project.

Are there any limitations to the support that can be provided by the Blood and/or Bone/Tissue Banks for research?

Due to limitations in personnel and physical space, as well as stringent regulatory oversight of the activities of the Banks, there are sometimes limitations to what the Banks can do to support a research protocol. In the past, for example, there have been challenges with regard to:

  • Procuring tissue grafts that have unusual storage requirements or are manufactured by vendors who have not been approved for use at JHMI; and 
  • Defining a way to provide blood to research protocols that are either separate from, or in conflict with, the blood bank’s usual clinical standard operating procedures; and
  • Procuring or validating containers to store or transport blood