Rhode Island Biobank

Rhode Island Biobank

Office of the Dean Administration Departments Research Alpert Medical School Giving

WELCOME to the Rhode Island Biobank

The Rhode Island Biobank is a state of the art cryogenic facility for human tissue and fluid samples located at Brown University in Providence, RI. It is a core facility under the management of the Division of Biology & Medicine and supports biomedical research on the Brown campus and across the affiliated hospitals of the Warren Alpert Medical School. 


The mission of the Rhode Island BioBank is to provide a secure, centralized biorepository and bioregistry for tissues and fluids that will be available for biomedical research by investigators at Brown University, local area hospitals and beyond.

  • The RI BioBank provides a secure, state of the art freezer and cryogenic facility to store biological samples including brain tissue, cerebral spinal fluid (CSF), blood and neuromuscular tissue with a sophisticated, fully customizable biospecimen tracking system.
  • The RI Biobank provides not only experienced service but also guidance regarding best practices in biobanking. This will ensure sample integrity, longevity, security and access in order to accelerate and facilitate research.


The current focus of the RI Biobank is the Alzheimer’s disease brain specimen collection of Edward Stopa, MD. This collection contains

  • >3000 brains—formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded, control and diseased.
  • >100 brains — snap frozen in liquid nitrogen or fixed 4% paraformaldehyde and cryoprotected in 30% sucrose
  • >75 cerebral spinal fluid specimens
  • >2000 paraffin-embedded brain tumors and 30 snap frozen specimens
  • >500 fixed and frozen skeletal muscle


The RI Biobank facility is a 1540 ft2 space that is secured by biometric card swipe access.  The facility contains:

  • 4 -80 degree Celsius freezers with CO2 back-up
  • 4 4 degree Celsius refrigerators
  • 2 Taylor Warton LN cryostorage systems

All equipment is monitored 24/7 with a Rees alarm system and all freezers are also connected to a back-up generator system.



Edward Hawrot, PhD 

Laboratory Manager

Garrett Sullivan