Cooperative Human Tissue Network - Western Division at Vanderbilt University Medical Center

CHTN Application Directions


The Principal Investigator (PI) responsible for overseeing the project and controlling the laboratory and personnel who will receive, use and process the requested specimens should complete this application. Any transfer of samples, aliquots, derivatives or associated clinical data to collaborating personnel or laboratories that are not under the direct supervision of the indicated PI requires the following:

  • A written justification of the need to transfer the materials and benefit to the applicant’s research.
  • Copies of the AGREEMENT FOR USE OF TISSUE and DATA USE AGREEMENT signed by the collaborator.
  • Documentation of the collaborator’s IRB approval or exemption unless the collaborator is covered under the IRB approval granted for the project proposed in this application.

The CHTN does not supply samples to specimen banks whose purpose is distribution to third-party researchers; those researchers should be encouraged to apply to the CHTN directly.

The information in these forms is necessary in order to document correctly your request for tissue and other services and to ensure that the CHTN operates within the guidelines of the National Cancer Institute.  When submitting a written request for services:

  1. Please print neatly or type.If requesting specimens from more than one specific anatomic site or disease, please complete separate copies of the Request Information Form (biospecimen, donor and preparation details) as necessary. 
  2. Please be specific about your requirements, including those for storing and handling tissue samples from the time the specimens are collected until they are delivered to your lab (i.e. transport media, refrigeration status, etc.).
  3. Patient identity is confidential. Samples and accompanying clinical data will be identified by a code, which will not be released under any circumstances.
  4. The PI is responsible for remission of processing fees to the originating CHTN division for each specimen provided, including fees for any additional services performed and any shipping costs not directly billed to the applicant’s courier account. Please refer to our website, www.chtn.org, for the current fee table.
  5. PIs must obtain human subjects review from their institution in order to receive specimens from the CHTN. Full or expedited approval or an exemption for your project can be obtained from your Institutional Review Board (IRB) (Human Use Committee). A copy of the human subjects approval or review documentation should be returned with this form. Documentation of annual review of non-exempt protocols by the PI’s institution must be forwarded to the CHTN in order to maintain eligibility to receive tissue.  This is not necessary for exempt protocols.  If your institution does not have internal review, contact your divisional coordinator. NOTE: Tissue Microarrays are fully anonymized and do not require documentation of IRB approval or exemption.
  6. Please provide a signed copy of the Agreement for Use of Tissue and Data Use Agreement (Agreements included below). The language in both agreements is NOT to be altered.
  7. The CHTN is divided into five geographic regions as identified on the map below. PIs should submit their application to the appropriate division based on his/her geographic location. PIs from any geographic area REQUESTING PEDIATRIC SPECIMENS ONLY should forward their completed application directly to the Pediatric Division at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
  8. For additional information, please direct any questions to the division serving your state/geographic region.

Please download the attachments below, sign and submit the signed documents in the "Investigator Application" tab. There is a designated field for the attachments at the end of the application.

Attachment 1: Agreement for Use of Tissue

Attachment 2: Data Use Agreement