BWH/Harvard Cohorts Biorepository

Directors: Dr. Shelley Tworoger and Dr. Sherilyn Sawyer
Location: 221 Longwood Avenue

Core Summary:

The BWH/Harvard Cohorts Biorepository Core manages over 3.2 million biological specimens collected from over 200,000 participants in several large cohort studies. The Core prepares and ships over 60,000 biospecimens annually to collaborating laboratories for analyses evaluating the relationship between biomarkers and chronic disease risk.

These cohort studies include:

  • Nurses’ Health Study (NHS)
  • Nurses’ Health Study II (NHSII)
  • Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS)
  • Physician’s Health Study (PHS)
  • Growing Up Today Studies (GUTS/GUTSII

Biospecimens collected from each of these cohorts are being actively utilized in epidemiologic research studies of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes, among others. The biospecimens from these cohorts are richly enhanced by up to 30 years of health-related behaviors and medical histories, making them a unique and invaluable research resource.

Sample types stored in the biorepository include plasma, white blood cells, red blood cells, whole blood, urine, DNA, toenails, hair, stool, and saliva.

These samples are an extremely valuable, but finite, resource; thus much effort is put forth to ensure high quality, efficient specimen handling. The goal of the Biorepository is to maximize use of samples in a cost-effective, ethical, state of the art manner.

Please refer to the web link down below for up to date information on collaboration and access.

Personnel/Contact Information:

Executive Director:  Shelley Tworoger

Scientific Director:  Sherilyn Sawyer

Senior Laboratory Manager: Janine Neville-Golden

Facilities and Equipment:

Location of Core:
Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Channing Division of Network Medicine
221 Longwood Ave Eugene Braunwald Research Center, 6th Floor
Boston, MA 02115

Location of Freezer Farms:
Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Channing Division of Network Medicine
181 Longwood Ave, and
Harvard School of Public Health
677 Huntington Ave

Major Equipment:
137 Liquid Nitrogen Freezers and 7 Mechanical -80C Freezers
Extensive multi-temperature biorepository


Biospecimens: Provision of biospecimens from the Channing Cohorts including Nurses’ Health Study, Nurses’ Health Study II, Health Professionals Follow up Study, Physician’s Health Study, and Growing Up Today Studies, for approved scientific research projects

Collections: Specialized collection management, including the development of approaches, materials and management for recruitment, shipping, receiving, processing and storage of population level biospecimens

Consultation: Biobanking consultation, including the provision of management and operational level expertise for biobank and biospecimen collection enterprises within the epidemiologic research community

FY16 Fee Schedule/Rates (Effective 10/01/2015):



(Blood, urine, stool, toenails, hair, cheek cells, etc)

*Same specimen aliquots provided at a discounted rate, please contact us for an estimate






Biospecimen Collection

Please Contact the Core for Collection/Consultation Services


***Additional Shipping and Integration Charges may apply***

Getting Started:

For more information about our core, our biospecimen access policy, or our services please contact us at:

Core Web Link:

Cohorts Biorepository:

Other Useful Links:

Channing Division of Network Medicine:

Nurses’ Health Study:

Health Professionals Follow-Up Study:

Growing Up Today Study

Physicians Health Study



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