Skip to content

Clinical Specimen Processing Core

The mission of the Clinical Specimen Processing Core is to provide a centralized service for the processing and distribution of human subject research samples for all clinical research activities at Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

The goals of the Clinical Specimen Processing Core (CSPC) are two-fold:

  • First, by providing a centralized service for clinical research sample handling, more favorable study contract pricing with extramural research sponsors will be allowed.
  • Second, by utilizing a centralized core service dedicated solely to this purpose, internal investigators will find it easier to budget and efficiently conduct their human subject research efforts.

Jump to topic


Instrumentation and Services

Service Overview Expand answer

The Clinical Specimen Processing Core will perform all of the basic activities necessary to process and ship clinical research specimens. Research studies will need to be coordinated by staff in this area. Studies must be submitted through STAR when requesting IRB approval. Contact CSPC for Investigator Initiated Studies. Sample processing services will include separation, extraction and short-term storage (refrigeration and/or freezing) of the samples prior to distribution. Services and expertise will be available to provide complex processing as well.

Clinical Specimen Processing Core will also serve as a central location for all researchers to ship samples to outside central laboratories for extramurally sponsored trials. Specimen containers and shipping material provided by sponsor will be used in this service. This service will also be available for investigator sponsored research. This resource will include pricing and provision of packing and shipping materials. This will be beneficial to investigators when coordinating multi-center trials.

Procedures, Protocols and Forms

Appointment Procedure Expand answer

Investigators wishing to make a specimen processing appointment must do the following.

  • Log in to Microsoft Outlook.
  • On the Home tab, choose “New Items” and then “Appointment.”
  • Invite the attendee
  • In the subject line, use the following:
    • General research specimens: Study name, IRB number (ex. ABCD, #1234)
  • In the location, enter C6529.
  • Start time should be the date and time of participant appointment.
  • End time should be the estimate date and time of delivery to the lab.
  • In the body of the appointment, include the following:
    • Visit: (ex. C1, Day1, Screening)
    • Subject number: (ex. ABC-11)
  • Click send; when the core accepts the invite, it will appear in your calendar.
  • Do not use participant name or MRN in the appointment.
Citation Expand answer

All publications, press releases or other documents that result from the utilization of any Penn State College of Medicine Institutional Research Resources including funding, tools, services or support are required to credit the core facility and associated RRID for each core used. Use of services in the Clinical Specimen Processing Core must include the following:

The Clinical Specimen Processing Core (RRID:SCR_021194) services and instruments used in this project were funded, in part, by the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine via the Office of the Vice Dean of Research and Graduate Students and the Pennsylvania Department of Health using Tobacco Settlement Funds (CURE). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the University or College of Medicine. The Pennsylvania Department of Health specifically disclaims responsibility for any analyses, interpretations or conclusions.

Work With the Clinical Specimen Processing Core

Fees Expand answer

For information on fees, contact Susan George at 531-0003, ext. 286309 or

For those industry-funded studies or others in which the College of Medicine Clinical Trials Office (CTO) is providing budget assistance, the CTO will work with the Clinical Specimen Processing Core to provide the information needed to initiate the quoting process. When the study is approved to enroll, a member of the study team will contact the core to request study-specific lab requisition forms.

Hours and Scheduling Expand answer

The core is open for service 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. After-hours services are available upon request with prior arrangement.

To schedule an appointment, email A request form will be sent by the CSPC to the coordinator for the study when notified by STAR that study has received all required approvals.

Location Expand answer
A hallway map shows an arrow with a line drawn from the elevator lobbies of Penn State College of Medicine to Room C6529. Turn right out of the elevators; turn right down the hallway; the room will be on the right.

This map shows the location of the Clinical Specimen Processing Core at Penn State College of Medicine.

Clinical Specimen Processing Core is in Room C6529 at Penn State College of Medicine.

Contact the Core Expand answer