PHBI__TUC_APPLICATION_01APR2011UAB serves as the Center for Tissue Processing for the Pulmonary Hypertension Breakthrough Initiative (PHBI), which includes 9 transplant centers that collect explanted lung tissue from patients with interstitial pulmonary arterial hyperplasia and from control patients.  In addition to working with Dr. Keith Wille (PI of UAB Transplant Site) to collect, process, and store tissue from eligible transplants that occur at UAB, our Center for Tissue Processing (Dr. Grizzle, PI) receives tissue samples from all 9 of the transplant centers, stores it, then distributes it to approved researchers.  Investigators interested in applying for specimens from the PHBI should complete and submit the PHBI application.

The Cardiovascular Medical Research and Education Fund (CMREF) is a non-profit fund operated solely for charitable, scientific and educational purposes.  The CMREF mission is the support of research to uncover the etiology and pathogenesis of idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH or PPH), in pursuit of the ultimate goal of its treatment and cure.  In order to pursue this mission, CMREF organized the Pulmonary Hypertension Breakthrough Initiative (PHBI), a network of multidisciplinary, collaborative transplant and research centers each headed by an investigator interested in studying the pathogenesis of IPAH.  A databank and coordinating center has been established and is responsible for the design, maintenance and analysis of the IPAH database.  The study of IPAH presents opportunities to investigators working at levels ranging from molecular to clinical, in the fields of pharmacology, physiology, genetics, genomics, medicine, surgery, epidemiology, statistics, bioinformatics and computational biology.

The objectives of the PHBI are (a) to phenotypically characterize the cellular basis of IPAH through the study of affected lung tissue, (b) to describe the molecular pathways involved in the disease, and (c) to identify genetic associations with the IPAH clinical phenotype.

Frozen samples, frozen sections, paraffin blocks, samples from paraffin-embedded blocks, cells, cDNA, RNA, and DNA banked for the PHBI are made available to investigators within the United States.  The following table details available specimen types and services:


Specimen Types and Services Available through the PHBI

Specimen Types

Standard Aliquot


Frozen Tissue

Snap-frozen, OCT-frozen, or frozen sections from OCT*

DNA, RNA, protein

Formalin Fixed, Paraffin-

Embedded Tissue

Paraffin Block &/or 4-5 m Section/slide*

Histopathology, DNA

ETOH Fixed, Paraffin-

Embedded Tissue

Paraffin Block &/or 4-5 m Section/slide*


RNAlater Preserved Tissue

Frozen samples < 0.5 cm3

DNA, RNA, protein

Millonig's Preserved Tissue

1 mm3

Electron microscopy

Frozen Blood Products

(Serum, Plasma, Buffy Coat)

0.25 to 0.5 ml

Protein and DNA analysis

Frozen Cells

0.5 x 106 cells/tube

Cell Culture

(Cellular Experiments)


~25 ul at 10 mg/ul for cDNA

Analysis of RNA and DNA


~10 ul at 10 ng/ul for RNA


~10 ul at 100 ng/ul for DNA


Standard Data Set

*Sections cut to order upon request.  Investigators will be expected to pay for histology services.  Price list provided upon request.

To request any of the above samples, please complete the PHBI application.