About Us

Our Program

UHN Biospecimen Services is a centralized, large-scale biospecimen storage and sample information management group. It serves Canada’s University Health Network (UHN) and regional research institutions by providing a central location for access to high-quality samples in order to drive novel research for the understanding, detection, prevention and ultimately the cure of cancer and other diseases.

UHN Biospecimen Services is located at the core of Toronto’s Discovery District in the #1 hospital network in Canada, and leverages over 20 years of combined expertise from the Princess Margaret Cancer Biobank (PMCB) and the McCain GU BioBank (MGB). To date, UHN Biospecimen Services has provided support for more than 100 clinical trials, ranging from single site investigator-initiated pilot studies to large-scale studies initiated by pharmaceutical companies.

We continue to distribute to collaborators across North America and around the world, contributing to high-quality translational research in the fields of oncology, genetics, epigenetics, and proteomics, with a focus on disease marker development. Our collaborative group compromises experts in biospecimen management and processing, regulatory compliance, quality assurance, technology, clinical research, pathogenesis and marker development.

Our services include the collection, processing, storing, and dissemination of biospecimens, ranging from biofluids and derivatives to biopsy cores and tissue sample.

We ensure that all samples are collected prospectively under general biobanking protocols or in support of clinical research studies. In addition, our institutional affiliation provides administrative and legal support that allows flexibility to adapt in size and resources to meet the potentially changing needs of any project.



To uphold the highest standards for quality assurance and quality control for our samples and services.


Excellence in patient care is our driving force to be and continue to be an ally to researchers in the process of discovering new mechanisms involved in disease pathogenesis and in determining its progression, response to treatment and clinical outcomes.


Our large group of passionate leading global experts and highly trained individuals collaborate effectively with researchers and other departments to change the future of medicine.


We adhere to strict ethical and legal stipulations and guidelines to ensure patient confidentiality is maintained by keeping all sensitive information encrypted and secure.


For Patients

To represent our patients by providing researchers access to essential biospecimen services supporting the process of discovery in the causation, progression, response to treatment, and clinical outcomes to improve personalized treatment options and promote a healthier world.

For Researchers

To empower research teams and collaboration by ethically acquiring, processing, storing, analyzing, and distributing high-quality biospecimens. We aim at providing researchers with seamless access to a readily available specimen inventory to be used for analyses to fuel discovery and innovative basic and clinical research.

For our Institutes and UHN

Through stakeholder relationships, we serve the global scientific community to drive novel research and improve personalized medicine. We provide regional and national leadership in biospecimen management and operations through continued education, engagement, and fostering collaborations with national and international research institutions.

Bioethics and Privacy

At UHN Biospecimen Services we are committed to employing the highest standard of ethics and best practices through the collection, storage and dissemination of research biospecimens. All of our processes comply with existing Canadian federal, provincial and institutional requirements pertaining to the participation of patients in research as well as the collection and use of research biospecimens and accompanying clinical data.

UHN Biospecimen Services, collaborating institutions and their research applications for biospecimens and clinical data have been approved by the Research Ethics Boards (REBs) of participating healthcare institutions.

Executive Committee

Dr. Neil Fleshner, MD, MPH, FRCS(c)

  • Director and Founder, McCain GU BioBank
  • Director, UHN Biospecimen Services

Heidi Wagner, PA, BSc

  • Head of Operations, UHN Biospecimen Services


Governance Board

Chief Medical

Head of




Core Services


Infectious Disease Biobank

Peter Munk





Lung Transplant