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COVID-19 Biospecimen Committee

The COVID-19 Biospecimen Committee evaluates requests from researchers for accessing serum or plasma from COVID-19 patients. The committee’s default position will be for investigators to receive premade specimen collections for pilot studies with requests for custom made collections considered after pilot studies are completed.

Process to Access Data to Support COVID-19 Research

  1. To have your request reviewed by the Biospecimen Committee, please fill out the Biospecimen Request Form and send to Courtney Pierce at
  2. The Biospecimen Committee meets weekly and will notify the investigator within 10-14 days of application on average.
  3. After the Biospecimen Committee review, you will receive a letter documenting the Biospecimen Committee review committee’s decision. If approved, please attach this approval letter when submitting your protocol to the IRB.
  4. Apply for IRB approval. In order to streamline your IRB approval, approved studies should use a special version of the eFormS available here:
    • eForm S for COVID-19 Phase I Pilot Projects– This form should be used for secondary research with COVID-19 related biospecimens designated for Phase I Pilot Projects. Samples and data for these pilot projects will only be provisioned with approval of the JHU COVID-19 Biospecimen Oversight Committee. Please do not submit this form prior to having obtained permission from the Biospecimen Oversight Committee.
      • For step by step instructions for completing this eForm, please click HERE.
  5. Apply for approval from the Biosafety Office to use COVID-19 in your or other available lab space. The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) defined the requirements for investigators to study samples from COVID19 patients (see the following pdf: for details).
  6. Review the Rules for Specimen Use. Submit IRB and Biosafety approval letters and a letter indicating that you agree to adhere to the following rules for specimen use.

Rules for Specimen Use

The Biospecimen Repository was created through the combined efforts of diverse teams to identify and consent patients, obtain blood, respiratory specimens, and other material, process into banked specimens used for research use, and link specimens to clinical data through the PMAP and CCDA. We must recognize the contributions of everyone and contribute to a collaborative and scholarly community. In recognition of this resource, we expect everyone who utilizes the data to be part of this community dedicated to timely and impactful discovery that improves patient outcomes.

  1. Any research team that utilizes the specimens has to post their plan for research on the Biospecimen website so that it is available to the Johns Hopkins community.
  2. Teams must provide a three month progress report.
  3. All findings and results must be shared with the Hopkins COVID-19 research community.
  4. All publications must include this statement:
“The specimens utilized for this publication were part of the Johns Hopkins Biospecimen Repository, which is based on the contribution of many patients, research teams, and clinicians.”

Biospecimen Committee Members

Dr. Antony Rosen (co-chair) Dr. Andrea Cox (co-chair)
Dr. William Clarke Dr. Erika Darrah
Dr. Sanjay Jain Dr. Meredith McCormack
Dr. Jeremy Nathans Dr. Kenneth Pienta
Dr. Richard Rothman Dr. Charlotte Sumner
Dr. David Valle Dr. Paul Welling