Tubes of laboratory samples.


The Survey of the Health of Wisconsin maintains a state-of-the-art biorepository of population-based biospecimen. Our specimens are available to researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison as well as other research institutions.

Our biorepository inventory contains only samples for participants who consented to having samples stored for future unspecified research. Although not required, it is advisable to contact us to discuss research ideas and learn more about the SHOW biorepository data and availability prior to making any biospecimen requests.

Requesting samples:

  1. Check the availability of biospecimens in the tables below.
  2. Request a consultation with a SHOW scientist to determine which biospecimen can best support your project.
  3. The SHOW scientist will review your request and will make recommendations for approval. This process may take up to two weeks.
  4. We will notify you if your request receives approval and will arrange sample distribution.
  5. For most studies, we will require IRB approval prior to the use of SHOW biospecimen.

Please contact us at if you have any questions.

Sample Types: 

  • Serum: stored in 0.5 ml aliquots at -80°C
  • Plasma: stored in 0.5 ml aliquots at -80°C
  • Urine: stored in 1.5 ml aliquots at -80°C
  • DNA: extracted from whole blood, stored at -80°C
  • Stool: stored in >0.1g aliquots at -80°C

See our collection and storage protocols for all sample types

Laboratory Test Results

Test results are available for some assays and sample types, please visit our Available Tests page for more information.


Sample Pricing:

Sample Type Cancer Center Member rate UW rate Non-UW rate
Serum (0.5ml) $12 $14 $16
Plasma (0.5ml) $13 $15 $17
Urine (1.5ml) $10 $12 $14
DNA (whole blood) 50 microliter aliquots; 30-500 ng/ul $23 $25 $27
DNA (stool) Please inquire Please inquire Please inquire
Whole blood RNA Please inquire Please inquire Please inquire
Stool $23 $25 $27

A cohort sample identification fee of $1500 is applied to all biospecimen requests.

The sample identification fee covers the data team processing required to identify the sample upon which you want biospecimen for. This fee includes the following variables: gender, age, race/ethnicity, household or individual income or poverty-to-income ratio, education level, sampling frame variables (if applicable), up to two geography variables (urbanicity, county, census tract, etc.), and up to four additional health conditions, behaviors, or other survey data needed to identify the sample to pull biospecimen. Any additional variables needed for analyses or research questions will be acquired under a data request and are subject to our data request hourly rate.

Biospecimen handling, shipping, and oversight & project management fees: determined upon consult based on biospecimen request.

The Biospecimen handling covers the time our staff spends pulling the sample, tracking in our Freezerworks software, printing and relabeling samples, completing the manifest form, and preparing samples (often on wet or dry ice) in coolers for hand-off (pick up) or delivery to you or another lab on campus.

The Biospecimen shipping covers materials needed and shipping costs associated with shipping the samples to locations outside of the UW-Madison campus. This covers materials and shipping costs. Any additional staff time used to prepare, and ship samples will be charged under the biospecimen handling fee. If samples are shipped outside of UW-Madison, additional shipping and dry ice fees will apply.

Oversight and Project Management costs include the time spent communicating via email, as well as virtual or in-person meetings with SHOW staff and you (the requestor), as well as the oversight and decision-making regarding the biospecimen request, including the QA/QC checks of the data sample identification, biospecimen pull, and preparation.

Biospecimen Availability:

The SHOW biobank contains a high volume of aliquots of Urine, Plasma, Serum, Stool, and DNA samples for use in research.

The tables in the accordion panels below reflect biospecimen availability and are updated regularly.
If you’d like to ensure a specific sample is available, please request a consultation or contact us by email at

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Biospecimen Availability: By Demographic

Numbers of unique participants with samples available

Demographic Serum Plasma Urine DNA
Male 2343 2328 2468 2605
Female 3007 2976 3250 3430
Urban 3610 3582 3889 4265
Rural 1740 1722 1829 1770
Non-Hispanic White 4544 4505 4829 4853
Black/African American 497 495 562 780
Hispanic 163 160 171 216
Other Race/Ethnicity 193 190 204 252

Biospecimen Availability: By Age Group

Numbers of unique participants with samples available

Age Group Serum Plasma Urine DNA
18<30 575 570 640 743
30<40 860 848 935 1001
40<50 939 928 985 1049
50<60 1239 1226 1322 1344
60<70 1139 1134 1213 1233
70+ 598 598 623 665

Biospecimen Availability: By Health Condictions

Numbers of unique participants with samples available

Characteristic Held Serum Plasma Urine DNA
Hypertension Yes 1754 1737 1884 2019
No 3589 3559 3826 4004
Diabetes Type I and II Yes 629 621 691 755
No 4684 4649 4985 5235
Body Mass Index (BMI) <25 1443 1428 1545 1808
25<30 1664 1657 1766 1751
30+ 2243 2219 2407 2476