Funding Agency: National Disease Research Interchange (NDRI)
Funding Period: March 2013 – October 2016

The Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) Project offers a biobanking resource for the scientific community to study human gene expression and its relationship to common diseases like diabetes, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and cancer. The goal of the GTEx project is to thoroughly collect genotype tissues from a variety of deceased organ and tissue donors. In addition to biobanked tissue, the GTEx project provides researchers an atlas of genomic data paired with donor medical and social history information.

As part of the GTEx Project, the Ethical, Legal and Social Issues (ELSI) sub-study seeks to understand the factors that affect consent to tissue donation for biobanking purposes and to improve the informed consent process. The ELSI project interviews the family decision makers who are approached to donate to GTEx by organ procurement organization staff as part of a request for tissue donation for transplantation. In addition, the ELSI study is investigating the impact of the stressful environment in which the GTEx donation requests occur and testing a communication training program for organ procurement organization staff who request for tissue donation to the GTEx biobank.

We convened English- and Spanish-speaking Community Advisory Boards (CABs), which guided the progress of this project. The CABs were composed of community members and families, who were given the option to donate tissues for research.


Research Team Contact:
Gerard Alolod
(215) 204-9186

Research Partners:
Virginia Commonwealth University

GTEx Media

A Preview of the GTEx Training

An Interview with the English-speaking CAB.

View posters below from a “Walk-through Biobank.”
GTEx Poster 1
GTEx Poster 2
GTEx Poster 3
GTEx Poster 4

“Health research is now a team science, and we’ve come to understand how people maintain their health is complicated. It is a process between behavior, environment, genes, culture, and other factors, and we are training teams to come up with answers to some of our most complicated and pressing questions, issues, and concerns.”

- Laura A. Siminoff, Ph.D.

Today, we are an integrated college both in terms of education and research, across this spectrum of disciplines, which is not the traditional way that public health higher education institutions typically function. But if we consider where we are moving as a nation and as a field, I think this is the way to move forward and puts CPH ahead of the curve.

- Laura A. Siminoff, Ph.D.

Thank you to our CEaD Participants

Thank you to all who participated in the Communicating Effectively about Donation Study! We hope the training program was both informative and beneficial to all who took part. For inquiries regarding the study or how to access the training, please feel free to contact us at

Congrats Grads!

Congratulations to our graduating Research Assistants, Sonali Shah, Julianna Nass, and Faith Scanlon! We know you have great things in store for you!

Dr. Siminoff’s Newest Publication

Dr. Siminoff and colleagues recently published an assessment of the utility and usability of the rapid assessment of hospital procurement barriers in donation (RAPiD) as a tool for OPO hospital development staff. Click here to learn more about Dr. Siminoff’s most recent publication.