George E Sandusky, DVM, PhD

Research interests have been in tissue banking sample quality and novel biomarkers in translational immunohistochemistry, whole slide digital imaging, and quantitative immunohistochemistry with new novel biomarkers. I'm also serving in the following capacity:

Director, IU Simon Cancer Center Tissue Bank
Associate Director, Indiana CTSI Specimen Storage Facility (SSF)
Co Director, INBrain (Indiana Center for Biomarker Research In Neuropsychiatry).

The quality of the tissue largely depends on many external factors that may have effects on the quality of proteins, lipids, RNA, and DNA.  Both warm and cold ischemia times can affect both genomic and proteomic biomarkers.   It is common held theory that frozen tissue, even when stored for years, is suitable for DNA/RNA/protein studies. The quality of DNA/RNA/protein preservation or even degradation is expected in tissues stored in formalin at room temperature for months or years.  This is due to the acidification of formalin into formic acid over long periods of time. Use of 10% neutral buffered formalin stabilizes the tissue for a longer time period than non-buffered formalin. Preservation of DNA/RNA/protein in paraffin blocks is variable and is dependent on the type of formalin fixative solution and on the time of tissue storage in the fixative, in the tissue processing period through the various grades of alcohols before embedding into paraffin.   Various different types of paraffin, also, affect the preservation.   In the various tissue banks listed below here on the IU campus, we are attempting to improve tissue quality and DNA/RNA/protein preservation by examining various types of room temperature, frozen, and paraffin embedded tissue with the OBBER (office of Biorespositories and Biospecimen Research) division in the NCI.

The Indiana University Simon Cancer Center tissue bank ( was set up to bank fresh surgically obtained human tissue .  Oncore/BSM database, a CaBig compliant bioinformatics database, is used to capture the associated patient clinical data and demographics using a one way patient encryption scheme that securely protects patient identification. In this endeavor, we determined that high quality tissue samples were imperative for both genomic and proteomic research. The current applicable rules, regulations, and guidelines for handling human tissues are followed and we are under the NCI 2007 guidelines for best practices in tissue banking and the 2008  best practices established by ISBER(The International Society for Biologic and Environmental Repositories) (

Indiana CTSI (Clinical Translational Science Institute) has a new specimen storage facility (SSF) at Indiana University School of Medicine (  The Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (ICTSI) operates a state-of-the-art repository storage facility that supports IRB approved repository efforts conducted by investigators from all ICTSI member universities including Indiana University, Purdue University and University of Notre Dame and includes support for national biobanking efforts including the National Cell Repository for Alzheimer Disease, the National Gene Vector Biorepository, and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Tissue Bank at the IU Simon Cancer Center . It works cooperatively with the IU Simon Cancer Center biobanking efforts.  The facility includes controlled access, alarm, and HVAC systems to accommodate -70o C and liquid nitrogen storage in compliance with current “best practice” guidance including “The International Society for Biologic and Environmental Repositories Best Practices” (ISBER) 2008 document ( and the National Cancer Institute Best Practices for Biospecimen Research.  (

The INBrain (Indiana Center for Biomarker Research In Neuropsychiatry) (  We collect postmortem brains and fluids from donors with major psychiatric disorders (bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, autism), and matched normal controls. The samples are collected using state of the art protocols modeled after the Harvard Brain Bank and the University of California/Pritzker Consortium Brain Bank. As an innovation, we collect brain and peripheral fluids (blood, CSF, urine) from the same individuals, which permits this banking effort to be used for neuropathological, gene expression, proteomic and metabolomic studies, including peripheral biomarker studies.

Recent Publications

Sandusky GE, Dumaual, C and Cheng, L.  Review paper: Human Tissues for DiscoveryBiomarker Pharmaceutical Research-The Experience of the Indiana University Simon Cancer Center- Lilly Research Labs Tissue/Fluid BioBank.  V Pathology,  2009,  Jan. 46 (1): 2-9

Wang X, Sinn AL, Pollok K, Sandusky G, Zhang S, Chen L, Liang J, Crean CD, Suvannasankha A, Abonour R, Sidor C, Bray MR, Farag SS. Preclinical activity of a novel multiple tyrosine kinase and aurora kinase inhibitor, ENMD-2076, against multiple myeloma.Br J Haematol. 2010 Aug;150(3):313-25.

Li H, Zhao Z, Wei G, Yan L, Wang D, Zhang H, Sandusky GE, Turk J, Xu Y. Group VIA phospholipase A2 in both host and tumor cells is involved in ovarian cancer development. FASEB J. 2010 Oct;24(10):4103-16.

Guo X, Zheng H, Mattar SG, Lu X, Sandusky G, Navia JA, Kassab G. Reversible Gastric Restriction Implant: Safety and Efficacy in a Canine Model. Obes Surg. 2010 Oct 31. [Epub ahead of print]PMID: 21038085

Jiang Y, Zhou S, Sandusky GE, Kelley MR, Fishel ML. Reduced expression of DNA repair and redox signaling protein APE1/Ref-1 impairs human pancreatic cancer cell survival, proliferation, and cell cycle progression. Cancer Invest. 2010 Nov;28(9):885-95.

Jedinak A, Dudhgaonkar S, Jiang J, Sandusky G, Sliva D. Pleurotus ostreatus inhibits colitis-related colon carcinogenesis in mice. Int J Mol Med. 2010 Nov;26 (5):643-50.

Carrasco RA, Stamm NB, Marcusson E, Sandusky G, Iversen P, Patel BK.  Antisense inhibition of survivin expression as a cancer therapeutic.  Mol Cancer Ther. 2011 Feb;10(2):221-32.

Wang X, Hickey RJ, Malkas LH, Koch MO, Li L, Zhang S, Sandusky GE, Grignon DJ, Eble JN, Cheng L.  Elevated expression of cancer-associated proliferating cell nuclear antigen in high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia and prostate cancer. Prostate. 2011  71: 748-754.

Referred Abstracts

George E. Sandusky, Shashi Prajapati, Jun Yin, Karen Mintze. Jeffrey C Hanson, Jenna Pangallo, Philip W Iversen, and Yumi Yamamoto.  Evaluation of global DNA histone modification in human breast and colon cancers by immunohistochemistry. ASIP Meetings, Washington, DC, April 2007.

Ann Breckenkamp, Karen Mintze, Versie Barnes, Tasha Vance, Nicholas Pierson, Jenna Pangallo, George Sandusky.  Evaluation of CD31, CD34, and CD105 antibodies in human and xenograft tumors with three different methods of fixation.

ASIP Meetings, New Orleans, April 2009.

George E. Sandusky, Karla John, Katie Carr, Liang Cheng, Robert J. Hickey, Linda H. Malkas. Expression of cancer-associated proliferating cell nuclear antigen (CaPCNA) in various stages and types of neoplasia ( breast, cervix, colon, gastric, lung, ovary, thyroid, and uterus).  AACR, April 2010,  Washington, DC

Matthew Rodgers, Shuhong Zhang, Anthony Sinn, Karen Pollok, Sherif Farag, George Sandusky.  Significant IN VIVO Activity of ENMD-2076, A Novel Inhibitor of AURORA and  receptor Tyrosine  Kinases, alone and in Combination with Lenalidomide against Multiple Myeloma,  AACR, April 2011, Orlando, Florida

G Sandusky,  M S Rodgers  K John, R Hickey, R Feeney, and L Malkas.  Use of Whole Slide Digital Imaging  for Determination of  CaPCNA,  Ki-67 (MIB-1)  and PCNA( PC10) Labeling Index in  Normal Breast Reductions and  DCIS( Ductal Carcinoma in Situ): Comparison of  these three Biomarkers using  the  Aperio Image-Based  Positive Pixel Algorithm.   AACR, April 2011, Orlando, Florida

Cleandrea Spencer, Katherine A. Carr, Colleen Mitchell, George E. Sandusky. Quality Control From a Subset of Human Surgical Tissue Specimens from the IU Simon Cancer Center Tissue Bank collected in 2009-2010.  An H&E and RIN Value Assessment.  ISBER Annual Mtg, May, 2011, Washington, DC.

Rodgers, MS, Mitchell, C, Hawley, D, Lloyd, Jr, FP, Saller, C, Howanski, R and Sandusky, G.   Factors Affecting Gene Expression (RIN Value) and Tissue Histology in Ten Different Human Postmortem Tissues:  A Study on Tissue Sample Quality at Four Different Post Mortem Time Intervals.  ISBER Annual Mtg, May, 2011, Washington, DC.

Dept. of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine Administration Office | Van Nuys Medical Science Building | 635 Barnhill Drive, room A-128 | Indianapolis, IN 46202 Indiana University Health Pathology Laboratory: 350 W. 11th Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202