Pete Savage lab research, UChicago

Epidemiology and Research Recruitment Core

Co-Director: Brian Chiu, PhD
Contact: or 1-773-834-7156

Co-Director: Briseis Aschebrook-Kilfoy, PhD
Contact: or 1-773-834-8699

Located in C274, the Epidemiology and Research Recruitment Core (ERRC) fosters projects in epidemiologic, genetic, behavioral, and surveillance cancer research. The ERRC provides expertise in study design, instrument development, and recruitment of study participants, as well as data collection tasks for a range of hospital and community-based cancer population studies.

The ERRC collaborates with the Translational Research Initiative in the Department of Medicine (TRIDOM) for blood sample collection and the Human Tissue Research Center (HTRC) for biological specimen processing and storage. This collaborative initiative provides Comprehensive Cancer Center investigators with access to a high-quality, comprehensive resource of systematically collected specimens and epidemiologic data.

The ERRC will work with investigators to develop a questionnaire specific to the study or implement their existing questionnaires and customize biological sample collection to meet the needs of the specific research project.

ERRC services to investigators include:

  • Subject Recruitment (for observational and prevention studies)
    • Ascertainment, screening, and consenting
    • Assessment of barriers for recruitment and retention; design of interventions
    • Minority recruitment
  • Biological Specimen Collection (blood and tissue)
    • Development of appropriate protocols and procedures
    • Patient recruitment and consenting
  • Design of epidemiology and correlative studies
    • Choice of study design and selection of appropriate controls
    • Sampling frame and response rates
  • Questionnaire/Survey development and subject interviews
    • Identify and/or develop questionnaires to meet study requirements
    • Interview subjects
  • Development of an effective surveillance system to identify cancer patients at the University of Chicago Medicine and surrounding areas rapidly; and
  • Collaboration with the Comprehensive Cancer Center’s community outreach program
    • Identify strategies for recruiting and consenting participants for future prevention studies
    • Develop strategies for ongoing communication and education about Comprehensive Cancer Center research.


To date, general fees have been established for patient consenting, epidemiology questionnaire administration, and biospecimen collection (see table below). Charges for specific services will be discussed with the investigator on a case-by-case basis.

Notes: Costs for biospecimen banking include HTRC costs. You will be charged the ascertainment costs whether or not eligible patient consents to participate in the study.

Service Description

Cost per Patient

Subject ascertainment and consenting

Subject  identification, eligibility determination, and consenting


Collection of questionnaire data

Completion of the ERRC Epidemiology questionnaire, tracking, follow-up/reminders, quality control, and data entry into a HIPAA-compliant database


Blood collection

Collection, processing and storage of plasma, serum and DNA

in collaboration with TRIDOM

Tissue collection

Collection, processing, and storage of tissue samples. Currently, we bank OCT and formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples. This can be adapted based on the needs of a specific research study.

$15 per sample banked