The Epidemiology and Research Recruitment Core (ERRC) fosters projects in epidemiologic, genetic, behavioral, and surveillance cancer research. Located in C274, 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.

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

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

The ERRC collaborates with the Institute for Population and Precision Health (IPPH) 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 rate

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

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 $96
Collection of questionnaire data Completion of the ERRC Epidemiology questionnaire, tracking, follow-up/reminders, quality control, and data entry into a HIPAA-compliant database $54
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