Texas Tech University

Robert J. Baker Genetic Resources Collection

tanks in the genetic resources collection roomThe Robert J. Baker Genetic Resources Collection is a valuable resource at the Museum of Texas Tech University, providing a method for archiving tissues and their DNA for future research in areas such as genomics, systematics, epidemiology, environmental toxicology, and more.

The Museum of Texas Tech University's Genetic Resources Collection is a biological archive of more than 470,000 genetic samples. These samples were taken from >100,000 individuals of predominantly mammals, but also some birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates. The collection is world-wide in scope with especially strong mammalian holdings from the southwestern United States, Mexico, Central and South America, the Ukraine, and Malaysia. The majority of the samples are frozen, but the collection also contains samples in ethanol, lysis buffer, and DNA.

In 2015, Dr. Robert D. Bradley, NSRL director and Dr. Robert J. Baker, former NSRL director (deceased 2018), submitted a proposal to the Collections in Support of Biological Research program of the National Science Foundation (NSF) to transfer the frozen tissues of the GRC from mechanical -80°C freezers to vapor-phase liquid nitrogen freezers in order to ensure the collection's long-term preservation and availability for scientific research. That proposal was fully funded by NSF.

Late in 2015, the GRC facility was fully renovated to accommodate the LN system and to upgrade the overall facility. In January 2016, five Taylor-WhartonTM LABS freezers, supplied with liquid nitrogen via an exterior bulk tank and vacuum-jacketed piping, were installed and the process of transferring samples to the LN freezers was initiated.  For more information on this project, please visit the Liquid Nitrogen Project webpage

Continued growth of the frozen tissue holdings of the Genetic Resources Collection required the expansion of the system with a sixth cryofreezer in 2018 and a seventh in 2023.

Loan Policy

The current Loan Policies and Procedures of the NSRL may be downloaded here.  (Revised 19 July 2016)

To download the appropriate application for your loan please use the following links:

Voucher loan application 

Genetic resources loan application

Once completed, loan applications for the Genetic Resources should be submitted to the Curator of Genetic Resources, Dr. Caleb Phillips, and specimen-based loan applications should be submitted to the Director of the NSRL, Dr. Robert Bradley, for approval.

For help preparing the vertebrate loan application, specimen information, or questions about loan procedures, please contact the Curator of Collections, Heath Garner, (806) 834-7641 or (806) 742-2486.



Natural Science Research Laboratory