Moving Can Be a Science – At NCI

lab moving down to a scienceMany know JK Moving for moving offices.  But in reality – we move just about everything under the sun.  Our specialty is in laboratory, IT and specialized relocations.  Today I want to give you a glimpse of our lab team’s expertise.  We directed a move for National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Pathology collection.  After you read this blog, you will see where moving can really be a science – and a lot of planning.

Executive Summary

Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) hired JK Moving Services to relocate NIH’s NCI Laboratory of Pathology’s collection.  The collection included relocating over 2.7 million tissue slides, and tissue blocks into a new high-density filing system. The collection was in 12 different locations within one building.


  • 3-month project was compressed into a 1.5-month time line.
  • Each slide had to be meticulously handled.
  • The slides had to be climate controlled.
  • It was critical that the precise order was maintained.
  • Slides needed to be pulled out and relocated one by-one, alphabetically and chronologically.


Adjusting to the shortened time line, a double-shift schedule was proposed and implemented. This included two move crews, working around the clock.  Our on-site lab project manager worked for a total of 16 hour days, five days per week. Thus, the aggressive schedule allowed the project to be completed in six (6) weeks.

On top of the shortened time frame, we also overcame a non-climate controlled room during the slide transfer. This resulted in a shortened amount of time to transfer the slides and blocks.

It was especially important to keep the fragile slides and contents in tact.   The tissue slides had to be transferred by hand using gloves.  For this reason, our Project Management team created a detailed schedule.  We planned every person transferring the slides to a specific strategy.  This ensured all slides were relocated in the correct order and within the short time frame.

A second challenge came up when we found that there was a large quantity of undocumented/non-inventoried slides.  This caused some reorganization, but JK was still able to successfully complete the job.


So what measurable benefits did NCI receive?

  • We relocated 2,732,360 tissue slides and blocks from 12 different locations into one location.  Thus allowing the NIH researchers to work in a much more efficient manner.
  • All slides were relocated alphabetically and chronologically so that each slide was easy to find with no mix-ups.
  • Finally, no slides were compromised, even without a climate-controlled environment provided. Rather, the JK Team worked quickly and carefully relocating each slide to ensure the integrity of its contents.

Do you have a lab move where moving can really be a science?  Our lab experts can help . . . contact us at 703.574.6754 or via email at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *