The Washington Academy of Sciences featured a session on “Tissue Ownership: Ethical, Legal and Policy Considerations” at its 2008 conference held at the National Science Foundation. Led by William Gardner, MD, Executive Director of the American Registry of Pathology, the panel featured Glenn Sandberg, COL, MC, USA, Chief of Scientific Laboratories and Neuropathologist at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology; Maj. Catherine With, JD, LLM, Legal Counsel for the AFIP; and Robin Stombler, President of Auburn Health Strategies, LLC. The session focused on how information that awaits our discovery is locked within tissue specimens kept in hospitals, clinics and research laboratories around the world. The panel reviewed improved molecular techniques and other scientific advances that may assist in unlocking the door to disease diagnosis, personalized medicine, and new therapies. The panel explored how genetic information stored in these tissues raise a panoply of ethical, legal and policy issues.