Karolinska to be home to national biobank

16 Jun 2010 | Network Updates

The Swedish Research Council is establishing a national infrastructure for biobanks at Karolinska Institutet, through the establishment of BioBanking & Molecular Resource Infrastructure of Sweden (BBMRI.se). The aim is to improve resources for medical research and health care in Sweden.

Rapid development in techniques for analysing biological material, such as blood, cells, urine and tissue samples, from both patients and healthy volunteers, means samples can be used by researchers to identify fundamental causes of disease and to discover how to detect diseases at an earlier stage, giving patients more secure diagnoses and improving treatments.

But while developments in the analysis of biological samples are opening up opportunities for in-depth research, the limiting factor today is more often the availability of samples, says Joakim Dillner, Coordinator of BBMRI.se and Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology.

BBMRI.se will be a centre for the collection and storage of biological samples in large-scale, highly efficient and quality-assured automatic systems. This will greatly reduce the cost of creating and using biobanks and also enable efficient collection of samples for analysis.

BBMRI.se is supported by the rectors of all Swedish universities with medical schools. A network of researchers from across the country will be responsible for harmonising, coordinating and expanding biobanking activities on a national level. It will also thoroughly explore the ethical, legal and societal aspects of how this resource is managed.

BBMRI.se will also work in close cooperation with the European Programme BBMRI.eu, to enable joint development and best use of biobanks across Europe.

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