For the past 10 years, the Center's Biorepository Core (formerly the Laboratory Service Core) has provided crucial infrastructure for collecting, handling, processing, analyzing, and banking valuable biological and environmental samples collected under Center projects. Additionally, the Core has developed and validated innovative high-throughput methods to study numerous biological endpoints. Through the development of standard operating procedures, customized databases, comprehensive data tracking procedures, and a strong Quality Management Plan, the Core has banked thousands of blood, urine, saliva, dust, teeth, breastmilk, and other samples that can be used to answer scientific questions for decades to come. Over the next 5 years, the primary goals of the Biorepository Core will be to continue to provide infrastructure and support to the Center's research. Core staff will perform key laboratory functions, collecting, processing, and storing new samples and optimally maintaining banked samples. They will oversee the development and implementation of protocols for new and existing specimens and will coordinate shipment of samples between the Field Office, Biorepository, and collaborating analytical laboratories. Core staff will continue to ensure compliance with quality assurance and quality control procedures related to all aspects of sample collection, processing, shipping, storage, and data management. In addition, they will conduct validation pilot studies for new biomarkers. The Center Biorepository has become a division of the newly created UC Berkeley, School of Public Health Biorepository. By pooling infrastructure and resources within the university, the Biorepository Core will expand its ability to provide state of the art laboratory support to the Center's research projects.
The specific aims of the Biorepository Core are: 1. To preserve existing biological and environmental samples collected by the Center, and to coordinate additional processing, distribution, and analysis of these samples for proposed research projects. 2. To collect, process, bank, and analyze new biological samples from CHAMACOS participants at 9 and 12 years, and to coordinate sample transfer to analytical laboratories for analysis. 3. To implement and ensure compliance with quality assurance and quality control procedures for all aspects of sample collection, handling, data management, and analysis. 4. To develop procedures, in accordance with our Resource Sharing Plan, to optimize information on available biological and environmental specimens generated by the Center and make these resources available to other researchers.
This Core will maintain and expand a vast collection of biological and environmental samples for current research projects and future collaborations, with a focus on QA/QC. The Core will support development and validation of new biomarkers to assess prenatal and child exposures to DDT, Mn, and PBDEs and will also support studies examining the association of exposure to DNA methylation with puberty onset. The Core will be a model for studies seeking to bank biological and environmental specimens for health research.
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