The overall goal of the BioBank core is to help investigators collect and store biological samples from patients with ocular disorders, and to link those samples with molecular and clinical data. The collection of biological samples from patients with ocular disorders is an integral part of many research programs at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI). By providing a central facility for sample collection and processing, the BioBank resources reduce duplicated efforts among investigators. Importantly centralized storage and tracking using state-of-the-art programs such as Progeny ensures sample maintenance and protection and minimizes sample loss and mix-up. Linking individual samples to clinical data using the electronic medical record system (RPDR) as well as databases with molecular data (using REDCap and other approaches) enables sophisticated study of large datasets that enhances the overall quality of the MEEI investigations. Additionally, providing assistance with sample collection helps young investigators and clinical scientists who may not have funding to collect useful samples from patients with interesting clinical disease that would benefit from further study. The availability of substantial patient sample resources also supports new investigations and collaborations, especially between basic and clinical scientists forming another bridge between basic and clinical research at MEEI. The BioBank goals are: 1) to make it possible for any investigator who identifies an interesting patient, series of patients or has access to an interesting animal model, to collect useful biological samples that can be used for further study;and 2) to provide biological and clinical resources to investigators for specific disease-related investigations. The BioBank core is directed by Dr. Wiggs, who has directed this activity since 2002. She will supervise the laboratory personnel responsible for collecting, storing, tracking and retrieving samples. She will also supervise the Progeny administrator and the REDCap administrator who will maintain sample databases and assist investigators with projects using samples, clinical data and genomic data.
The BioBank core of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary P30 Center Core Grant for Vision Research will provide resources to help investigators collect important patient samples and link the patient material to to other data making it possible to study risk factors for blinding eye diseases.
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