The African Collaborative Center for Microbiome and Genomics Research (ACCME), based at the Institute of Human Virology-Nigeria (IHVN) is led by Dr. Clement Adebamowo the African scientist who served as the Principal Investigator of the African Phase I HapMap Project and is a pioneering leader not only in genomic research on the African Continent but also in addressing the ethical challenges of genomic research on the Continent. The ACCME Biorepository is directed by Dr. Alash'le Abimiku, a highly experienced African laboratory scientist with two decades of research and repository experience in Africa, and the Principal Investigator of the current proposal. The goal of Phase I implementation is to: Advance the capacity of the ACCME Biorepository to achieve International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) best practices required for Phase II implementation. To achieve the Phase I goal the ACCME Biorepository partners with the Coriell Institute to implement three Specific Aims: 1) Assessment of current practice and identify strengths and gaps;2) Upgrade repository practice and infrastructure;3) Conduct pilot Phase II implementation. This two-year Phase I process engages an iterative quality assessment-based interaction between experienced African scientists and technicians at IHVN and their counterparts from Coriell Institute who provide objective assessment, interactive didactic and mentored capacity building to instill ISBER best practices for Phase II implementation drawing upon Coriell proven models. The goal of Phase II is to: Expand the capacity of the ACCME Biorepository to support multiple H3Africa investigators to conduct high quality genomics and translational research in Africa using well processed, preserved and quality controlled and redundantly protected human biological samples accessible to the H3Africa and larger research community. To achieve the 5-year Phase II goals the ACCME Biorepository targets 5 Specific Aims: 1) Implement a high quality biorepository of primary human biologic samples;2) Develop, implement, manage and support robust cloud computing based bioinformatics tool to support biorepository capacity;3) Establish administrative governance and Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) procedures and sustainable funding strategies;4) Conduct short, medium and long term training and mentoring of staff on Biorepository and Biobanking Sciences;5) Integrate best practices in biobanking and biorepository ethics. This 5-year plan implements a staged expansion of staffing and infrastructure to support multiple African genomic research partners by providing reliable sample processing support, secure shipping, rapid accession and documentation of sample quality, accessible information on clinical and epidemiological data and sample quantity and quality, reliable retrieval and proactive facilitation of collaboration to achieve best science and sustainable practice and funding. Continuous quality improvement for reliable repository function and ongoing feedback from end users fosters trust in service delivery and product quality.
This proposal builds on an existing biorepository to support the H3Africa Consortium and networks of African scientists to study genomics and environmental determinants of common diseases with the goal of improving the health of African populations. Since the human race originated in Africa and migrated to populate the world, studies of genes in African peoples are a powerful strategy for advancing human health globally. A biorepository based in Africa is important to promoting this research by African scientists and the broader research community.