Background: The availability of high quality well annotated biological and environmental specimens for research purposes requires the development of standardized methods for collection, processing, long-term storage, retrieval and distribution of specimens that will enable their future use for research. For this reason the NIH (in 2013) together with Makerere University established the Integrated Biorepository of H3Africa in Uganda (IBRH3AU) is a state of the art facility for sample collection, processing, storage, retrieval and distribution for genomic research for the H3Africa Consortium and other researchers. The overall goal of this proposal is to enable us align our existing activities with the timelines of the recently awarded and or renewed H3Africa projects, while expanding our scope, including environmental samples, and ultimate sustainability.
Four specific aims are contingent to this goal, viz (i) continue to offer biorepository services (sample collection and or receipt, processing, storage, retrieval and shipment) to H3Africa projects and other researchers, (ii) expand our sample base beyond Nucleic acids to include other-types and environmental samples, (iii) Scale up and consolidate the sustainability plan, and (iv) Put-in-place an amenable biospecimen succession plan for the destiny of H3Africa samples. Approach: (a) Quality controlled and assured biorepository services will be offered as per ISBER best practices and standards, in line with H3Africa Data and Biospecimen Accession (DBAC) policies, (b) In addition to existing and implemented protocols for genomic analyses (DNA from blood spots, RNA, etc.), microbiome analyses (vaginal, nasal, fecal swabs, etc.), HIV or other infectious disease research (PBMC processing, viral loads, viral sequencing, CD4/CD8 counts, immunological assays, etc.), Biomarker analyses, More Protocols, Standards and Practices will be developed and implemented including for appropriate storage for measures of environmental exposures (tobacco smoke, toxic metals, metalloids, and mineral nutrients, metabolites of pesticides, toxins from mold, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon metabolites, volatile organic compounds, etc.) (c) Through continued implementation of our business plan to ensure sustainability, and (d) through consultations and consensus, devise an amenable succession plan for the funders, H3Africa consortium, and IBRH3AU. Expected Benefits: Contribute to biorepository policy guidelines Stimulate genomic/genetic research A facility of well annotated quality controlled biospecimen accessible through an online catalog Biorepository science and management trainings. Explore value addition to stored samples

Public Health Relevance

The Integrated Biorepository of H3Africa in Uganda (IBRH3AU) is a state of the art facility funded by the U.S NIH (2013) to support sample collection, processing, storage and retrieval for genomic research under the H3Africa Consortium. The overall goal of this proposal is to align our existing mandate with the timelines of the recently awarded and or renewed H3Africa projects, while exploring avenues for environmental biobanking and ultimately sustainability. This should create a self-sustaining bio-specimen and environmental regional repository with ISBER standards.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
Resource-Related Research Projects--Cooperative Agreements (U24)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZHG1)
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Troyer, Jennifer L
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Makerere University
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