A new biobank at UNMC will allow researchers access to a larger number of blood samples that aren't specific to any one disease. Dr. Jennifer Larsen, vice chancellor for research, says a biobank holds biologic samples to be used in future research.
Currently, UNMC has several condition-specific biobanks. But this new biobank would contain blood samples obtained from individuals when they go to the doctor for a routine visit.
"Healthcare changes rapidly and a new disease arrives and it takes a long time to develop that kind of biobank. But if you had a biobank that could meet all needs, you could rapidly still get a hold of samples to be able to test and to have access sooner than you could develop if you just started fresh at that moment.”
Dr. Larsen says the blood for the new facility would be banked with the patient’s consent, but none of the blood donated would have identifiers.
The new UNMC Biobank opens in December 2012.