Biorepositories are collections of biospecimens, such as tissue, blood, plasma, serum, urine, DNA, RNA and live cells — and associated health information — from patients and research volunteers.
There are many different types and sizes of biorepositories today at Mayo Clinic. The majority of these focus on collecting material from patients with a variety of different diseases. Others, such as the Mayo Clinic Biobank, focus on collecting material from participants who are generally healthy.
Mayo Clinic's biorepositories are unique in that most specimens are linked to patients' medical records so that researchers can compare physical samples with patient outcomes over long periods of time.
Importantly, these biorepositories are an essential resource for personalized medicine research, as they enable researchers to study and understand both health and disease. Ongoing studies for each of the scientific programs within the Center for Individualized Medicine would not be possible without access to high-quality specimens.
The Biorepositories Program has two primary goals:
- Develop and oversee two core laboratories:
- Biospecimens Accessioning and Processing Core Provides services for the collection, processing, storage, distribution and management of biospecimens
- Pathology Research Core Provides histology-related services, including immunohistochemistry, tissue microarray construction, digital imaging and laser capture microdissection
- Develop and oversee several biospecimen collections, including the Mayo Clinic Biobank, an ongoing collection of samples and information from 50,000 participants regardless of health history
Areas of focus
Expanding the Mayo Clinic Biobank
Participant recruitment for the Mayo Clinic Biobank continues at the Mayo Clinic campuses in Rochester, Minnesota, and Jacksonville, Florida. Collections have also been initiated at Mayo Clinic Health System locations in La Crosse and Onalaska, Wisconsin. Gathering participants from different geographical areas ensures the biobank includes a diverse range of individuals with varying risk factor backgrounds.
Additionally, Mayo collaborates with Mountain Park Health Center and Arizona State University to oversee the Sangre por Salud Biobank in Phoenix. The goal of this collection is to increase research efforts in the Latino population to support studies in obesity, metabolism and diabetes — all areas of special concern in the Latino population.
A new state-of-the-art facility for the processing, storage and distribution of all types of biological samples is now under construction at Mayo Clinic. This will provide a highly standardized and automated one-stop location for all existing and future biorepository specimens.
Mayo Clinic Bioservices
Mayo Clinic and the Center for Individualized Medicine have made a significant commitment to building a world-class, scalable biorepository infrastructure. All of the services and resources from the Biorepositories Program are now available to external investigators through Mayo Clinic Bioservices.