Cardiff University has opened a brand new facility with the capacity to hold up to a million biological samples for medical research.
The Cardiff University Biobank will give researchers quick and easy access to biological samples to be used in research for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of serious and life-threatening illnesses.
The purpose-built facility has received some of its first new donors in the form of the Cardiff Blues rugby players. The Biobank team spent two days with the squad, taking consent and sampling blood, which will be stored at the facility until needed.
Samples collected by the biobank, which is based at the University Hospital of Wales, will include blood, urine, tissue and saliva. They will be made available to academic and commercial organisations undertaking bona fide scientific and health research.
Prior to the creation of the new biobank, Cardiff University hosted eight separate tissue banking facilities, with several others in preparation. The new facility will provide an umbrella support structure for each of these, ensuring their long-term sustainability and the continuation of robust governance procedures. It will also boost access for researchers to new bio-samples in other disease areas.
Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services Vaughan Gething said:
“With the launch of the Cardiff University Biobank, Wales now has a world-class facility, providing easier access to a wealth of biological samples vital to the advancement of biomedical research. The benefits will not only be felt by our research community, who will have an improved infrastructure to help them obtain funding for research, but by the people in Wales and beyond who will benefit from advances in medical treatments.”
The Cardiff University Biobank will be looking for anyone aged 16 and over to donate samples.
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