The largest storage bank for human biospecimens in the southern hemisphere opened its doors in Sydney this week, and is set to revolutionise medical research in Australia.
Minister for Health and Medical Research Brad Hazzard said the $12 million NSW Health Statewide Biobank at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital campus will help researchers change the way life-threatening illnesses are treated.
“The Biobank will house more than three million human samples including DNA, tissue, blood and tumour cells which researchers can use to unlock the puzzle of disease,” Mr Hazzard said.
Researchers can deposit and access samples, not unlike a bank or a library, via a state of the art negative 80ºC robotic cold storage system and cryogenic vats set to negative 196ºC. Advanced robotic technology reduces the time it takes to manage and retrieve samples, while the data obtained could help lab discoveries get to patients quicker.
The Health Infrastructure team, including Erik Maranik, Margo Kouvaris and Hayley Bell worked with the Office of Health and Medical Research from the Biobank’s inception.
“As well as our contribution in leading the site selection process, we also managed the design process, provided ongoing reporting, assurance and stakeholder management with NSW Pathology, Sydney Local Health District, HealthShare and the Office of Health and Medical Research,” Ms Bell said.
Images and footage are available at: www.biobank.health.nsw.gov.au