Owing to the system now being developed at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and that was presented this week at an international conference on biobanks, the university’s biobank will now be based on informatics as well as tissue and blood samples. The system will enable researchers to seek biobank samples linked to the vast databases of phenotype and genotype information on the individual donors and to a variety of other data sources.
The existence of large national epidemiological databases, such as the Swedish twin register, and a large number of tissue sample collections of national importance gives the Karolinska Institutet Biobank a unique position in biobank-related research. Since the information is highly sensitive and authorised data access unacceptable, the biobank system is protected by tight security.
“We’re the first institute in the world with such an informatics system,” says Professor Jan-Eric Litton of the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics. “Other prominent medical centres like the Mayo Clinic in the USA are also developing similar systems.”
Sabina Bossi | alfa
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