Why have a northern biobank?
Revolutionary improvements to clinical research are on the way for northern BC thanks to Northern Health’s BioBank Initiative.
A biobank offers researchers a way to store medical data and samples to assist with future inquiries and improve treatment methods and outcomes.
Initiative lead Doctor Nadine Caron says that establishing a biobank in the north is key to matching the research capabilities of urban centres.
What is a biobank?
Biobanks are a highly organized way to store biomedical tissue alongside essential forms of related data such as the stage of the disease, the time the sample was taken, and information on the patient it was taken from.
According to Dr Caron, who is also an associate professor at UBC, this can prove to be an essential resource, allowing researchers access to data that may otherwise be unavailable.
Dr Caron went on to simplify the project, comparing it to a regular bank.
Years in the making.
Northern Health has developed a unique perspective on the project, followings years of consultations with numerous communities and health organizations.
Currently, Northern Health is working to expand public knowledge of the project and to develop a retrospective biobank made up of roughly 1500 samples from across the north.
World of possibilities.
Dr Caron, for one, is excited about the possibilities the project brings for the future, especially in a world with increasing interest in the field.