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Carolinas HealthCare System has created a Biospecimen Repository to collect and process blood, tissue, DNA and other samples from patients across the System to support research on how to more effectively treat a broad range of diseases.
The Biospecimen Repository opened in May 2014 and is located on the campus of Carolinas Medical Center-Mint Hill, to ensure a centralized space able to collect from all of System locations throughout North and South Carolina, as well as a protected environment for the storage of tissues. The space has large freezers and liquid nitrogen tanks that can hold approximately 400,000 samples with room to expand; a back-up generator; and a biosafety cabinet to ensure the highest level of protection for all tissue samples.
“The Biospecimen Repository is intended will greatly to enhance the capabilities of the System’s research teams in clinical and translational research”, said Carol J. Farhangfar, PhD, MBA, Assistant Vice President of Carolinas HealthCare System’s Tissue Procurement & Levine Cancer Institute’s Translational Research. “Our goal is that the creation of this repository will help Carolinas HealthCare System and its researchers gain national recognition in research and clinical service in advancing the field of personalized medicine.”
Biospecimens, removed from patients during a biopsy, surgery or other procedure and are then stored for ongoing research at the Repository, or further analyzed at the System’s core or laboratory facilities in the Cannon Research Center. Physicians and researchers analyze these samples to learn more about a particular patients’ disease, and his or her risk for the disease, prognosis, or likelihood to respond to a certain method of treatment.
Additionally, the Repository has established a state-of-the-art information system to track biospecimen collection at every step in the process and store important demographic and clinical data.