Medical researchers often require human biological samples to help progress their work. High quality samples can be difficult to access, because of the need for live cells or specialised storage.
SVI’s recently established Living Biobank, and the HMSTrust Biobank, which was launched in 2015, provide an alternative to monetary donations for those who want to support medical research in a way that gives them meaning, and can potentially lead to the prevention, treatment or cure of a disease that has impacted a friend or family member. Our Biobanks aide research into diseases that affect Australians, including diabetes and cancer.
As part of the Program, we collect samples from people with and without chronic diseases. Samples collected for the Living Biobank may be used immediately for research projects, or ‘banked’ and kept for longer-term storage in the HMSTrust Biobank. Donors can choose to be involved in one or both of these biobanks.
The samples in a biobank allow researchers to compare results from people with a particular disease, to people who don’t suffer from that disease. It is important for scientists to use human blood and tissue to study diseases, so that they can develop more effective treatments and cures. Most commonly blood samples are collected, but biobanks may store other body fluids or tissues.