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Biobank Initiatives

Biobank initiatives from the department of Bioinformatics.

Our knowledge about the human genome has expanded in the last decade tremendously as a consequence of the Human Genome project. Although, genomic research is still at its infancy. Scientists try to find the relations between our genes, discover the functions of the proteins and hope to gain insight in how these genes and proteins contribute to disease processes. Bioinformaticians support clinical research by coupling molecular and clinical data. Exploring these relations between clinical features, genetic characteristics, metabolic processes and last but not least disease progression could provide novel insights in the underlying mechanisms of disease. The application of genomics, proteomics and metabolomics technologies on biobanks forms the foundation for translational molecular research eventually linking bench to bedside.

Biobanks: a real life example

Knowledge about the onset of disease and the variation in progression of disease increasingly is based on large patient cohorts of which both clinical (including medical imaging results) and molecular data are available. This kind of quantitative and qualitative information forms the foundation necessary to identify patterns, correlations leading to causal relationships. One should realize that high quality documentation of patient data as well as high quality tissue is essential to observe relationships in longitudinal patient cohorts.  Complex questions such as why the one patient is a responder and the other patient is a non-responder, or why the one individual shows rapid disease progression whereas the other has a mild presentation can only be studied with adequate staffed multidisciplinary teams.

Collecting a sample for a biobank during an operation.