Barriers in Biobanking

| August 3, 2017

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All around the world, human samples are stored in laboratories, hospitals, and specialized facilities. These collections vary significantly in size—from single labs housing specimens for individual projects, to large, university-based biobanks. In the United States alone, there are thousands of such facilities. “Anybody that’s systemically collecting samples is considered a biobank,” said Andrew Brooks, Ph.D., COO at RUCDR Infinite Biologics, a Rutgers University-based biorepository. “There are biobanks all over the place, and [there is] a huge, growing community.” Despite the growth in biorepositories, technical and operational hurdles still stand in the way of investigators procuring the right samples for their research. In a 2011 National Cancer Institute (NCI) survey of 727 cancer researchers, 47 percent reported having difficulty obtaining quality biospecimens.

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