The cumulative pace of disease-gene discovery has accelerated by thousands and thousands of genes over the last 35 years. Although the human genetics community has identified only a modest fraction of the large number of genes thought to play a role in common diseases, there are ever-increasing reports describing the involvement of specific genes and their genetic variants for hundreds of diseases. Consensus in the scientific and medical world holds that there are major issues to be addressed prior to transferring new genetic discoveries to the health care system. These issues range from the essential step of validating initial findings in other populations, to the understanding of the genetic effect in relation to disease manifestations. Other issues such as environment, the cost implications of genetic testing in relation to benefits that could be obtained by the institution of disease prevention measures, and the establishment of appropriate guidelines to inform health ministries, health care workers, patients and their relatives also need to be addressed.
Thus, BioMe has focused its attention on enabling researchers understand the role of genes and environment in the health of individuals and populations. Your help is needed to discover better treatments. The donation of samples from many thousands of individuals, like yourself, is essential to helping unravel the complexity of diseases and move away from a one-size-fits-all and “trial and error” approach to diagnosis, treatment, and medication. The number of BioBanks at major medical institutions is likely to grow to hundreds of large-scale operations in the next decade with tens of millions of samples from around the globe. These BioBanks will enable essential, groundbreaking studies to unravel the complex genetic and environmental interactions responsible for most common diseases, providing huge and unprecedented health benefits for entire societies by moving from empiric medical practice to personalized medical practice. For example, personalized medicine will enable the international research community to deliver more effective health care strategies aimed at disease prevention, and at tailoring medicines and other treatment regimens to individuals, families and communities.
A Biobank as Unique as Its Participants
Our biobank is as unique as its many participants and includes these features:
- Electronic Medical Records– enabled linkage for designing studies involving longitudinal follow-up
- Highly interactive participant model
- Enterprise data warehouse
- Strong IT Department support
- High-performance computing (Minerva)
- Big data capabilities
- Data and analysis for discovery projects under the sponsorship of global genomics consortia/networks
- Supports research projects by local Mount Sinai faculty and external investigators
- More than 260 manuscripts published by faculty at The Institute for Personalized Medicine since 2012
Federally Verified, High-Quality Standards
The BioMe biorepository is one of the only 4 biorepositories in New York State accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP) Biorepository Accreditation Program (BAP) and is one of only six biorepositories in the tri-state area to achieve this prestigious recognition since 2013. BioMe is among the less than 1 percent of domestic biorepositories that are accredited by CAP. The organization’s Biorepository Accreditation Program (BAP) is recognized by the U.S. federal government. While there is no federal mandate for biorepository accreditation, patient donors and collaborators can recognize and trust our validated, high-quality standards and practices.