A BioBank is a biorepository that stores biological samples for use in research. At the Shiley Eye Institute, the staff of the Downtown San Diego Lions Club BioBank for Vision collects blood, tissue and biological fluid samples from patients with ophthalmic diseases. Moreover, induced pluripotent stem cells from specific individuals also are stored in the BioBank.
These biological samples will be utilized to (1) learn about predictors of diseases (biomarkers); (2) determine effectiveness or lack of effectiveness of therapies; (3) understand disease pathologies; and (4) develop successful cures for blinding eye diseases.
Lead by Linda Zangwill, PhD and Radha Ayyagari, PhD, the Shiley BioBank was launched in 2012 to leverage the latest in bioinformatics technology and genetic sequencing tools to advance the understanding of diseases such as glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.
Partnering with the Downtown San Diego Lions Club, the Shiley BioBank was named “Downtown San Diego Lions Club BioBank for Vision” in July 2017 with the goal of accelerating research to prevent and cure blindness.
Demographic, ethnic, medical and risk factor history data are collected from patients using iPads. The details of sample collection, processing, analysis and exact freezer storage location of samples are recorded in the BioBank database system. Each step of the process ensures that all patient data and samples are stored, tracked and readily available to share with investigators, along with all linked clinical, demographic, genotype, and phenotype information while maintaining strict confidentiality. The protocol that has been approved by the UCSD Institutional Review Board Committee includes all activities including the sample collection, sample processing and intended use and handling protocol.
The Downtown San Diego Lions Club BioBank for Vision serves as a reference library for each patient. With readily available sample collection, it presents numerous opportunities for investigators to analyze existing data and conduct additional studies based on the most recent scientific knowledge.
In the future, the BioBank will enable investigators to learn about predictors of eye disease, treatment effectiveness and disease pathology, as well as provide critical new information for developing innovative treatments to prevent and cure blindness of macular degeneration, glaucoma and other blinding eye diseases.Downtown San Diego Lions Club BioBank for Vision Brochure
The overall objective of the NEI Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Program Award at UCSD is to develop outstanding clinician scientists to successfully compete at the national level for NIH grants and emerge as leaders within academic Ophthalmology. Through this institutional career development award, we will mentor clinician scientists toward independent academic appointments in ophthalmology.
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