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Inside the Lab Laboratory management, Clinical care, Histology, Profession

Bank With Us

Biobanking – the act of preserving and storing samples of biomaterial – is an often-overlooked aspect of biomedical research, diagnostics, and prognostics. The samples stored in biobanks can yield valuable insight into disease processes over time, assist with retrospective studies of conditions and their causes, and stand families in good stead when a seemingly isolated instance of disease turns out to have a hereditary culprit. Not only researchers, but also pathologists, laboratory medicine professionals, and patients should value these resources. And yet, many people outside the laboratory aren’t even aware of the existence of biobanks, let alone the varied purposes they serve. Fewer still know how biobanks are changing to keep pace with our increasingly computerized world and the growing value of the data that accompanies samples – after all, what is a whole slide image archive if not a digital biobank? And what is a small piece of tissue without its accompanying clinical data?

We spoke to three experts from the Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure (BBMRI) – two pathologists involved in research and clinical care, and one trained patient expert – to learn more about what biobanking can do for today’s laboratory medicine.

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About the Author

Michael Schubert

While obtaining degrees in biology from the University of Alberta and biochemistry from Penn State College of Medicine, I worked as a freelance science and medical writer. I was able to hone my skills in research, presentation and scientific writing by assembling grants and journal articles, speaking at international conferences, and consulting on topics ranging from medical education to comic book science. As much as I’ve enjoyed designing new bacteria and plausible superheroes, though, I’m more pleased than ever to be at Texere, using my writing and editing skills to create great content for a professional audience.

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