CIGMR Biobank works with a very large number of people and institutions. This list is intended to give a flavour of some key interactions:
- Research groups in CIGMR. These groups investigate auto-immune disease, cognitive decline, autism and companion animals as disease models. This gives us first-hand experience of researchers’ needs.
- Research and service groups in MAHSC. Among the research groups are researchers in arthritis, asthma, diabetes, renal disease and mental illness. Researchers in heart failure across four MAHSC partners have been the basis for our pilot construction of hub and spoke biobanking. We are working with one of these spokes to implement a common Quality Management System and so construct a “chain of quality” from patient to platform technology.
- National partners. We are contributing to the STRATUM project funded by the Technology Strategy Board to scope out a national biobanking roadmap and have a long-standing Memorandum of Understanding with UK Biobank for collaboration with its Manchester storage facility. CIGMR houses the Medical Research Councils’s UK DNA Banking Network sample collection and partners with the University of Liverpool to house the UK DNA Archive for Companion Animals. CIGMR also coordinates banking for the MRC-funded COPDmap. This has helped us to develop and implement better systems for accrual of and access to samples and data. Key partners in this are the European Bioinformatics Institute in Cambridge and the NorthWest Institute for BioHealth Informatics in Manchester.
- International partners. We have been Associate Coordinator for the development of a European biobanking network (BBMRI). This is due to become a legal entity in 2012. We provide a hub for a Europe-wide collaboration between industry and academia for asthma biomarkers. We have provided advice and support to national and regional biobanking initiatives in France, Germany, Spain, Poland, Norway, Canada, US, Japan and Saudi Arabia.
All these interactions have helped shape policy and provision by CIGMR Biobank.