Cincinnati Children’s launches Down syndrome research biobank

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center has collaborated with DownSyndrome Achieves to launch a research biobank.

The DSA Biobank serves as a central location for biospecimens donated by individuals with Down syndrome and their immediate families. The aim is to improve clinical care and health outcomes for individuals with Down syndrome by housing high-quality genetic materials that aid in driving research. 

Storage of biospecimens in minus-80 degrees Celsius freezers helps to ensure their preservation and usefulness for many years. Photo credit: Cincinnati Children’s

Lito Ramirez, CEO of DownSyndrome Achieves, describes the new DSA Biobank as a national resource:

“DSA Biobank, in partnership with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, provides researchers with the potential to unlock some of the mysteries associated with Down syndrome,” Ramirez said. “Currently, researchers do not have readily available blood and other samples to advance our understanding of the conditions that co-occur with Down syndrome. I’m excited the Down syndrome community will have this national resource, which is long overdue.”

The DSA Biobank team at Cincinnati Children’s includes:

  • The laboratory of William Nichols, Ph.D., associate director of research in the Division of Human Genetics at Cincinnati Children’s
  • The Cincinnati Children’s Discover Together Biobank, which is directed by Michael Pauciulo, MBA.

The Discover Together Biobank at Cincinnati Children’s is a facility for genetic samples that helps researchers drive scientific breakthroughs. Nichols explained that the DSA Biobank will create an important and novel biospecimen resource specifically for Down syndrome research:

“In leveraging our existing expertise in the collection, processing, and storing of biological specimens and clinical data,” he said, “this new partnership with DownSyndrome Achieves and the Cincinnati Children’s Discover Together Biobank is the continued application and expansion of our biobanking efforts.”

Pauciulo said, “This partnership with DSA and Dr. Nichols continues Discover Together down the path of utilizing our biobanking expertise and infrastructure to partner with national and regional research networks. We couldn’t be more excited to leverage our resources to help DSA improve health outcomes for the Down syndrome population.”

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