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Biodesign Institute Wins $6.5M to Expand Biorepository

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University will use a $6.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to expand its biorepository that supports researchers working under the Protein Structure Initiative's (PSI) structural genomics consortium.

The Biodesign Institute's biomaterials storehouse, called DNASU, contains more than 147,000 plasmids, including 55,000 human and mouse plasmids, as well as genome collections from a number of organisms and proteins that are associated with human diseases. It also holds the protein expression plasmids in the PSI:Biology-Materials Repository (PSI-MR)and collections from individual researchers.

Located at the Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics, the PSI-MR is tasked with collecting, annotating, storing, maintaining, and distributing plasmids to support the multi-institutional NIH-funded structural genomics consortium.

The repository delivers plasmids to researchers worldwide and provides information about the genes they contain, annotations about the full length sequence, vector information, and publications for cross-referencing, all of which are stored in its database.

The core technology at DNASU and the PSI:Biology-MR is its Nexus Universal Biostore Freezer, a storage and robotic system that was acquired with funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

According to Joshua LaBaer, the Biodesign Institute's chair in personalized medicine who runs the repository, DNASU provides the plasmids at low cost and that it has simplified the legal process for acquiring plasmids for study by streamlining the required material transfer agreement.