CAMDEN, NJ--(Marketwire - July 01, 2010) -
Close on the heels of another major award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Coriell Institute has announced its receipt of a five-year, $6-million NIH contract
to manage the National Institute on Aging (NIA) Aging Cell Repository.
"Our long-standing expertise in the biobanking arena has been a decisive factor in maintaining major contracts such as the NIA Cell Repository," said Coriell President and CEO, Michael F. Christman, Ph.D.
Coriell has overseen the Aging Cell Repository since its establishment in 1974, repeatedly outshining the competition to house this vital resource and distribute high-quality biomaterials for research purposes. The Repository, which facilitates cellular and molecular research studies on the mechanisms of aging and the degenerative processes associated with it, contains more than 2,000 cell lines from individuals with premature aging disorders, Alzheimer's disease, and samples from persons of great age (90+ years).
"Diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's ravage our seniors, weigh on their loved ones and drain patients of financial resources," said U.S. Senator Robert Menendez. "This an investment that will assist research to treat and defeat these diseases, while lowering the costs associated with them. Coriell is helping to lead the way, once again showing how New Jersey is the innovation state."
Scientists in more than 40 countries have utilized these vital biomaterials, resulting in the publication of more than 1,000 scientific papers describing aging-related research discoveries. These samples have been used in the identification of many disease genes, including the gene for Hutchinson Gilford Progeria Syndrome, a rare, genetic disease causing characterized by dramatic, rapid appearance of aging beginning in childhood.
With this award, Coriell is responsible for selecting, establishing, characterizing, documenting and storing new aging-related cell lines for research. Additionally, Coriell will bank induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines -- cells produced by genetically reprogramming specialized cell types, like skin cells, into cells with the ability to turn into any human cell type.
"Coriell will be integrating a revolutionary technology, iPSCs, into the Repository collection to support the study of aging-related diseases. This effort will promote discovery around the causes and potential cures for devastating diseases such as Parkinson's disease," said Margaret Keller, Ph.D., Principal Investigator of the NIA contract. "The future holds great promise for the use of iPSCs in regenerative medicine and we are taking the first step to understand this potential."
Since its establishment in 1953, Coriell has served the scientific community by maintaining the world's leading cryogenic biobanking facility, distributing its more than 745,000 unique samples -- encompassing cell lines, DNA, RNA, plasma, and more -- to researchers in sixty-five nations. Through contracts such as the National Institutes on Aging, Coriell is able to support worldwide research initiatives with the ultimate goal of improving human health.
Coriell Institute for Medical Research (www.coriell.org) is an internationally known, non-profit, biomedical research institution headquartered in Camden, NJ, contiguous with the Cooper University Hospital Health Sciences Campus. Founded in 1953, Coriell is the world's leading biobank resource for biological materials and home of the Coriell Personalized Medicine Collaborative® (CPMC®) research study, a forward-looking project aimed at understanding the utility of genome-informed medicine and identifying genetic variants associated with common complex disease and variation in drug response (http://cpmc.coriell.org).
The NIA leads the federal effort supporting and conducting research on aging and the medical, social and behavioral issues of older people. For more information on research and aging, go to www.nia.nih.gov.
The NIH -- the nation's medical research agency -- includes 27 institutes and centers and is a component of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.