Coriell Institute for Medical Research Awarded $16.3 Million for National Institutes of Health (NIH)-Supported National Human Genetics Resource Center

Published: Aug 14, 2009

CAMDEN, NJ--(Marketwire - August 14, 2009) -

Following a nationwide competition to determine the future home of the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) Human Genetics Resource Center, also known as the NINDS Repository, the Coriell Institute for Medical Research was awarded a five-year, $16.3 million contract from the National Institutes of Health.

Neurological disorders, including common disorders like stroke, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease and autism, affect approximately 50 million Americans each year. Treatments are available to help slow the onset of effects for some of these common disorders. Yet, among the more than 600 disorders that affect the nervous system, the rarer disorders are still looked to by scientists and physicians for clues to a general understanding of neurological disease and treatments for specific conditions.

Coriell President and CEO Michael F. Christman, Ph.D., believes this award is a magnificent opportunity for the Institute to continue its mission of striving to understand human genetic diseases. "The NINDS Repository is vital to Coriell's fundamental goal of enhancing human health and well being," Dr. Christman said. "The NINDS Repository contributes to genetic discoveries that serve as the foundation for personalized medical care."

The NINDS Repository is an international flagship project with the goal of improving human health by accelerating the discovery of genetic risk factors for neurological disease -- a process that requires specimens and clinical data from thousands of individuals. Because most heritable human diseases, including many neurological diseases, are a result of multiple genetic risk factors acting in combination with one another and with environmental components, the discovery process can be daunting and very difficult for any one biomedical research laboratory to achieve on its own.

The NINDS Repository was founded in 2002 to serve as a centralized national and international resource of clinical and genetic data from many thousands of de-identified study participants and assists investigators in their pursuit to unravel the complexities of neurological disease.

Coriell was awarded the opportunity to establish this valuable resource in 2002. During the first five years of the project, 23,785 individuals donated their samples and clinical data through the participation of 189 clinician scientists from nine different countries. This remarkable response resulted in more than 90 publications pertaining to the discovery of genetic risks for ALS, Parkinson's disease, stroke and epilepsy.

Now, through a competitive-renewal process, Coriell has proven it is the qualified organization for this collection and will continue its efforts in this important field. Starting on September 30, 2008, the NINDS Repository at Coriell began its work under the new contract with the goal of collecting and distributing 30,000 new and unique genetic samples.

The Principal Investigator, Roderick A. Corriveau, Ph.D., Associate Professor at Coriell, is honored that NINDS has entrusted this important project to Coriell: "We look forward to working closely with all participants, from private citizens who donate their own samples and clinical data, to clinicians who care for patients with neurological disorders, to scientists who discover genetic risk factors for neurological and other diseases."

About Coriell

The Coriell Institute for Medical Research ( is an internationally known, non-profit, biomedical research institution headquartered in Camden, NJ. Founded in 1953, Coriell is the world's leading biobank resource for human cells and DNAs, and recently initiated the Coriell Personalized Medicine Collaborative® 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 drug metabolism (


The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), is one of the 27 Institutes and Centers at the NIH, a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The NINDS is the nation's primary funder of research on the brain and nervous system. More information about stroke and other neurological disorders can be found on the NINDS website,

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