Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Forthcoming repository for genetic, environmental, and health data

Kaiser ‘biobank’ lands $8.6M grant, San Francisco Business Times, December 17, 2008.  (Thanks to Garrett Eastman.)  Excerpt:

Kaiser Permanente won an $8.6 million award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to develop a biobank of genetic, environmental and health data that could be used to study genetic and environmental factors in heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and more.

The repository will house as many as 500,000 DNA samples by 2012....

The foundation said the database will have enough “statistical power to identify even subtle effects of environmental and genetic factors in less common health conditions such as mental health disorders or autoimmune disease.” ...

Two of the first projects coming out of the biobank — starting in 2009 — will be a study of genetic and non-genetic contributors that increase the risk of prostate cancer in African-American men as well as a study of genetics’ involvement in bipolar disorder.

“The unequaled size and power of this biorepository will drive research that can dramatically improve the health and healthcare of millions of Americans,” said foundation CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey.

PS:  It appears that this biobank will at least be gratis OA.  If anyone has more detail on its access policy, please drop me a line or post a note to SOAF.