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NIH Awards Coriell Institute $14M Grant to Collect, Characterize, and Distribute Cells and DNA from Hundreds of Human Genetic Diseases

CAMDEN, N.J., March 16, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Coriell Institute for Medical Research, home to the world's most diverse collection of samples from human genetic diseases and a leading center for cutting-edge scientific exploration, has won a $14 million grant, through an open competition, from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, a component of the National Institutes of Health.



The five-year biobanking grant supports the NIGMS Human Genetic Cell Repository at Coriell, a dynamic collection of more than 11,300 cell lines and 5,700 DNA samples representing a variety of disease states, chromosomal abnormalities and healthy individuals across several distinct human populations.

"The advent of faster, better and cheaper DNA sequencing is ushering in an exciting genomic era in which biobanks are more essential than ever before," says Dr. Michael Christman, president and CEO of Coriell Institute. "Biobanks with high-quality, characterized specimens are helping scientists better understand many human diseases. This collection is a powerful resource for scientists studying rare genetic diseases, like Progeria and Duchenne muscular dystrophy, as well as other disorders such as metabolic diseases and hereditary cancers."

Referenced by nearly 6,000 peer-reviewed scientific publications, the NIGMS Human Genetic Cell Repository at Coriell includes samples accounting for 890 unique diseases. Within the last year, scientists at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, the United States Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases and Harvard Medical School cited biospecimens from the NIGMS Repository while examining a prospective connection between the Ebola virus disease and Niemann-Pick Type C, an extremely rare genetic disorder.

The biobank collection also features nearly 40 induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell lines, a resource informing disease progression and treatment studies, in addition to drug discovery trials. Coriell is currently the primary international source for iPS cell lines, with lines available through the NIGMS and NINDS collections. Additionally, Coriell is partnered with the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to establish and distribute 9,000 new iPS cell lines though a new Coriell California facility.

"Coriell harnesses more than six decades of biobanking expertise and facilitates numerous research studies at medical and academic centers around the world through our various research services," says Andrew MacKnight, Coriell's Chief Strategy Officer. "Coriell's business is growing substantially as infrastructure, capacity and capability make it the go-to place for genotyping, cytogenomics, molecular biology, cell culturing and biobank services."

Samples from the NIGMS Human Genetic Cell Repository, including iPS cells, as well as a variety of Coriell research services, are available online at catalog.coriell.org.

About Coriell Institute

Coriell Institute for Medical Research is an independent, non-profit biomedical research center based in Camden, New Jersey. Founded in 1953, the Institute is a pioneer in genomics, examining the utility of genetic information in clinical care through the Coriell Personalized Medicine Collaborative (CPMC) research study (cpmc.coriell.org). Coriell is also unlocking the promise of induced pluripotent stem cells and their role in disease research and drug discovery. Additionally, the Institute continues to be recognized as the world's leading biobank, distributing biological samples and offering research and biobanking services to scientists around the globe. For more information, visit coriell.org or follow @Coriell_Science on Twitter.

A photo accompanying this release is available at: http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=31418

CONTACT: Courtney Kronenthal, PhD Director of Communications and Development ckronenthal@coriell.org (856) 757-9752

Source:Coriell Institute for Medical Research