Claire O Connell in today's Irish Times is writing about a group of Medical Research hospitals that have come together to create a shared database, to further research.
Now a new initiative is linking cancer biobanks between hospitals in Dublin, Cork and Galway.
As she says herself: The word “bank” might be somewhat tainted these days, but how about this more altruistic model: depositors donate, the “currency” helps fuel biomedical research and the end results can lead towards improved therapies for patients.
“Biobanking is saving biological samples such as human tissue, blood or urine, for research purposes,” explains Prof Eoin Gaffney, a consultant histopathologist at St James’s Hospital and Trinity College Dublin.
The process looks straightforward on the surface – but “It’s no use just storing samples, you need to have a good annotated database that tells you where the samples are and what types of samples they are, as well as pathological data and clinical data,” he says.
This is another example of how sharing data, but not just raw data, but data that has been made meaningful by researchers in the field, can enrich research for all