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Latino Daily News

Tuesday September 24, 2013

Mayo Clinic Launches Biobank to Help Solve Latino Chronic Health Issues

Mayo Clinic has again broadened the base of its genomic research efforts by establishing a biobank at its Arizona campus, which will support studies in obesity, metabolism and diabetes, all areas of special concern in the Latino population. The Sangre por Salud Biobank is a collaboration among Mayo, Mountain Park Health Center and Arizona State University. Biobanks are an integral component of Mayo’s Center for Individualized Medicine.

“We want to do everything we can to involve the Latino population in biomedical research so we can focus on their specific health issues and better represent an accurate sampling in our biobank,” says Lawrence Mandarino, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic Biobank director in Arizona.

A goal of the biobank is to offer research opportunities to patients from Mountain Park Health Center, which operates several clinics in the greater Phoenix area. While the biobank will support all types of medical studies, a special emphasis will be given to projects on cardiometabolic risk and obesity—the single largest health burden to the population. Patients, ages 18 to 85 are enrolled regardless of their health background.

Patients may join the biobank only after being fully informed about the biobank procedure and purpose, and signing a consent document. The biobank allows researchers to use the genomic resource in the future, instead of seeking samples and consent for each project. The goal is to enroll 2,000 Mountain Park participants over the next four years, and already over 100 have enrolled.

The Biobank began on Mayo’s Rochester, Minn. campus in 2009. A Florida component added last year has an enrollment goal of 5,000. Nationally, the goal is to have 50,000 participants by 2016, including 5,000 from the Mayo Clinic Health System.

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