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Cleveland Clinic and Brooks Automation Open State-of-the-Art BioRepository

The facility, the first new building in the Cleveland Innovation District, will be located in the Fairfax neighborhood and house 400 freezers for biological samples that will advance research.


Cleveland Clinic and Brooks Automation have opened a BioRepository that will increase the storage capacity for biological samples at Cleveland Clinic and enhance researchers’ study of human tissue samples to speed the translation of laboratory discoveries into new treatments for patients.

Located on Cedar Avenue in Cleveland’s Fairfax neighborhood, the Cleveland Clinic BioRepository is the first building to open in the recently announced Cleveland Innovation District, a public-private partnership to transform Northeast Ohio into an economic engine for biomedicine. The initiative brings the State of Ohio, JobsOhio and Ohio Development Services Agency together with Cleveland’s healthcare and higher education institutions to create jobs, accelerate research and educate the workforce of the future.

The 22,000-square-foot ultra-cold and cryogenic storage facility will house 400 freezers for biological samples that will be used in research projects at Cleveland Clinic, partner institutions and the life science research community. The facility is managed by Brooks’ recently re-branded life sciences division now called Azenta Life Sciences, which provides sample exploration and management solutions with secure sample and material storage facilities across the United States and around the world.

“Biobanking is essential for the evolution of personalized medicine for conditions such as heart disease, cancer and epilepsy,” said Serpil Erzurum, MD, Cleveland Clinic’s Chief Research & Academic Officer and Chair of Lerner Research Institute. “This technologically-advanced BioRepository in the heart of the new Cleveland Innovation District will enable research that allows us the knowledge to provide the best care for all people as part of Cleveland Clinic’s mission: caring for life, researching for health, educating those who serve.”

“The safe and efficient storage of biological samples is an integral part of the research process allowing researchers to focus on breakthroughs in areas such as personalized medicine and therapeutic development,” added Sarah Eckenrode, PhD, Vice President of Sample and Repository Solutions at Azenta Life Sciences. “The onsite sample biorepository standardizes sample collection, processing and storage protocols to increase scalability and efficiencies for Cleveland Clinic’s high-value collections of biological material.”

All patient information will be stored in a secure environment to protect patient confidentiality using state-of-the-art customized systems for superior analytics and informatics capabilities. Specimens will be linked to electronic medical record data to analyze the course of diseases and treatments.

The BioRepository also will serve as a community resource to improve awareness of ongoing research and career opportunities in the medical field. The BioRepository features the Research Access Center, where members of the local community can learn more about medical research and participation. The community room also will serve as an educational resource for students in the Fairfax community to meet and interact with healthcare professionals to learn about careers in medicine, the health professions and health sciences.  

“The Research Access Center is a key part of the BioRepository and aims to ensure that our research serves diverse populations, addresses health disparities and helps us educate a diverse next generation of researchers,” said Dr. Erzurum.

Visit the Cleveland Clinic Newsroom to read the full press release.

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