Korea Biobank Network
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Ajou University Hospital (AJUH)
AJUH, opened in 1994, carried the medical philosophy of offering the best services to its patients and the most up-to-date information to local healthcare professionals. It aims to contribute to medical development in Korea through advanced research. Presently, the hospital sees a daily average of 1,200 in-patients and 6,000 out-patients.
AJUH has 1,187 beds, 40 specialized departments, and 30 special centers, including a local cancer center, separate centers for stomach, lung, liver, colon, gynecologic, and breast cancer, as well as a cardiovascular center and a severe trauma treatment center. It also houses a wellbeing center for health check-ups and three special clinics for nerve pain, child psychiatry, and genetics. To meet the demand of patients who wish to receive personalized treatment for individual diseases, the hospital is pioneering the Specialized Treatment Era. As the designated emergency medicine center for Southern Gyeonggi and cancer center for Gyeonggi province, AJUH fulfills its responsibilities and role as an institution of central treatment in the local community and strives to contribute to the development of the local community.
AJUH Biobank was founded as a liver and digestive system gene bank, operating as a liver and digestive system genome research center as part of the human genome project for specific disease groups conducted by the Ministry of Health and Welfare for the past 10 years. Subsequently, the Biobank has focused on using disease genome research to discover biomarkers of digestive system diseases as well as develop diagnostic and therapeutic methods using these biomarkers.
Following its selection as a local human bioresource bank in 2011 by the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Biobank’s physical and human resources were improved further to form the Ajou University Hospital Bioresource Bank. The AJUH Biobank contributes to the promotion of public health and advancement of health research by engaging in active disease research and collection, storage, and provision to researchers of quality human bioresources, together with clinical and epidemiological information, to aid research at AJUH.
The AJUH Biobank has been participating in detail task of The Chronic Cerebrovascular Disease Oriented Biobank Consortium Business Operation by the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Centers since 2016.
- December 2001: Opening of the AJUH Liver and Gastroenterology Genome Research Center
- March 2006: Opening of the AJUH Gene Bank
- March 2011: Selection of AJUH as a Regional Biobank
- December 2012: Selection for the Phase 2 of the Regional Biobank Support Project by the Ministry of Health and Welfare
- January 2013: Implementation of Phase 2 of the Korea Biobank Project
- January 2015: Implementation of Phase 3 of the Korea Biobank Project
- September 2016: Implementation of Chronic Cerebrovascular Disease Oriented Biobank Consortium Business Operation
Status of Human Bioresources
The AJUH Biobank collects human biospecimens related not only to liver and digestive system diseases but also other diseases, such as thyroid and breast cancer and brain tumor. At present, the Biobank has acquired 17,960 samples related to liver diseases from 5,039 individuals, 14,497 samples related to gastric diseases from 5,073 individuals, 4,717 samples related to intestinal diseases from 1,619 individuals, 600 samples from 300 individuals as a control group, 3,966 samples related to breast cancer from 894 individuals, 1,843 samples related to thyroid cancer from 403 individuals, 1,461 samples related to brain tumors from 308 individuals, 1,048 samples related to lung cancer from 166 individuals, 447 samples related to Beçhet’s disease from 149 individuals, and 224 samples related to other diseases from 515 individuals. In total, it stores 47,054 samples of blood, plasma, tissues, DNA, and B cell lines from 14,175 individuals. In 2016, the Biobank expanded the range of diseases covered in its collection of human biospecimens to include pancreatic and bile duct cancer and obstetric diseases, among others.
Projects and Distribution Results
AJUH Biobank has distributed human biospecimens to researchers studying liver and digestive system diseases and various cancer-related genome studies, such as those related to liver, colon, breast, and gastric cancer, as well as congenital muscular to rticollis, aging, and osteoporosis. Additionally, the Biobank constantly provides active support for other disease-related research, including 44 cases of internal distribution and 35 cases of external distribution. Through these studies, 29 Science Citation Index (SCI) research papers and 1 license have been published.
Public Relations and Future Plans
In terms of publicity, AJUH Biobank offers souvenirs for donors and leaflets for experts and the public. The Biobank distributes leaflets at various disease-related open lectures, symposia, and workshops hosted by AJUH as well as to academic societies. Online publicity is also conducted through a publicity video and other resources posted on the Biobank homepage.
Further, the Biobank regularly sends a researcher’s resource donation guide to all medical professors at Ajou University Medical Center by email. A noticeboard for medical teaching staff is available and cooperation requests are broadcast over the public announcement system.
Through these various forms of publicity, the Biobank aims to increase its level of resource collection for various diseases and its distribution to high-quality research.
Human Genome Resource Center (AJUH Biobank), Ajou University Medical Center, 164 Worldcup-ro, Yeongtong-gu, Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do, Korea (16499)
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