Cohorts & Biobanking
WAHTN has established a WA Cohorts Network to bring together well established cohorts to enhance each other through common strategies such as cross utilisation of biospecimens and data governance processes. The WAHTN Cohorts Network is developing standardised ways of collecting specimens to optimise bio-banking opportunity. WAHTN is holding workshops with Cohort users to examine potential synergies, common goals, needs, and approaches to funding and sustainability. These strategies are designed to promote collaboration between all research pillars from biomedical research to health services, between education programs (including trainees), administrators, non-governmental organisations, and end users including Government.
The five main cohort studies in WA:
• Raine Study
• Origins Project
• Busselton Health Study
• Health In Men Study (HIMS)
• Fremantle Diabetes Study
The major population and clinical cohorts are tightly curated and carefully monitored. They cover the entire lifecourse; from the 2nd trimester of pregnancy through adult life to old age.
The 5 cohorts have generated 1100 papers, (580 in the last 5 years) and attracted more than $30million funding, mostly from NHMRC. The Raine Study has conducted 10 major cohort reviews, reported in over 430 papers, and it is now able to interrogate inter-generational aspects of disease. The Busselton Health Study has biobanked over 70,000 specimens, produced over 400 papers and is linked to 32 international consortia. The HIMS is working with individuals already in their late 80’s. WAHTN has facilitated the WA Cohorts Network Executive to develop standardised processes for curating and biobanking samples, sharing ideas and developing key clinical research questions, within and between cohorts and informing end users (clinicians and consumers) of key outcomes.
WA DNA Bank:
The Western Australian DNA Bank is a processing and long-term secure storage facility for biospecimens (including DNA, RNA, serum and plasma), that may be accessed (providing appropriate ethical review) by individual researchers, thereby facilitating access to a larger DNA collection and sample number.