Biobank to aid disease prediction and diagnosis
A collaboration between CSIRO, Monash University, Melbourne University, the Australian National University and the Menzies Research Institute (Tasmania), the ASPREE Healthy Ageing Biobank Cluster will establish a biobank of blood samples collected from over 10,000 healthy elderly Australians.
As cases of disease arise amongst the volunteers, researchers will be able to use blood samples stored in the Biobank for case-control studies. Samples will be compared from subjects with and without a particular disease, allowing researchers to discover and develop diagnostic tests for age-related disease and disability, and to investigate factors that may contribute to healthy ageing.
The Biobank will complement the ASPREE (ASPirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly) clinical trial – a separate clinical study examining whether routine use of low-dose aspirin will delay the emergence of a range of chronic disorders including cancers, vascular disease, and dementia in a cohort of 12,500 Australian and 6,500 US healthy volunteers aged 70 and over. The ASPREE trial is being funded by the National Institutes of Health in the USA.
According to the head of the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University, Professor John McNeil, the Biobank – together with the matched data being collected in the ASPREE Clinical Trial – will provide an internationally significant and invaluable resource.
“It will enable researchers to conduct a broad range of future basic and translational biomedical research including disease biomarker discovery and validation,” Professor McNeil said.
A senior researcher at CSIRO’s Preventative Health Flagship, Dr Trevor Lockett, said CSIRO is particularly interested in using the Biobank to aid its research into improving the methods used to diagnose colorectal cancer, Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases and obesity-related disorders.
The Cluster will be launched at 10.30am in the Treetops functions facility at Melbourne Museum.