The Western Australian DNA Bank (WADB) is a national processing and long-term secure storage facility for biospecimens (including DNA, RNA, serum and plasma) that have been collected from donors who have participated voluntarily in one or more medical research projects. The WADB itself does not recruit these donors, but processes and stores biospecimens for medical researchers who have collected a sample from consenting donors.
The project, initially funded by the Federal Government through the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC) and currently by the University of Western Australia and NHMRC, provides scientists with a state-of-the-art facility to process and store DNA, RNA, serum and plasma samples needed to undertake critical medical research into common diseases such as cancer, schizophrenia and heart disease.
The WADB brings together large numbers of DNA samples under one roof in a highly secure way, and because of this, it is of extraordinary value to the nation's scientific community. By helping to aid Australian researchers' access to larger collections of DNA samples, which can often be expensive and time consuming to collect, the outcomes of their studies are likely to be more reliable, therefore having an increased impact on the health of our community.
It is also be an important tool for current and future large population-based studies in WA, such as the existing Western Australian Family Study of Schizophrenia and the Australian Inherited Retinal Disease Register and DNA Bank. Click here for a list of collections currently maintained by the WA DNA Bank.
The initiative, which builds upon pre-existing facilities, is based at two separate sites in Perth, Western Australia, which maximises the safety of the DNA samples. The project is led by the Centre for Genetic Origins of Health and Disease under the direction of Winthrop Professor Eric Moses and is managed by James Lim.