The Western Australian DNA Bank is a state-of-the-art national processing and long-term secure storage facility for biospecimens (including DNA, RNA, serum and plasma) that have been collected from participants of medical research projects. The WA DNA Bank itself does not recruit these participants, but processes and stores biospecimens for medical researchers who have collected a sample from consenting donors.
Initially funded by the Federal Government through the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC), the WA DNA Bank is based at two separate sites in Perth, Western Australia, which maximises the safety and security of samples. The project is led by the Centre for Genetic Origins of Health and Disease under the direction of Professor Eric Moses and is managed by Michael Epis.
A key aim of the WA DNA Bank is to facilitate access to human DNA collections in WA by the broader Western Australian and Australian research communities with appropriate ethics approval. It is hoped that bringing together large numbers of DNA samples in the state-of-the-art facilities established by the WA DNA Bank will greatly increase the opportunities for Australian researchers to access both large population-based genetic epidemiology resources and smaller research datasets held by individual research groups in Western Australia.
By encouraging more medical researchers to use the WA DNA Bank facilities, we anticipate that significant new initiatives and collaborations relevant to gene discovery, clinical and genetic epidemiology, new therapies and preventive medicine will ensue at the national and international level.