COVID-19 research: biobank call to action
The UKCRC Tissue Directory and Coordination Centre (TDCC) is coordinating biobanking efforts to support research into COVID-19. We are working to support active biobanks in releasing samples to researchers, whilst recognising that some biobanks are redirecting resources to support COVID-19 efforts or are working reduced hours or working remotely during this unprecedented time.
Collectively, researchers will require thousands of samples from across the UK to advance COVID-19 research. Demand is high so we want to maximise the value of available samples, coordinating collaboration where appropriate. In addition, we want to ensure that active biobanks aren't inundated with requests; ensuring they receive requests which are relevant for their collections and capabilities. We have created a process to manage this. Firstly, by utilising biobank expertise in refining researchers' requests, and secondly, by tailoring our email communications so that requests go to biobanks with the relevant capabilities.
Calls to action:
Help us refine researchers' requests & identify opportunities for collaboration
The UKCRC TDCC is using an online form to collate requests from researchers who require human tissue samples for their research. The requests are varied and include samples from existing collections (uninfected donors), as well as samples from COVID-19 patients. It is important to refine these requests to ensure we make best use of a limited number of samples, whilst also identifying opportunities for collaboration. To ensure all requests optimise use of samples, we are seeking support from biobanks in refining these requests. Any biobank listed on the UKCRC Tissue Directory is invited to share their expertise in providing recommendations on these requests. Please either email us to discuss how you can support this, or list your capability via the online form.
Record your biobanks' capabilities
We are grateful to the many biobanks that have already responded and completed our online form to log their capabilities. Any biobank that has not yet completed this can do so here. The UKCRC TDCC will use the information submitted on this form to tailor our communications with you.
It is important to note that you do not need to be actively collecting at this time in order to contribute to this research. Existing sample collections, from November 2019 onwards, will be valuable in some research projects.
To find out more about the UKCRC TDCC's work in coordinating access to COVID-19 samples, visit our webpage, dedicated LinkedIn page, or follow us on Twitter.