Background: The availability of high quality well annotated biological and environmental specimens for research
purposes requires the development of standardized methods for collection, processing, long-term storage,
retrieval and distribution of specimens that will enable their future use for research.
For this reason the NIH (in 2013) together with Makerere University established the Integrated Biorepository of
H3Africa in Uganda (IBRH3AU) is a state of the art facility for sample collection, processing, storage, retrieval
and distribution for genomic research for the H3Africa Consortium and other researchers. The overall goal of
this proposal is to enable us align our existing activities with the timelines of the recently awarded and
or renewed H3Africa projects, while expanding our scope, including environmental samples, and
ultimate sustainability. Four specific aims are contingent to this goal, viz (i) continue to offer biorepository
services (sample collection and or receipt, processing, storage, retrieval and shipment) to H3Africa projects and
other researchers, (ii) expand our sample base beyond Nucleic acids to include other-types and environmental
samples, (iii) Scale up and consolidate the sustainability plan, and (iv) Put-in-place an amenable biospecimen
succession plan for the destiny of H3Africa samples.
Approach: (a) Quality controlled and assured biorepository services will be offered as per ISBER best practices
and standards, in line with H3Africa Data and Biospecimen Accession (DBAC) policies, (b) In addition to existing
and implemented protocols for genomic analyses (DNA from blood spots, RNA, etc.), microbiome analyses
(vaginal, nasal, fecal swabs, etc.), HIV or other infectious disease research (PBMC processing, viral loads, viral
sequencing, CD4/CD8 counts, immunological assays, etc.), Biomarker analyses, More Protocols, Standards
and Practices will be developed and implemented including for appropriate storage for measures of
environmental exposures (tobacco smoke, toxic metals, metalloids, and mineral nutrients, metabolites of
pesticides, toxins from mold, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon metabolites, volatile organic compounds, etc.) (c)
Through continued implementation of our business plan to ensure sustainability, and (d) through consultations
and consensus, devise an amenable succession plan for the funders, H3Africa consortium, and IBRH3AU.
Contribute to biorepository policy guidelines
Stimulate genomic/genetic research
A facility of well annotated quality controlled biospecimen accessible through an online catalog
Biorepository science and management trainings.
Explore value addition to stored samples