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UAE to open robotic biobank

by Dubai Forum
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A collaboration between Al Jalila Foundation, Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU) and Dubai Health Authority (DHA), is set to advance medical research in the areas of genetic disorders, cancer and other chronic diseases and pandemics in the UAE.

Opening in 2023, with a capacity to manage seven million specimens, a new robotic biobank will be one of the world’s largest in terms of sample capacity. The facility will be located at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Medical Research Institute, part of Al Jalila Foundation, in Dubai Healthcare City.

A biobank is a place to store all types of human biological samples, such as blood, tissue or cells.

It also stores data related to the samples as well as other biomolecular resources that can be used in health research.

Biobanks have become an important resource in medical research, supporting many types of contemporary studies like genomics and personalised medicine, and the development of diagnostics and therapeutics.

The centre will support the new Hamdan Bin Rashid Cancer Charity Hospital and other healthcare facilities in the UAE to conduct research and offer effective treatment.

Al Jalila Foundation is investing AED17 million to build the state-of-the-art facility. An automated, robotic, Artificial Intelligence based system will ensure biological samples are secured in cryogenic storage, below 80 Celsius.

It’s expected to attract collaboration opportunities with key healthcare authorities and partners across the region and globally, supporting pioneering biomedical research and accelerating medical discoveries.

It will operate to the best practices in biobanking and adhere to the highest compliance regulations and ethical standards for the collection, processing, storage and analysis of biological samples and data for research into genetic and environmental factors that impact on human health and disease, while patient confidentiality will be a priority in line with UAE’s laws and regulations.

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