- McGowan Government announces recipients of Biobank Interim Support Program
- 16 WA biobanks receive grants totalling more than $1.5 million
- Funding will assist transition to a new WA biobanking model
- Program supported by the Future Health Research and Innovation Fund
The McGowan Government has announced grants worth more than $1.5 million to support 16 Western Australian biobanks while a new State biobanking model is being developed.
The financial boost was made available through the Biobank Interim Support Program 2021, which is supported by the Government's Future Health Research and Innovation Fund.
Biobanking, once called tissue banking, is the storing of biological samples for future research.
Biobanks provide a valuable resource for health and medical research, storing samples that can be used to answer important questions using new technologies long after the samples were taken.
The 16 grant recipients were selected through a competitive merit-based process with each biobank meeting criteria for excellence and engagement with the community.
Recipients include the Busselton Health Study Biobank, which received $252,981. It is overseen by the Chair of the Busselton Population Medical Research Institute, Clinical Professor Alan James, whose research involves respiratory diseases and how these are associated with environmental and genetic risk factors.
Busselton Health Study data has been used by researchers to map the changing prevalence of diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease, and to develop mathematical models to study disease risk factors in a population.
Other recipients include the Harry Perkins Institute DNA Biobank, which was awarded $189,985; with the ORIGINS Biobank and Telethon Kids Cancer Centre Biobank, both administered by the Telethon Kids Institute on behalf of the Centre for Child Health Research at The University of Western Australia, awarded $170,735 and $156,535 respectively.
The complete list of grant recipients is available on the Future Health Research and Innovation Fund website.
Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook:
"The McGowan Government is committed to driving health and medical research through the Future Health Research and Innovation Fund.
"Biobanking might not be a term all Western Australians are familiar with, but it's something we can all benefit from.
"Samples donated by people directly to a biobank or through a research study are collected, stored and catalogued according to best practice processes, ensuring these biospecimens can be used in important future research.
"The 16 recipients of the Biobank Interim Support Program 2021 were selected as part of a competitive merit-based process and are highly regarded in their fields and the community.
"The grants, which total more than $1.5 million, will support these biobanks while a new WA model is developed."
Minister's office - 6552 6500