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Doha Itani, M.D., resident in Pathology, left, and Cindy Vnencak-Jones, Ph.D., professor of Pathology, peer into the SmaRTStore “vault” where frozen DNA samples will be stored. (Photo by Anne Rayner)

SmaRTStore to open at VUMC

BY: BILL SNYDER

7/29/2010 - A ribbon was cut Wednesday to celebrate installation of a $1 million robotic system that will store and handle samples for BioVU, Vanderbilt University’s DNA databank.

The “SmaRTStore,” manufactured by RTS Life Science of Manchester, England, can store more than 400,000 frozen DNA samples, and uses bar-code technology to track them. It is being installed in the basement of Medical Center North, in a new collaborative shared resource designed to accelerate discoveries in genome science and personalized medicine.

Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs, left, and Dan Roden, M.D., assistant vice chancellor for Personalized Medicine, explore the new machine. (Photo by Anne Rayner)

Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs, left, and Dan Roden, M.D., assistant vice chancellor for Personalized Medicine, explore the new machine. (Photo by Anne Rayner)

Currently researchers can access more than 90,000 unique DNA samples stored in BioVU’s temporary quarters in the High-Throughput Screening Core in the Robinson Research Building. Later this month the samples will be moved to the SmaRTStore, which will be operated by the DNA Resources Core. Researchers will be able to retrieve samples from the new system by early September. The shared resource also will house the DNA Sequencing Facility, Flow Cytometry Core and the Functional Genomics Shared Resource Core.

For more information about the SmaRTStore, contact Cara Sutcliffe, manager of the DNA Resources Core, at cara@chgr.mc.vanderbilt.edu.

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