Biospecimen Bank Provides Infrastructure for Research

January 7, 2012

Innovate Women & Infants, Winter 2012 IssueInnovate Women & Infants, a quarterly publication of Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine, profiled the Women and Infants Health Specimen Consortium in the Winter 2012 issue.

Of the consortium’s founding by Drs. Kelle Moley, MD, Ann Gronowski, Phd, and Marwan Shinawi, MD, the article explains:

From the beginning, Gronowski and Moley were committed to establishing a large bank of specimens collected from all stages of pregnancy. In fact, the two women’s complementary skill sets played a significant role in the foundation of WIHSC and its ongoing success. Thanks to her practice in obstetrics and gynecology, Moley had connections to physicians in those fields and understood what was needed to achieve patient enrollment. Gronowski’s research in the field of pathology gave her particular insight into the collection and storage of specimens.

The article further points out that WIHSC principal investigators have served as facilitators for much of the research that makes use of WIHSC samples, assisting with study design and also providing access to samples that most researchers would not otherwise have.

WIHSC is unusual in its ability to offer researchers access to its biospecimen bank without requiring specimen deposits to replace ones that are retrieved. Because it collects and processes new samples daily, the repository’s reserves are never depleted.

Even as early as 2012, the article notes that WIHSC had made a significant impact on the breadth and quality of research in pregnancy and other women and infants health topics:

Since its inception, WIHSC has significantly changed the landscape of translational research in women and infant health at Washington University, providing resources to the departments of pathology, pediatrics, and obstetrics and gynecology, and supporting research in areas not historically connected with reproduction, including the departments of anesthesiology, social work, molecular microbiology, developmental biology and internal medicine, and the Washington University Brown School of Social Work. The consortium has supported research in a wide variety of women’s health issues, including infertility, pre-eclampsia, recurrent pregnancy loss and preterm delivery, as well as gynecologic pathologies such as endometriosis and sexually transmitted infections.

Read the full article online (see pages 6 and 7).