ARMONK, N.Y. and CAMDEN, N.J., July 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that Coriell Institute for Medical Research, the largest biobank of living human cells, is using IBM technology to advance its research of human genetic disease and to more efficiently maintain its massive collection of biological resources.
As a result, Coriell can now better protect millions of genetic samples while also increasing its capacity to manage the volume of data generated by analyzing the genomes of large and diverse populations needed to examine the causes of critical diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
As a vital player in modern biomedical research, Coriell manages cryogenic freezers that can house up to 48,000 samples and which may experience a mechanical failure while in use. In the past, response teams had only been alerted in the event of a total failure of the unit requiring the staff to quickly move the biological samples to a standby unit. With the implementation of IBM monitoring software, Coriell researchers are now instantly alerted in advance to quickly respond before any mechanical failure occurs and in turn, protect the integrity of the sample.
Coriell's 'Big Data' challenge
Scientists from major research centers around the world draw upon Coriell's diverse collections of biomaterials, which contain cell lines, DNA, and other samples, representing more than half of approximately 4,000 known genetic diseases. In addition, Coriell is exploring advancement in personalized medicine using one's genetic information to tailor individual patient medical care while ensuring an individual's privacy.
"The healthcare industry is placing greater emphasis on the use of genetic information in making medical decisions," said Scott Megill, Coriell's Chief Information Officer. "As a leader in genomics