The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Biorepository is operated by the Coriell Institute for Medical Research and is a critical component of the CIRM Human Stem Cell Initiative. The overall goal of this initiative is to generate, for world-wide use by non-profit and for-profit entities, high quality, disease-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). These cells are derived from human tissues such as blood or skin, and are genetically manipulated in the laboratory to change into cells that resemble embryonic stem cells. iPSCs can be grown indefinitely in the laboratory and have the remarkable capability to be converted into most of the major cell types in the body including neurons, heart and liver cells, etc. This ability makes iPSCs an exceptional resource for disease modeling as well as for therapy target identification and drug screening. The expectation is that these cells will be a major benefit to the process for understanding prevalent, genetically complex diseases and in developing innovative therapeutics.
The Coriell CIRM hPSC Biorepository, located at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato, CA, is funded through a competitive grant award to Coriell from CIRM. The Biorepository receives biospecimens consisting of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and skin biopsies obtained from donors recruited by seven California-based Tissue Collectors funded by CIRM. These biospecimens serve as the starting material for iPSC derivation by Cellular Dynamics, Inc (CDI). Under a contractual agreement with Coriell, CDI expands iPSC clones to generate sufficient aliquots of high quality cryopreserved cells for distribution via Coriell’s on-line CIRM Collection Catalog. Aliquots of frozen cell lines and iPSCs are stored in liquid nitrogen vapor in storage units at the Buck Institute with back-up aliquots stored in a Coriell off-site safe storage location.
Coriell has established a Biorepository facility at the Buck Institute and has also developed a Clinical Information Management System (CIMS) for storing all clinical and demographic data associated with enrolled subjects. Tissue Collectors utilize CIMS via a web interface to upload and edit the subject demographic and clinical information that will ultimately be made available, along with the iPSCs, via Coriell’s on-line catalog.
The CIRM hPSC Biorepository released in September 2015 the first 285 iPSCs for distribution. These lines, along with the associated clinical data, are available to scientists via the on-line Coriell catalog. The CIRM hPSC Biorepository will ensure safe long-term storage and distribution of high quality iPSCs and their associated demographic, clinical and genomic data.