About the CoE

The Biobank was created as a result of external competitive funding secured by Prof. C. Deltas and his colleagues, in the form of an infrastructure Strategic Program. The program was co-funded by the Regional Development Fund of the European Union and the Republic of Cyprus through the Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation, with a total of €2mi and included the creation of the first Biobank in the country. This project was ranked first among 42 applications, in a 2-phase procedure. The Biobank was approved by the Cyprus National Bioethics Committee in 2011 to operate for the next 25 years.

In a joint partnership with the Medical University of Graz, the European Biobanking consortium BBMRI-ERIC, and the research company RTD Talos, the Molecular Medicine Center of the University of Cyprus successfully applied to the European Commission program scheme H2020-WIDESPREAD-01-2018-2019: Teaming Phase 2 and was awarded €15 million in order to further its research capacity and upgrade its medical biobanking infrastructure to match European standards.  The project is entitled:

Biobanking and the Cyprus Human Genome Project (CY-Biobank)

It is supplemented by another €15 million by the Government of Cyprus and another €8 million by the University of Cyprus for a duration of 15 years, October 1, 2019 to September 30, 2034. Amongst the objectives of the new funding is the enhancement of the biobanking activity in terms of numbers of donors and disease conditions to serve. At the same time, it is of paramount importance to implement and maintain quality management measures in order to attract interested parties to exploit the banked data and material and secure trust to research results. To this end, the quality management of the Biobank is working on satisfying the requirements for ISO 9001 and ISO 20387.

Further development of the Biobank came with the success in funding by the European Commission in the framework of program H2020-WIDESPREAD-01-2018-2019: Teaming Phase 2, for €15mi for 7 years. The project is entitled: Biobanking and the Cyprus Human Genome Project. The project is supplemented by another €15mi by the Government of Cyprus and another €8mi by the University of Cyprus for a duration of 15 years, October 1, 2019 to September 30, 2034. It aims to upgrade the current infrastructure into a Center of Excellence in Biobanking and Biomedical Research.

Director’s message

 

Dear Visitors,

Established in 2011, The Molecular Medicine Research Center (MMRC) was the first research center of the University of Cyprus (UCY) that aspired and aimed at developing front-line research on human genetic diseases and offer better prospects for diagnosis, prevention and therapy, in the framework of precision medicine. MMRC was one of nine Strategic Projects established in Cyprus thanks to successful external competitive funding from the European Regional Development Fund and the Republic of Cyprus through the Research Promotion Foundation. The project was entitled: Creation of a Kidney Specific Biobank and Infrastructure for Genomics Research [NEW INFRASTRUCTURE/STRATEGIC/0308/24].

A more recent development (April 2019) is the approval through the H2020-WIDESPREAD-01-2018-2019: Teaming Phase 2 program, for funding our scientific proposal entitled: Center of Excellence – Biobanking and the Cyprus Human Genome Project (CY-Biobank).

The central aim of the project, which started on October 1, 2019, is the upgrading of the MMRC research unit into a larger and more complete medical research infrastructure, in the heart of which is the enhancement and enrichment of the Cyprus Biobank. This Center of Excellence (CoE threafter) entitled, biobank.cy, which happens to be one of six being established in Cyprus, aspires to create the necessary tools and leverage the opportunities for next generation medical research in Cyprus, in order to be better prepared to meet the new challenges in translational research and precision medicine.

Around this infrastructure, the CY-Biobank project aims to start and complete the study of the Cypriot human genome which is going to serve as a referral instrument for many other projects concerning the rare monogenic disorders or the more frequent complex conditions of multifactorial aetiology. A common final objective is better treatments and better drugs for all patients, showing utmost respect to high scientific and ethical standards in the conduct of research.

The CY-Biobank project will enable the concentration of a critical mass of experts at the CoE who will be thrilled to establishing collaborations and offering technology infrastructure and know-how to young investigators and medical doctors who are interested in pursuing innovative research projects.  Center of Excellence biobank.cy aspires to serve as an incubator of creative ideas for research based on valid and sound scientific hypotheses. At the CoE you will find postdoctoral fellows and graduate students working side by side with UCY faculty, medical doctors and other experienced researchers, pursuing projects of translational medicine, always aimed at serving the patient.

We will be happy to talk to and invite to our premises any individual or parties interested in meeting with us and discussing on issues of common research interests. We are particularly keen to establish productive collaborations with representatives of the medical and pharmaceutical community of Cyprus.

Prof. Constantinos Deltas
Project Coordinator
Director, biobank.cy, Center of Excellence in Biobanking and Biomedical Research