Center of Excellence’s Research Activities
Heading towards a next generation research: paving the way for personalized medicine
The Director of the Center, in collaboration with his many colleagues in Cyprus and abroad, have done pioneering ground-breaking studies in the field of inherited kidney disorders in the past, with local and international impact. Currently, the new Biobank.cy CoE is expanding its activities in the direction of other clinical entities. In doing so, it is developing the Biobank of Cyprus, as a major medical research infrastructure, in order to create high quality patient registries and sample repositories for general use in research studies.
The material collected and archived in the Biobank is typically DNA (from peripheral blood, or saliva, or other sources), plasma, serum, urine and a biopsy (renal or other, when available), along with demographic and medical information of the participating volunteers. All participants are informed by one of the medical doctors or other qualified research personnel and sign an informed consent form, which has been approved by the Cyprus National Bioethics Committee (document EEBK3). All medical records and biological material are kept under secure conditions at a specially prepared Biobank suite with absolute confidentiality and protection of sensitive data of personal character, in compliance with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Access to the data requires a password which is provided by the Coordinator to authorized personnel and collaborators. Similarly, access to the biological material is under the approval of the Coordinator and the Biobank Manager. There are several research projects in progress, combining molecular and cell biology approaches, clinical and molecular genetics, while a major research activity pertains to the characterization of a mouse model for Alport Syndrome. A general overarching aim is the understanding of the molecular and cellular processes that cause disease, thereby hoping to achieve better diagnosis, prevention and therapy of disease.