Sustainability in a Hospital-Based Biobank and University-Based DNA Biorepository: Strategic Roadmaps

Catherine Y. Seiler, Jennifer Eschbacher, Robert Bowser, Joshua LaBaer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Sustainability in the biobanking community has recently become an important and oft-discussed issue as biorepositories struggle to balance limited external funding and complex cost recovery models with high operating costs and the desire to provide the highest quality materials and services to the research community. A multi-faceted view of biobanking sustainability requires consideration of operational and social sustainability in addition to the historical focus exclusively on financial sustainability. Planning and implementing this three pillar model creates a well-rounded biorepository that meets the needs of all the major stakeholders: the funders, the patients/depositors, and the researcher recipients. Often the creation of a detailed business plan is the first step to develop goals and objectives that lead down a path towards sustainability. The definition of sustainability and the complexity of a sustainable business plan may differ for each biorepository. The DNASU Plasmid Repository at Arizona State University stores and distributes DNA plasmids to researchers worldwide, and the Biobank Core Facility at St. Joseph's Hospital and Barrow Neurological Institute consents patients and collects, stores, and distributes human tissue and blood samples. We will discuss these two biorepositories, their similar and different approaches to sustainability and business planning, their challenges in creating and implementing their sustainability plan, and their responses to some of these challenges. From these experiences, the biobanks share lessons learned about planning for sustainability that are applicable to all biorepositories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)401-409
Number of pages9
JournalBiopreservation and Biobanking
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Cell Biology


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