The MIREC Biobank

Sharing the knowledge

About the

The MIREC Biobank represents one of the most comprehensive sources of information on pre- and postnatal exposure to environmental chemicals for both mothers and their children.

The Biobank stores all the data and biospecimens from consenting participants collected since the inception of MIREC. The scope of the data and biospecimens makes the Biobank a significant resource for examining possible health effects of exposure to environmental chemicals during pregnancy, infancy, childhood and adolescence.

What can be found in
the MIREC Biobank?

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Through a rigorous application process, researchers can request access to the banked data, which includes the participants’ responses to questionnaires, laboratory results and physical measurements collected since the beginning of MIREC, to explore new research questions on the health of mothers and their children. To be granted access, the research question has to be in line with MIREC’s scientific objectives, meet the highest ethical standards, and be approved by the MIREC Biobank management committee. This committee is made up of scientific experts and MIREC researchers. To protect the privacy and confidentiality of participants, the Biobank identifies participants by a unique code. Names and addresses are NOT stored in the Biobank.

Participants are free to consent or not to the Biobank component at the time of recruitment.

Throughout the years, we have measured hundreds of substances in the biospecimens provided to us by our participants, resulting in an impressive list of laboratory results.

Learn more about our data and see how MIREC compares to similar studies around the world HERE

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When a participant consents to the Biobank component, any biospecimen that was not used for the planned laboratory analyses is stored in the Biobank, and available for future research. The banked biospecimens include blood, urine and hair from mother and child, as well as cord blood, meconium, maternal milk and baby teeth.

Researchers may request access to banked biospecimens, to analyze new compounds of interest. These laboratory results will then be added to the Biobank and be available for new research. The banked biospecimens therefore represent a precious source of future data on mothers and children.

Every biospecimen is labeled with a barcode and securely stored. Currently, we have 22 freezers set to minus 80 °C, which hold over 300,000 small tubes containing biospecimens from our participants, identified by a unique code (no names are stored in the Biobank).

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Security and storage

Security is a top priority, therefore only select staff may enter our freezer room, which requires biometric (fingerprint) access. Video surveillance inside and outside the room allows 24/7 monitoring. We also have an alarm system and on-call staff to address any freezer malfunctions.
Our banked biospecimens are a precious nonrenewable resource. We pride ourselves on the measures we have put in place to ensure the safety and security of the biospecimens our participants have generously provided us throughout the years.

More information will be
added to this section as it
becomes available

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