Expanded Biorepositories now include children

With the help of generous volunteers, BRI scientists have been able to move autoimmune and immune-mediated disease research forward. Since 2000, more than 15,000 participants have provided medical histories and donated over 300,000 blood samples to support BRI scientists in their fight against disease.

The valuable and confidential information donated has allowed researchers to follow individuals and families over several decades. While most participants are adults, we are now inviting children of all ages, who do not have an autoimmune disease, to donate a blood sample.

3 reasons why kids are crucial:

1.Kids have Diseases

“BRI researchers are studying both food allergy and type 1 diabetes, which are mainly diagnosed in children. In diabetes research, we are interested in what makes the immune system different in people with diabetes compared to people without diabetes,” explains Cate Speake, PhD, BRI staff scientist.  

2.The Immune System Changes

To better understand the immune system, BRI scientists compare the differences between people with and without disease.  As people age, the immune system becomes more complicated.  In children, the immune system has been altered less by the environment.  For that reason, it is important to study the immune system of kids.

Children can develop and outgrow diseases, like allergies, by the time they reach adulthood, so it’s important to study them before symptoms appear and disappear. This makes it equally critical for researchers to also have a comparison sample from children and adults without that allergy.

3.Helping Friends

“Children might have a sibling with a peanut allergy or a friend with type 1 diabetes, or they might not know anyone with a disease. Whether they have a personal relationship or not, all children can help sick kids by donating a blood sample to help move research forward,” explains Gina Marchesini, BRI’s translational research manager. BRI is dedicated to finding better treatments and cures for diseases, and science can only be conducted when generous children and adults donate biological samples.

For more information or to volunteer, please call 206-287-5624 or email, biorepository@BenaroyaResearch.org.

Fighting Diseases

October 2, 2017

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