Hamilton BiOS® Automated Sample Storage System to be Installed at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

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Will store 3.5 million biospecimens, including over 150,000 aliquots from 25,000 participants, as part of the Biobank for Microbiome Research in Massachusetts joint collaboration

Franklin, Mass. (September 14, 2017) – Hamilton Storage announces that their Hamilton BiOS® automated storage system was selected for use in the Biobank for Microbiome Research in Massachusetts (BIOM-Mass) project; a collaborative effort between Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (Harvard Chan School), Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). Funds from the $4.9 million grant, awarded by the Massachusetts Life Science Center, were used towards acquiring the BiOS system, which is expected to be installed and operational by early 2018, and will store 3.5 million samples.

The project is co-led by Dr. Eric Rimm, Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition and Director of the Cardiovascular Epidemiology program at Harvard Chan School and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School; Dr. Wendy Garrett, Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at Harvard Chan School and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School; Dr. Curtis Huttenhower, Associate Professor of Computational Biology and Bioinformatics at Harvard Chan School; and Dr. Andrew Chan, Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Associate Professor of Medicine, Gastroenterology, at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Associate Professor, Channing Division of Network Medicine, at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Dr. Rimm commented, “BIOM-Mass will be one of the country’s largest microbiome collections on a well-phenotyped population. It’s an exciting project, because the horizon is broad and deep; it opens the door to invaluable information that can benefit our understanding and approach towards human health and diseases.”

BIOM-Mass will expand the research capacity and potential of Massachusetts’ dynamic life science ecosystem. “BIOM-Mass will create a state-of-the-art facility and integrated platform allowing the Massachusetts life science community to collect, use, and analyze microbiome-targeted biospecimens in human populations,” according to Dr. Huttenhower.  Dr. Garrett added, “The state of Massachusetts is a hub for microbiome-based research and development, and BIOM-Mass will expand academic and industry innovation in this field. I am excited about the partnerships that this facility will make possible, and the opportunities to advance public health.”

Matt Hamilton, President of Hamilton Storage summarized, “We are proud to partner with these preeminent institutions, to support BIOM-Mass, and to know that Hamilton Storage continues to contribute towards understanding and improving human health.”

BIOM-Mass aims to create the world’s most comprehensive human microbiome specimen collection, which can be used to understand the impact of the human microbiome on health and a variety of disease states, ranging from asthma and inflammatory bowel disease, to cancer, heart disease and more. Samples from more than 25,000 individuals will be cataloged and stored in the BiOS system, including those enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study II, established in 1989, along with other long-running cohort studies.

The Hamilton BiOS automated storage system has storage capacity of over 10 million samples at a constant temperature of –80ºC, with a full audit trail and temperature log for each stored sample. A wide variety of labware types may be stored and picked without temperature fluctuations that could degrade samples. 1-D and 2-D barcode reading increase sample tracking convenience, and BiOS interfaces with IT infrastructure and laboratory information management systems (LIMS) for complete automation of sample management.