Coriell Scientists Awarded ISBER’s Inaugural Best Paper Award


The International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) recently recognized a team including Coriell Institute for Medical Research scientists for an article detailing the development of a novel microsatellite, or MSAT, assay to ensure proper sample identification while doing the utmost to maintain donor protections.

ISBER awarded this team its inaugural ISBER Best Paper Award for the team’s article Microsatellite Markers in Biobanking: A New Multiplexed Assay which was published in the journal Biopreservation and Biobanking in October 2021. The authors of the paper include Gretchen Smith, Debra Mathews, PhD, Samuel Sander-Effron, Deborah Requesens, PhD, Nahid Turan, PhD, and corresponding author Laura Scheinfeldt, PhD.

In the past, scientists relied on the same assay of MSATs used in the Combined DNA Index System (or CODIS), a national DNA database used by law enforcement agencies, in the rare cases when a standard six-marker assay was insufficient to authenticate biological samples. Though not connected in any way to CODIS, and protected by a National of Institutes of Health Certificate of Confidentiality the use of the index’s MSATs could raise privacy concerns for potential sample donors.

This team used samples from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) Human Genetic Cell Repository and the National Institute on Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) Human Genetics Resource Center, both housed at Coriell, to develop and validate this novel, supplementary assay of MSATs that does not use the same markers used by law enforcement.

In awarding this team the Best Paper Award, ISBER said “this practical and useful assay has wide applicability to human biobanks, offering a fast and cost-effective way to establish a biospecimen genetic profile.”

ISBER’s Best Paper Award is selected by a committee of five editors and selection is based on article “qualities including both originality/novelty of the research and its potential applications in any biopreservation and biobanking fields.”

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