(Left) Harry Hawkins, Manager Newborn Screening Laboratory, observes Biobank assistants Gabe La More (front) and Gregory Garrod as they prepare residual neonatal dried blood spot cards for shipment to the Michigan Neonatal Biobank
The Michigan Biotrust for Health
was established to make the Michigan Department of Community Health's archive of dried blood spots available for approved research. The Michigan Neonatal Biobank ("Biobank") is a storage and management facility for the archive of dried blood spot cards. The Biobank’s roots are planted in the State’s Newborn Screening Program which began in 1965 in the Department of Community Health. Newborn screening is a public health program required by Michigan law to find babies with rare but serious disorders that require early treatment. A few drops of blood taken from the baby’s heel are sent to the State Public Health Laboratory and are tested for 49 disorders. Each year more than 200 Michigan babies are found to have a disorder detected by Newborn Screening.
Once screening in the State laboratory is complete, residual dried blood spot samples that are no longer needed for testing are each assigned a unique code which assures anonymity for the sample and its donor. The samples are then sent for storage in the Michigan Neonatal Biobank. A 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization, the Biobank is contracted to serve as the repository for storage and management of the samples in a temperature controlled facility at Wayne State University's Biobanking Center of Excellence in Tech Town.
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