The A2LA-accredited Cornell Veterinary Biobank was recently awarded a $2.5 million grant by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) to study aging in dogs, an effort that will also inform the study of aging in humans. According to an article from Cornell, their biobank was selected for the Dog Aging Project grant due in part to their ISO 20387 accreditation, granted in 2019 by A2LA. Cornell remains the only veterinary biobank in the world accredited to this relatively new standard.
The NIA is a division of the National Institutes of Health, and their Dog Aging Project is an effort to bank and study genetic samples from companion dogs to determine what factors play a part in age-related diseases. Because dogs share their environments with humans but have a much shorter lifespan, the project seeks to identify how the same environment and lifestyle factors may affect human aging and disease. A community science initiative invited dog-owners to volunteer their pets for genetic sampling, which resulted in over 80,000 volunteers. Once participants are selected, each will be asked to fill out a detailed survey and submit veterinary records to aid in the research initiative.
Cornell’s highly advanced veterinary biobank was uniquely qualified to be a partner to the NIA in this endeavor. Their role in the multi-organization project will be to process the samples and test them for quality, then to store and distribute them to researchers within the project working to answer specific questions. In addition, scientists anywhere can access the samples for other innovative projects through Cornell.
A2LA is proud to have issued Cornell Veterinary Biobank the first ISO 20387 accreditation in the world early last year, and is glad to see federal agencies such as NIA seeking partner agencies with the most relevant forms of ISO accreditation. For biobanks in particular, third-party accreditation is a key differentiator. For more information on ISO 20387 and A2LA’s accreditation program for biobanks, view our program page.