By Absolomon Kihara
Table of Contents
Storage of samples in the Biorepository
Transfer of sample ownership to the Biorepository
Costs of storing samples in the Biorepository
Factors to consider while collecting or arranging biological samples which will later be stored in the Biorepository:
The primary mandate of the Biorepository is to offer long term storage platform for biological materials being collected by different projects. The Biorepository has acquired enough liquid nitrogen (LN2) Freezers which are used to store biological samples. In addition it has acquired a liquid nitrogen (LN2) extraction plant with a capacity of generating 21 liters of LN2 per hour. This alongside the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS), which is maintained in the unit that tracks all the samples stored in the system, makes the Azizi Biorepository and ideal location to store biological samples.
The Biorepository maintains the samples on behalf of the institute. Any use of the institute samples is regulated by the institute research management committee (IRMC) which evaluates any requests for samples.
In addition to the institute’s samples, there are other samples owned by different ongoing projects and their use is regulated by the projects’ management committees.
The Biorepository maintains all the institute’s samples on an open access policy. This means that all the samples in the Biorepository which belongs to the institute and are maintained by the institute can be used by anyone (outsiders included) subject to IRMC approval and all their metadata is publicly accessible from the Biorepository home page, http://azizi.ilri.org/. The samples metadata includes results which have been incorporated into the samples. These samples have an accompanying material transfer agreement (MTA), which regulates the future use of the samples and the associated data.
The samples belonging to the different projects are owned by their respective projects and the projects bear the costs of maintaining the samples. The samples and their respective metadata are NOT publicly accessible and are held as closed access unless when the project’s management committee decides to specifically open access to the samples and the metadata.
Once a project ends or in the middle of a project, the project’s management committee may decide to transfer the ownership of the samples and the accompanying data to ILRI and effectively to the Biorepository. The institute assumes the ownership of the samples and start bearing the cost of maintaining the samples. This transfer is accompanied by a material transfer agreement (MTA) which regulates any future use of the samples. The MTA becomes part of the sample’s metadata and is shared whenever the sample metadata is accessed or the sample is shared out.
The Azizi Biorepository operates of a full cost recovery basis, meaning that it must cover all operational costs and staff related costs. As of 2015, we charge USD 34 per box per year.