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NDRI launches project to support Lyme disease research


The National Disease Research Interchange (NDRI) is partnering with the Bay Area Lyme Foundation and its National Lyme Disease BioBank to build a system for collecting and banking a diverse group of biospecimens for use by the Lyme disease research community.

The project focuses on collecting diverse tissues from donors infected with Borrelia bacteria, which causes Lyme disease, along with extensive clinical information from donors, such as symptoms, demographics, and history of Lyme disease. These biospecimens will help scientists understand how the Borrelia bacteria multiply throughout the body, causing symptoms that affect the joints and the nervous and cardiovascular systems. NDRI has already completed the first successful recovery of tissues from a donor referred by the Lyme Disease BioBank.

Drawing on its expertise in developing researcher-driven post mortem human tissue donation programs and its own national biospecimen recovery network, NDRI will work with the Lyme Disease BioBank leadership on a plan to collect authorized tissues such as muscle, skin or bone. This collaboration will focus on establishing uniform best practices for identifying, authorizing, recovering, storing and shipping these important research biospecimens across multiple institutions. NDRI’s work will complement the Lyme Disease BioBank’s current blood and blood product biospecimen collection.

Lyme Disease BioBank will store biospecimens and distribute them to Lyme disease researchers, who will examine patients’ medical histories to understand the disease progression and the specific effects the bacteria has on a variety of tissue types.

About NDRI

The National Disease Research Interchange (NDRI) is the nation’s leading source of human tissues, cells and organs for scientific research. A not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) organization founded in 1980, NDRI is funded in part by the National Institutes of Health, public and private foundations and organizations, and pharmaceutical and biotechnology corporations. NDRI is a 24/7 operation that partners with a nationwide network of more than 130 tissue source sites, including organ procurement organizations, tissue banks, eye banks, and hospitals. These sites are distributed throughout the United States, with concentrations in major metropolitan areas on both coasts.

About Bay Area Lyme Foundation

Bay Area Lyme Foundation is the largest 501(c)(3) public charity funder of Lyme research. It was founded in 2011 by a team of Silicon Valley residents who had intimate experience with Lyme disease as patients, caregivers and/or family members. The foundation focuses on funding and fostering innovative research to accelerate the development of new diagnostics and treatments for Lyme disease by creating new partnerships and collaboration among research institutions, clinical practices and the public and private sectors, and by attracting new talent and ideas from other fields to the perplexing study of Lyme disease. Learn more at www.bayarealyme.org.

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