Cell lines developed by scientists at The Wistar Institute in Philadelphia have recently been made available to researchers around the globe through the catalog collection at the Coriell Institute for Medical Research of Camden, N.J.
The collaboration means that scientists at a variety of research organizations can access biological materials developed at Wistar for use in the development of vaccines and treatments for cancer and other deadly diseases.
“We are pleased to make these valuable materials widely available to the research community through the Coriell Biobank,” said Russel E. Kaufman, M.D., president and CEO of Wistar. “This collaboration with Coriell, who is a leader in the storage and distribution of biological materials, means that some of the key tools used in the potentially lifesaving work of Wistar scientists will be made available worldwide.”
The initial Wistar collection to be distributed by Coriell includes hybridoma cell lines that produce monoclonal antibodies that measure people’s exposure to influenza viruses and response to vaccines. These cell lines were developed over the course of 30 years by renowned influenza researcher Walter Gerhard, M.D., who retired from Wistar in 2007. The monoclonal antibodies produced by these cell lines are useful in the development of vaccines against a variety of influenza strains, including pandemic influenza, Kaufman said.
Wistar and Coriell also are working to add melanoma cell lines developed in the laboratory of Wistar researcher Meenhard Herlyn, D.V.M., D.Sc., to the Wistar collection at Coriell. Cell lines amassed by Herlyn represent one of the most comprehensive melanoma cell line collections in the world, Kaufman said, and may be useful in developing drugs to treat melanoma and other cancers.
“Coriell is pleased to partner with The Wistar Institute and bring together the knowledge, talents and vision of two established institutions that are international leaders in basic biomedical research,” said Michael Christman, Ph.D., president and CEO of The Coriell Institute. “Through this partnership we will further expand the distribution of cell lines to researchers who are working to discover cures for diseases and improve healthcare worldwide.
“Our hope is that this new partnership to house and distribute these cell lines is only the beginning of further collaborative work to support biomedical research and improved public health.”
The Wistar Institute is an international leader in biomedical research, with special expertise in cancer research and vaccine development. Founded in 1892 as the first independent nonprofit biomedical research institute in the country, Wistar has long held the prestigious Cancer Center designation from the National Cancer Institute. Discoveries at Wistar have led to the creation of the rubella vaccine that eradicated the disease in the U.S., rabies vaccines used worldwide, and a new rotavirus vaccine approved in 2006. Wistar scientists have also identified many cancer genes and developed monoclonal antibodies and other important research tools. Today, Wistar is home to eminent melanoma researchers and pioneering scientists working on experimental vaccines against influenza, HIV, and other diseases threatening global health. Wistar works actively to transfer its inventions to the commercial sector to ensure that research advances move from the laboratory to the clinic as quickly as possible. The Wistar Institute: Today’s Discoveries – Tomorrow’s Cures. On the web at www.wistar.org.
About Coriell Institute
The Coriell Institute for Medical Research is an internationally known, non-profit, biomedical research institution headquartered in Camden, NJ. Founded in 1953, the Institute conducts research on cancer, human genetic variation, mechanisms of cellular differentiation, and other genetic disorders. Coriell is the world’s leading biobank resource for human cells and recently established a state of the art genotyping and microarray center. The Delaware Valley Personalized Medicine Project was initiated by Coriell’s new President and CEO, Dr. Michael Christman, and is a major focus of the Institute.