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Researchers from Intermountain Healthcare have announced a long-term prospective study that has the potential to help physicians and researchers to unlock genomic data.

The approved study, called PRECISE, allows for serial collection of fresh-tissue and blood specimens for research purposes. 

Unlike a retrospective study, often designed around a specific disease type and objective, PRECISE allows researchers to create a diverse biobank of varied sample types that serve as a hypothesis-generating resource for future precision health initiatives and transcends all medical disciplines. “PRECISE is the instrument that allows researchers to investigate more efficiently, apply new technology and increase analytic capabilities that only fresh-frozen tissue can provide,” says Bryce Moulton, Clinical Research Director for Precision Genomics at Intermountain Healthcare. 

Principle Investigator of the study, Tyler Barker, PhD, explains: “Through the robust patient populations and resources at Intermountain, PRECISE will provide new opportunities to address a diverse range of research questions and expedite the research process in a consistent and efficient manner,” explains principal investigator of the study, Tyler Barker, PhD. 

“The multi-disciplinary nature and prospective design of PRECISE will be a challenge and require a tremendous amount of teamwork, but in the end, the pragmatic results will advance our knowledge regarding precision health and medicine initiatives,” he adds. 

 

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To accomplish the objectives of the PRECISE, this system-wide study will collect samples from healthy individuals and patients with disease treated at Intermountain Healthcare. Genomic data from PRECISE will be linked to clinical outcomes for correlative studies. 

Historically, tissue samples are stored in Formalin-fixed, Paraffin-embedded (FFPE) blocks. FFPE tissue samples are invaluable resources for profiling gene expression and studying a variety of diseases and will be further utilized in PRECISE.

“For genomic analysis, where we are looking at DNA, we find that FFPE sometimes proves difficult. A superior method is fresh-frozen, stored in a minus 80-degree freezer. With fresh-frozen samples, we are able to preserve, and better analyze DNA, RNA and other cellular components that researchers may not otherwise have access to,” notes Moulton. 

Tissue analysis from PRECISE will take place at the Translational Science Center in St. George, Utah, yet the recruitment, enrollment, and sample collection is across all of Intermountain Healthcare. 

If you are a physician or researcher looking to participate in this study, please contact Bryce Moulton or Tyler Barker for further information (435) 251-5780

 

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