Tampa General Hospital and USF Health Advance Scientific Collaboration in Tampa's Water Street District
The biorepository enhances the study of human tissue and cancer research, leading to laboratory discoveries and new patient treatments.
TAMPA, Fla., Oct. 21, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Tampa General Hospital (TGH) and USF Health is announcing the opening of the TGH | USF Health Precision Medicine Biorepository. The Health Precision Medicine Biorepository is a secure facility that collects, catalogs and stores samples of biological material for medical research.
“The biorepository will drive leading-edge scientific collaboration with the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine that offers new advanced technology and innovative care to our patients. The addition of the biorepository further elevates our cancer institute program as a key anchor in the Tampa Medical and Research District that will continue to attract renowned physicians and tech partners,” said John Couris, president and CEO of Tampa General Hospital. Spanning the Tampa metro area, the medical and research district empowers future-thinking institutions to originate, grow and improve the overall health and health equity of the Tampa Bay region and the entire state.
A biorepository is like a high-tech library where researchers, physicians and scientists can access donated samples and correlating data for scientific study. Patients give permission for broad investigational use of their donated specimens and, to protect patient confidentiality, all genomic data is securely stored and only shared with other secure systems.
“USF Health and Tampa General continue to expand our alliance to provide cutting-edge health care and innovative research for the Tampa Bay region and beyond,” said Dr. Charles Lockwood, executive vice president for USF Health and dean of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. “Our work through the biorepository allows for enhanced collaboration among researchers and clinical teams, to facilitate clinical and translational research projects.” The goal of translational research is to move basic science discoveries more quickly and effectively into practice.
“The biorepository bridges lab-based surgical research investigators at USF and elsewhere to active clinical programs at the TGH Cancer Institute to learn how genetics, lifestyle and the environment affect health to improve our treatments and prevent diseases,” said Dr. Matthew Anderson, professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and associate director for shared resources, TGH Cancer Institute.
Biorepositories advance scientific research in many ways including through the sharing of data for cancer tumor sequencing – learning the exact order of chemical building blocks that make up a tumor’s DNA and result in the formation of tumors.
“The TGH-USF Health Precision Medicine Biorepository is a key facet of the infrastructure that powers major academic medical centers like Tampa General and USF Health,” said Dr. Eduardo M. Sotomayor, director of the TGH Cancer Institute. “It enables scanning, tracking and management of individual specimens as they move in and out of the biorepository facility, creating a robust inventory management system for the entire TGH Cancer Institute team and USF cancer surgical researchers.”
In addition to sequencing, the TGH-USF Health Precision Medicine Biorepository allows for investigational work in the field of precision medicine or pharmacogenomics. Precision medicine uses information specific to a patient’s genes or proteins to prevent, diagnose or treat disease. Pharmacogenomics is the study of how gene mutations and patient DNA can affect the way a patient responds to medications, including cancer therapies.
“DNA sequencing and pharmacogenomics (how genes affect a patient’s response to drugs) are two expanding fields of cancer research,” said Dr. Abraham Schwarzberg, senior vice president and chief of TGH Cancer Institute. “Sequencing provides us the keys to unlock cancer tumor genomics or DNA. Pharmacogenomics helps us tailor more effective, safer cancer treatments for our patients.”
Specimens are stored in an ultra-cold cryogenic repository that was specifically developed for the biorepository. It is accessed by researchers conducting a variety of scientific projects across multiple medical specialties, notably those at TGH Cancer Institute and USF Health who are working to advance cancer treatments and care.
The biorepository is located at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute, 560 Channelside Drive in downtown Tampa. The building also features a TGH urgent care center and USF Health, as well as an executive wellness program in collaboration with USF Health.
The biorepository was made possible in part by a grant from the TGH Foundation’s Bruemmer Women’s Leadership Circle (BLC). The philanthropy group supports various hospital programs and initiatives throughout the year and is enthusiastic about supporting health care and the community.
For more information about the TGH Cancer Institute, visit www.tgh.org/cancer.
Tampa General Hospital, a 1,040-bed, not-for-profit, academic medical center, is one of the largest hospitals in America and delivers world-class care as the region’s only center for Level l trauma and comprehensive burn care. Tampa General Hospital is the highest-ranked hospital in the market in U.S. News & World Report’s 2022-23 Best Hospitals, and is tied as the third highest-ranked hospital in Florida, with seven specialties ranking among the best programs in the United States. Tampa General Hospital has been designated as a model of excellence by the 2022 Fortune/Merative 100 Top Hospitals list. The academic medical center’s commitment to growing and developing its team members is recognized by two prestigious Forbes magazine rankings – first nationally in the 2022 America’s Best Employers for Women and sixth out of 100 Florida companies in the 2022 America’s Best Employers by State. Tampa General is the safety net hospital for the region, caring for everyone regardless of their ability to pay, and in fiscal year 2021, provided a net community benefit worth more than $224.5 million in the form of health care for underinsured patients, community education, and financial support to community health organizations in Tampa Bay. It is one of the nation’s busiest adult solid organ transplant centers and is the primary teaching hospital for the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. With six medical helicopters, Tampa General Hospital transports critically injured or ill patients from 23 surrounding counties to receive the advanced care they need. Tampa General houses a nationally accredited comprehensive stroke center, and its 32-bed Neuroscience, Intensive Care Unit is the largest on the West Coast of Florida. It also is home to the Jennifer Leigh Muma 82-bed neonatal intensive care unit, and a nationally accredited rehabilitation center. Tampa General Hospital’s footprint includes 17 Tampa General Medical Group Primary Care offices, TGH Family Care Center Kennedy, TGH Brandon Healthplex, TGH Virtual Health, and 21 TGH Imaging powered by Tower outpatient radiology centers throughout Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas and Palm Beach counties. Tampa Bay area residents also receive world-class care from the TGH Urgent Care powered by Fast Track network of clinics, and they can even receive home visits in select areas through TGH Urgent Care at Home, powered by Fast Track. As one of the largest hospitals in the country, Tampa General Hospital is the first in Florida to partner with GE Healthcare and open a clinical command center that provides real-time situational awareness to improve and better coordinate patient care at a lower cost. For more information, go to www.tgh.org.
USF Health’s mission is to envision and implement the future of health. It is the partnership of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, the College of Nursing, the College of Public Health, the Taneja College of Pharmacy, the School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, the Biomedical Sciences Graduate and Postdoctoral Programs, and USF Health’s multispecialty physicians’ group. The University of South Florida is a high-impact global research university dedicated to student success. Over the past 10 years, no other public university in the country has risen faster in U.S. News & World Report’s national university rankings than USF. For more information, visit health.usf.edu.
TGH Media Contact: Beth Hardy, APR
Senior Communications Specialist
(813) 844-8725 (direct)
USF Health Media Contact: Sarah Worth
Director of Communications
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SOURCE Tampa General Hospital