October 7, 2021/News Releases

Cleveland Clinic and Brooks Automation Open State-of-the-Art BioRepository in Fairfax Neighborhood

Project includes research access center for community and public art installation; first new building in the Cleveland Innovation District

Media Downloads

images: 5

video: 3

audio: 0

text: 0

Content is property of Cleveland Clinic and for news media use only.

Cleveland Clinic BioRepository

Cleveland Clinic and Brooks Automation have opened a biorepository that will increase the storage capacity for biologic samples at Cleveland Clinic, while enhancing researchers’ study of human tissue samples to more rapidly translate laboratory discoveries into new treatments for patients.

Located on Cedar Avenue in Cleveland’s Fairfax neighborhood, the Cleveland Clinic BioRepository is the first building to open in the recently announced Cleveland Innovation District, a public-private partnership aimed at transforming Northeast Ohio into an economic engine for biomedicine.

The initiative brings the State of Ohio, JobsOhio and Ohio Development Services Agency together with Cleveland’s healthcare and higher education institutions to create jobs, accelerate research and educate the workforce of the future.

The 22,000-square-foot ultra-cold and cryogenic repository will store biological samples that will be used in research projects at Cleveland Clinic, partner institutions and the life science research community. The facility is managed by Azenta Life Sciences, Brooks’ recently re-branded life sciences division, a provider of sample exploration and management solutions with secure sample and material storage facilities across the United States and around the world.

From left to right: Linda De Jesus, Senior Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer, Azenta Life Sciences; artist Jacolby Satterwhite; Tom Mihaljevic, M.D., Cleveland Clinic CEO and President; Blaine Griffin, City of Cleveland councilman; and Serpil Erzurum, M.D., Chief Research and Academic Officer, Cleveland Clinic.

“Biobanking is essential for the evolution of personalized medicine for conditions such as heart disease, cancer and epilepsy,” said Serpil Erzurum, M.D., Cleveland Clinic’s Chief Research and Academic Officer. “This technologically advanced biorepository in the heart of the new Cleveland Innovation District will enable research that allows us the knowledge to provide the best care for all people as part of Cleveland Clinic’s mission: caring for life, researching for health, educating those who serve.”

“The storage of biological samples safely and efficiently is an integral part of the research process allowing researchers to focus on breakthroughs in areas such as personalized medicine and therapeutic development,” added Sarah Eckenrode, Ph.D., Vice President, Sample and Repository Solutions, Azenta Life Sciences. “The onsite sample biorepository standardizes sample collection, processing and storage protocols to increase scalability and efficiencies for Cleveland Clinic’s high-value collections of biological material.”

Specimens stored in the biorepository will be linked to electronic medical record data to analyze the course of diseases and treatments.

All patient information will be stored in a secure environment to protect patient confidentiality, using state-of-the-art customized systems for superior analytics and informatics capabilities. Specimens will be linked to electronic medical record data to analyze the course of diseases and treatments.

The biorepository also will serve as a community resource to improve awareness of ongoing research and career opportunities in the medical field. The biorepository features the Research Access Center where members of the local community can learn more about medical research and participation. The community room also will serve as an educational resource for students in the Fairfax community to meet and interact with healthcare professionals to learn about careers in medicine, the health professions and health sciences.

“The Research Access Center is a key part of the biorepository and aims to ensure that our research serves diverse populations, addresses health disparities, and helps us educate a diverse next generation of researchers,” said Dr. Erzurum.

The biorepository also features a unique outdoor public art installation, titled “Dawn,” by internationally renowned multimedia artist Jacolby Satterwhite. Developed in collaboration with residents of the surrounding Fairfax neighborhood, Satterwhite created a 3D-animated virtual reality video to be displayed on a screen embedded in a freestanding wall covered with artist-designed wallpaper. In addition to the screen outside the biorepository, the public can view the video on smartphone devices.

Satterwhite’s work is inspired by the solace he found in video game fantasy worlds during his childhood hospitalization with osteogenic sarcoma. The source material for the animation comes from Fairfax residents and Cleveland Clinic caregivers.

With the assistance of a community facilitator, participants were asked to create a sketch or brief text describing a utopic future for the neighborhood. Those contributions were transformed by Satterwhite and used in the video to create a tribute to residents’ observations, hopes and dreams that will serve as a lasting link to the community. This project was commissioned by Cleveland Clinic in collaboration with FRONT International, with community support from Karamu House.

Geis Companies was the builder of the Cleveland Clinic BioRepository and GLSD Architects, LLC was the architect.

Media Contacts:

Cleveland Clinic: Alicia Reale, 216.408.7444 realeca@ccf.org

Cleveland Clinic: Angela Smith, 216.318.6632 smitha19@ccf.org

Brooks Automation: Roula Ginis, 774.284.3442 roula.ginis@brooks.com

About Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland Clinic – now in its centennial year – is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 70,800 employees worldwide are more than 4,660 salaried physicians and researchers, and 18,500 registered nurses and advanced practice providers, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic is a 6,500-bed health system that includes a 173-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 19 hospitals, more than 220 outpatient facilities, and locations in southeast Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2020, there were 8.7 million total outpatient visits, 273,000 hospital admissions and observations, and 217,000 surgical cases throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 185 countries. Visit us at clevelandclinic.org. Follow us at twitter.com/ClevelandClinic. News and resources available at newsroom.clevelandclinic.org.

About Brooks Automation
Brooks (Nasdaq: BRKS) operates two global, market-leading businesses, Life Sciences and Semiconductor Solutions, each with its own distinct area of focus and expertise. The Life Sciences business, to be operated under the new Azenta brand, provides a full suite of reliable cold-chain sample management solutions and genomic services across areas such as drug development, clinical research and advanced cell therapies for the industry's top pharmaceutical, biotech, academic and healthcare institutions globally. On September 20, 2021, the Company announced the pending sale to Thomas H. Lee Partners of its Semiconductor Solutions Group business, which provides industry-leading precision vacuum robotics, integrated automation systems and contamination control solutions to the world's leading semiconductor chip makers and equipment manufacturers as well as collaborative robotics and automation capabilities for multi-market applications. Brooks is headquartered in Chelmsford, MA, with operations in North America, Europe and Asia. For more information, please visit www.brooks.com.

Editor’s Note: Cleveland Clinic News Service is available to provide broadcast-quality interviews and B-roll upon request.

Latest from the Newsroom