More than 300 employees and patients of the Mount Sinai Health System recently gathered in the Guggenheim Atrium to celebrate the 30,000th participant in the BioMe Biobank. The Biobank collects de-identified DNA and plasma used for a variety of research purposes from consenting patients.
The celebration took place on Thursday, April 24, National DNA Day, as participants gathered around a giant cake in the shape of a DNA double helix that was covered in a sweet gray fondant. One side of the cake was chocolate and raspberry and the other side was vanilla and strawberry. Two-hundred-fifty test tubes filled with cranberry juice were made to resemble the tubes of blood that are collected from BioMe participants. When patients agree to participate in the Biobank program, their extracted genetic material is linked to their electronic medical records. Their DNA and plasma is frozen and banked until it is selected for a variety of patient-centered, institutional review board-approved research projects, with the ultimate goal of creating personalized treatments.