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What is a Hispanic biobank?

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An increasing number of people in the United States identify as Hispanic. This has the medical community looking closely at diversifying information and samples that can be applied to a wider audience of patients.

Dr. Richard O. White, MD, a Mayo Clinic community-based internal medicine physician, says biobanks, including the Jax Saludable Biobank, are shaping the future of medicine.

More accurate medical examinations, targeted therapies and procedures, are the product of medical research. This research and the goal of improving health begins with a sample, often stored in a biobank.

“A biobank is really a biological repository, which is a collection of biosamples: blood and saliva samples,” says Dr. White.

Biobanks targeting Hispanic donors help researchers study genes or other types of information in order to better understand the growing Hispanic population and apply the knowledge.

“The really ideal candidate is anyone who self-identifies as Hispanic or Hispanic, is over 18, and is interested in providing information on biosamples that can be used in future research to help advance science,” says Dr. White.

Submitting a sample to the biobank is simple and pain-free.

“A buccal swab of a DNA sample is really like taking a Q-tip and wiping the inside of the mouth,” says Dr. White. “Providing a blood sample is like just checking your cholesterol or checking your blood sugar at your doctor’s office.”

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© 2022 Mayo Clinic News Network.

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