ProMedica and The University of Toledo are collaborating on a new biorepository -- a "bank" that stores patient blood and tissue samples for medical research.
Officials from both institutions say the Academic Health Center BioRepository will help researchers improve treatments for cancer, autism, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, and other conditions.
The biorepository stores leftover blood and tissue from patient tests and biopsies.
Patients must consent to allowing their material, called biospecimens, to be used and the samples are anonymous. The material is catalogued and stored, to be used by scientists.
"This allows us to do more effective research," said Jeffrey Gold, UT chancellor, executive vice president for biosciences and health affairs, and dean of the UT Medical Center, the former Medical College of Ohio.
The biorepository is up and running, located at ProMedica's Toledo Hospital in the department of pathology. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was Wednesday morning.
ProMedica CEO Randy Oostra said he believes the collaboration will strengthen the system's ability to compete for research dollars.
In 2010, UT and ProMedica entered into the Academic Health Center alliance to strengthen ties between the two organizations.
Under the agreement, UT manages and oversees academic endeavors across the ProMedica system under the guidance of a joint board made up of representatives from ProMedica and UT.
The two institutions collaborate on research, grants, and residency programs, as well as fellowship, clerkship, nursing, pharmacy, and continuing education.
Ann Arbor and Columbus also have biorepositories.