Van Andel Research Institute (Michigan) researchers have developed a method that can yield more information from archived newborn blood that has implications for a vast array of research, including population health studies and answering questions about diseases in infants and children.  

In a study published in Pathology International, Van Andel researchers detected approximately 9,000 activated genes in samples from adult blood spots on Guthrie cards that had been archived anywhere from six months to three years. Their modified method uses commercially available tools and can be easily adopted by others in the scientific community for use on newborn blood spots.


Genetic material in blood from Guthrie cards has been presumed to be degraded because of varying storage conditions.  Showing that mRNA is reasonably well preserved in archived filter paper blood spots, whether frozen or not, opens up a very important avenue for clinical and translational research.  “Genetic information from Guthrie cards is a valuable resource,” said former Van Andel Distinguished Scientific Investigator Jim Resau, Ph.D.  “It opens doors to examine risk factors and potentially diagnose diseases before the clinical features are present.”

Bulletin Board

  • The next meetings of the Community Values Advisory Board are scheduled for May 5 and September 8, 2014.

  • Michigan Neonatal Biobank has in excess of 2 million dry blood spot cards in inventory.

  • We thank the Carls Foundation for grants awarded to the Michigan Neonatal Biobank over the past three years.  Their generosity supported the expansion of the Biobank inventory.  

  • Nine Biobank Assistants have been accepted to Medical School during the past three years and six others are preparing for careers in medical related fields.

  • The Michigan Neonatal Biobank is a member of ISBER.

  • Seven research studies are currently using dried blood spots provided by the Michigan Neonatal Biobank. The studies center on some of the most intractable health issues for children: congenital heart defects, autism, cerebral palsy, spinal muscular atrophy and sudden infant death syndrome.

  • The Michigan BioTrust for Health is the Michigan Department of Community Health’s initiative to make leftover newborn screening samples more useful and available for approved medical or public health research.

  • The NIEHS announced  NOT-ES-14-002, a Notice of Intent to Publish an FOA for Children’s Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Centers (P01). Research teams that plan to respond to this RFA may find the samples at the MNBB to be a valuable core resource for a Center application.

?Visit us in both 1244 at the APHA Boston conference November 3 – 6.

Name: APHA Boston

Title: APHA Boston

Date: 10-28-13


♦Visit us in both 1244 at the APHA Boston conference November 3 – 6.

Biobank Images

2,000,000 blood spots 5

Funding Opportunities

fox2 allen nancy interview
FOX 2 Al Allen interview with Nancy Christ

Mike Brennan, Editor and Publisher interviews Michigan Neonatal Biobank Director Nancy Christ