Project Description


WCHN Biomedical Research Institute

131 West Street
Danbury, CT 06810

Phone: 203-739-8379 / 203-739-8388
Fax: 203-739-8739

Dr. Sandra Lobo, Director of WCHN Biomedical Research Institute:

General Information
The vision of the Western Connecticut Health Network’s (WCHN) Biomedical Research Institute (BRI) is to advance the health of our community by performing innovative translational research currently in human cancer and Lyme disease with the goal of improving standard of patient care. BRI’s 17,000-square-facility houses state-of-the-art equipment for basic and translational research and complements ongoing clinical research, including clinical trials and epidemiologic studies, being conducted at our three partner hospitals. BRI’s open style laboratory structure encourages an environment of collaborative research where our scientists, share resources and knowledge across inter-institutional and disciplinary lines. BRI encourages scientific collaboration/partnerships with other research organizations in an effort to pioneer discovery and foster creative thinking. BRI is located at 131 West street in Danbury, Connecticut.

WCHN’s Biomedical Research Institute has several ongoing research projects which include,

Cancer – The WCHN Oncology Biorepository is a central core of our precision medicine program linking patient clinical care and genomic information to improve detection, surveillance, prognosis and treatment. Our genomics-based studies develop highly specific and sensitive, patient-tailored prognostic and surveillance biomarkers including circulating tumor DNA for gynecologic and pancreatic cancer and exosomal noncoding RNA profiles for pancreatic cancer prognosis. In addition, early cancer detection methods using ultra-deep, panel-based next generation sequencing are being developed.  Our generation of patient-derived tumor cell lines from women with gynecologic cancers allows for testing therapeutics and pursuing mechanism of action studies.

Lyme disease – BRI houses the WCHN Lyme disease repository which is a hospital-based registry purposed for use in interdisciplinary research on Lyme disease. The pathology research group at BRI has developed a direct detection PCR assay for B. burgdorferi in the blood for detecting circulating spirochete DNA. The Lyme PCR assay is currently being developed for detection of Lyme disease in its early stage. This test would provide the opportunity to confirm Lyme disease at an early stage when treatment is most effective, and hope for determining the presence or absence of B. burgdorferi at various stages of Lyme disease.

Other projects include microbiome studies, detection of early colorectal cancer and multiple myeloma.

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