Scientific Results: Purpose, Partnership, and Possibilities: The Implementation of the Dog Aging Project Biobank

February 24, 2023 - 6 minutes read

Posts in our Scientific Results series introduce recent papers published in the scientific literature by members of the Dog Aging Project research team. Follow this series to learn more about the scientific questions we’re asking, the kinds of results we’re getting, and what it all means for you and your dog.

Who worked on this research?

Lara Mouttham
Marta Castelhano
Dog Aging Project Consortium

Where was it published?

Biomarker Insights

What is this paper about?

In this paper, we describe the partnership between the Dog Aging Project and the Cornell Veterinary Biobank (CVB) at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine to create the Dog Aging Project Biobank, a resource that stores and distributes biospecimens collected from Precision and TRIAD cohort participants.

The involvement of the Cornell team at the early stages of the design and planning was key to the success of the Dog Aging Project Biobank. Using the foundation that Cornell University has laid down for the past 16 years, coupled with the cumulative experience of the international biobanking community, has enabled the development of appropriate workflows and the processing of fit-for-purpose biospecimens. In other words, the biobank preserves the samples’ integrity and ensures its value and usability.

In addition, the incorporation of novel resources created additional opportunities and a potential model of sustainability for other biobanks. These resources included the expertise of a quality assurance manager to oversee QA/AC activities, and of a marketing and communications manager to increase awareness and utilization of samples, and a biobank pilot grant structured to fund small, innovative research projects, prioritizing trainees and early-career investigators at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to promote diversity in this field of science.

What do these results mean for me and my dog?

Dog Aging Project participants whose dogs are enrolled in Precision or TRIAD can rest assured that the biological samples collected from their dogs are treated with the utmost care from the moment of collection through to being banked at the Dog Aging Project biobank.

The scientific rigor and “culture of quality” practiced by the Cornell Veterinary Biobank—the first biobank to ever achieve an ISO 20387 accreditation—extends to the Dog Aging Project Biobank. This is not only important to scientific research but also to preserve the valuable contributions our participants are making to help improve the healthspan, the period of life spent in good health and free of chronic disease, of dogs and people.

The Dog Aging Project Biobank understands that every sample has the potential to help advance medical research and life-saving therapies. The samples received from the Precision and TRIAD cohort members along with data from the Health and Life Experience Survey are carefully stored and made available for distribution to researchers working toward a better future for dogs and their humans!


Where can I learn more?

Mouttham L, Castelhano MG, Akey JM, et al. 2022. Purpose, Partnership, and Possibilities: The Implementation of the Dog Aging Project Biobank. Biomarker Insights. 2022;17. doi:10.1177/11772719221137217



Biobanks have been supporting longitudinal prospective and retrospective studies by providing standardized services for the acquisition, transport, processing, storage, and distribution of high-quality biological material and associated data. Here, we describe how the Dog Aging Project (DAP), a large-scale longitudinal study of the domestic dog (Canis familiaris) with translational applications for humans, developed a biobank of canine biospecimens and associated data.

Design and methods:

This was accomplished by working with the Cornell Veterinary Biobank, the first biobank in the world to receive accreditation to ISO 20387:2018—General Requirements for Biobanking. The biobank research team was involved in the early collection stages of the DAP, contributing to the development of appropriate workflows and processing fit-for-purpose biospecimens. In support of a dynamic strategy for real-time adjustment of processes, a pilot phase was implemented to develop, test, and optimize the biospecimen workflows, followed by an early phase of collection, processing, and banking of specimens from DAP participants.


During the pilot and early phases of collection, the DAP Biobank stored 164 aliquots of whole blood, 273 aliquots of peripheral blood mononuclear cells, 130 aliquots of plasma, and 70 aliquots of serum, and extracted high molecular weight genomic DNA suitable for whole-genome sequencing from 109 whole blood specimens. These specimens, along with their associated preanalytical data, have been made available for distribution to researchers.


We discuss the challenges and opportunities encountered during the implementation of the DAP Biobank, along with novel strategies for promoting biobanking sustainability such as partnering with a DAP quality assurance manager and a DAP marketing and communication specialist and developing a pilot grant structure to fund small innovative research projects.