More than a century ago, Austrian monk Gregor Mendel cross-pollinated thousands of pea plants to draw links between genetic and phenotypic traits. Despite the numerous innovations in biology since, associating genetic changes to phenotypes still requires a large number of samples to derive statistically robust conclusions. Genomics Collaborative Inc. has positioned itself to fill the growing demand by establishing a repository of human tissue and DNA samples.

CEO Michael Pellini said the company was founded on the premise that the convergence of high throughput technologies and the mapping of the human genome would result in a mounting need for "access to well phenotyped and appropriately consented DNA and tissue samples" for use in studies correlating genes to disease.