Our History

The Coriell Institute for Medical Research – originally known as South Jersey Medical Research Foundation and then as the Institute for Medical Research– was founded by famed virologist Dr. Lewis L. Coriell in 1953. Dr. Coriell was a scientific pioneer, making invaluable contributions to biomedical research through advances in aseptic cell culture techniques and cryopreservation of cell lines.

The ability to sustain living human cells in culture – and keep them from being contaminated – led to a key breakthrough in polio research: it enabled scientists to grow the polio virus and work toward the first vaccine. But perhaps Dr. Coriell’s most enduring legacy was his generosity in knowledge and his ability to bring scientists together to explore research questions and collaborate on solutions.

Today, Coriell's mission is to accelerate scientific discovery by generating world-class biomaterials and conducting groundbreaking research in biobanking, personalized medicine and stem cell biology.

Our mission to understand human genetic disease is being pursued on several fronts. The Coriell Personalized Medicine Collaborative® (CPMC®) research study is seeking to understand the usefulness of genetic information in clinical care. We are also building upon our history in cell biology by playing an important role in induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) research. And Coriell’s biobank manages the world’s most diverse collection of cell lines, DNA, and other biomaterials gathered and distributed for use by the international biomedical research community. In fact, in 1960 Coriell was one of the first two official cell banks recognized by the National Institute of Health.

At Coriell, we approach each day with an entrepreneurial energy and confront challenges with agility and focus. Staff and scientists collaborate on ideas that support our shared vision. By taking these scientific ideas and turning them into medical advances, Coriell’s innovation today is a testament to its pioneering past. More importantly, Coriell’s innovation today is a commitment to your future.