Biobanks are a key prerequisite for modern medical and epidemiological research. The biobank, which is supervised by the Molecular Epidemiology Unit, is the basis for current and future projects involving the analyses of biological materials. It offers the possibility to supplement exposure assessment through use of questionnaires and expert reviews with measurements of biological material. Currently the biobank contains more than 100,000 blood, urine and saliva samples as well as tissue materials from epidemiological field studies.

The samples and DNA collected in various studies are increasingly being used for the investigation of genetic, environmental and life-style associated factors in the aetiology and prognosis of cancer and other chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

In future, biobanks will continue to increase in importance for epidemiological research. Modern, high-throughput molecular-genetic and bio-chemical methods for the analysis of biological materials should, in collaboration with cooperating laboratories, be implemented to exploit new possibilities for phenotyping. This allows for the planning of future-oriented and long-term research projects in genetic and molecular epidemiology.

The existing high standards of quality assurance measures, data and sample management and quality should be further pursued so that the quality of the samples is guaranteed over decades, and to enable networking with other national, as well as international, biobanks.


Boakye, Daniel, Dr.
Tel.: +49 (0)421 218-56823
Fax: +49 (0)421 218-56821

Böhm, Saskia
Tel.: +49 (0)421 218-56851
Fax: +49 (0)421 218-56756

Günther, Kathrin, Dr.
Tel.: +49 (0)421 218-56825
Fax: +49 (0)421 218-56821

Niß, Patricia
Tel.: +49 (0)421 218-56851

Schaap, Denis
Tel.: +49 (0)421 218-56851
Fax: +49 (0)421 218-56821

Schwarz, Heike, Dr.
Tel.: +49 (0)421 218-56824
Fax: +49 (0)421 218-56821