"High quality samples are critical for translational research. The Northern Ireland Biobank (NIB) underpins the research activities of the Molecular Pathology programme at QUB and the PMC and has already provided retrospective materials and bespoke collections that have allowed industry to carry out discovery and validation of products currently in the market."
Dr Jackie James, Director NI Biobank
NIB is ethically approved to prospectively collect high quality, well annotated tissue cohorts (tumour and non-tumour control tissues) with matched bloods and bodily fluids from appropriately consented patients. In addition, for approved studies NIB facilitates access to defined collections of formalin fixed paraffin embedded tissues held in cellular pathology archives of local NI Health & Social Care (HSC) Trusts. These NIB retrospective collections can be used to create novel resources including DNA libraries and custom built tissue microarrays. Close working relations exist between NIB, the NI HSC Trusts and the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry to ensure all NIB samples are linked with reliable de-identified clinical and pathological information, including long term clinical follow up information.
NIB operates in compliance with all legal, ethical and governance requirements for the use of human tissue in research. NIB has a robust quality management system which includes standard operating procedures based on best available evidence and/or internationally recognised standards; competency based training for staff; a regular programme of audit; and participation in external quality assurance programmes and proficiency testing schemes. NIB is a member of the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER); the European Society for Biobanking and Biopreservation (ESBB) and is registered with the UK Clinical Research Collaboration’s Tissue Directory and Coordination Centre. NIB is funded primarily by the Health and Social Care (HSC) Research and Development Division (R&D) of the Northern Ireland Public Health Agency and in part by Friends of the Cancer Centre charity.
Further information on the NI Biobank can be found here.
1. Lewis C, Salto-Tellez M, McArt D, James J et al. European Journal of Cancer. 2016 67:191-199
2. Lewis C, James J et al. Open Journal of Bioresources. 2018 5:9
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