General information

Name Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure
Acronym BBMRI
Last update 09/20/2011

Principal investigators

M. Taussig (Biomolecular Resources – WP4)
Babraham Bioscience Technologies
C. Bréchot (Funding and Financing – WP 7)
Mérieux Alliance
M. Griffith (Stakeholder Forum Chair)
Leena Peltonen (Governance Council Chair/Dr.)
Sanger Institute
G.-J. van Ommen (Scientific and Ethical Advisory Board Chair)
Leiden University Medical Centre
U. Landegren (Biomolecular Resources – WP4)
Uppsala Universitet
Anne Cambon-Thomsen (Ethical, Legal and Societal Issues – WP6)
E. Vuorio (Executive Manager)
University of Turku, Finland
T. Meitinger (Disease-oriented biobanks – WP3)
GSF-National Research Centre for Environment and Health
Georges Dagher (Funding and Financing – WP 7)
Andres Metspalu (Population-based biobanks /Prof.)
EGP, University of Tartu
Jan-Eric Litton (Databases & Biocomputing – WP5)
Karolinska Institutet
Martin Yuille (Coordination/ Dr.)
University of Manchester
Markus Pasterk (Global Interactions/Dr.)
Kurt Zatloukal (Coordination Board Chair/Dr)
Medical University of Graz
Erich Wichmann (Disease-oriented biobanks – WP3/Professor)
Helmholtz Zentrum München, Institute of Epidemiology, D-85758 Neuherberg


Kurt Zatloukal (Coordination Board Chair/Dr)
Medical University of Graz
Graz A-8036
Phone: +43-316-380-4404
Michaela Mayrhofer (Assistant to the BBMRI Coordinator)
Medical University of Graz
Graz A-8036
Phone: +43-316-380-7656




The sequencing of the human genome, completed at the dawn of the 21st century, allows researchers to integrate new data on genetic risk factors with demographic and lifestyle data collected via modern communication technologies. The technical prerequisites now exist in Europe for merging large volumes of molecular genetic data obtained by using new high throughput DNA analysis platforms with clinical, epidemiological and national health registry data.

Following the rapid progress in genomics research of humans and their ancestors, biomedical and health research has expanded from the study of rare monogenic diseases to common, multifactorial diseases. Innovative, high-throughput technologies are widely expected to enable a better dissection of these complex, causally heterogeneous diseases into more homogeneous subgroups, which is a requirement for the advancement of personalised medicine. A sharper, biology-based definition of disease categories will enhance the development of more effective treatment, reduce undesired side effects of new treatments, improve success in clinical trial design, and will lead to new concepts of disease prevention. Elucidation of complex disease aetiology is challenging because causation arise from - not one - but from a large number of small, often additive effects, representing the outcome of genetic predisposition, lifestyle and the environment. Revealing these complex interactions will depend critically on the study of large sets of well-documented, up-to-date epidemiological, clinical, biological and molecular information and corresponding material from large numbers of patients and healthy persons, collected and made available by so-called biobanks. The biological materials collected in biobanks for biomedical research typically comprise DNA, tissues, cells, blood or other body fluids.


To prepare to construct a pan-European Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure (BBMRI), building on existing infrastructure, resources and technologies, specifically complemented with innovative components and properly embedded into European ethical, legal and societal frameworks;
To have a sustainable legal and financial conceptual framework for a pan-European BBMRI;
To increase scientific excellence and efficacy of European research in the biomedical sciences and discovery;
To expand and secure competitiveness of European research and industry in a global context.

Member organizations

Design of the member studies Biobanking Research Infrastructure


  • Academisch Ziekenhuis Leiden
  • Alleanza contro il cancro
  • Babraham Bioscience Technologies
  • Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens
  • Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung
  • Bundesministerium für Wissenschaft und Forschung
  • Center for Economics and Social Aspects of Genomics
  • Comitato Nazionale per la Biosicurezza, le Biotecnologie e le Scienze della Vita, Istituto Superiore di Sanita
  • deCODE genetics
  • Dutch Federation of University Medical Centers
  • EGP of the University of Tartu
  • Ensembl Functional Genomics, European Genotype Archive
  • Erasmus MC Rotterdam
  • Fondazione Telethon
  • Fraunhofer IBMT
  • Fundación para el desarrollo de la investigación en Genómica y Proteómica
  • Féderation hospitalière de France – FHF
  • Hellenic Republic Ministry of Development, General Secretariat For Research & Technology
  • Helmholtz Gemeinschaft
  • Institut National du Cancer
  • Institute for Biomedical Technologies
  • Instituto de Salud Carlos III
  • International Agency for Research on Cancer
  • Irish Clinical Research Infrastructure Network
  • Istituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul Cancro, Biological Bank and Cell Factory
  • J.A. Bovenberg Legal Pathways Institute for Bio-Law b.v.
  • Karolinska Institutet
  • Life Science Governance Institute
  • Max-Planck-Institut
  • Medical Research Council
  • Medical University of Graz
  • Ministry of Education and Research, Estonia
  • Ministry of Education, Culture and Science
  • National DNA Bank, University of Salamanca
  • National Public Health Institute
  • National Research Center for Environment and Health
  • Norwegian Institute of Public Health
  • Research Infrastructure and Special Initiatives Unit Health Research Board
  • Semmelweis University
  • The Icelandic Centre for Research
  • The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development
  • UK Biobank Ltd
  • Univ. of Malta
  • University Hospital Groningen
  • University of Manchester
  • Universität Klagenfurt
  • Uppsala University
  • VITRO Ltd

Associated networks

Publications and relevant documentation

Asslaber Biobanks: transnational, European and global networks Brief Functional Genomic and Proteomic 2007 193-201


BBMRI Participants are co-applicants of the project and full members. They have an official vote on formal issues in the Governance Council that is responsible for the definition of the appropriate strategy and processes, and is required for the approval of reports and any changes of the work plan. BBMRI welcomes new members as Associated Organizations. Associated Organisations are biobanks, which fulfill certain quality criteria regarding the size of the biobank, specific assets, and secured funding. They have to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) and a detailed description of their biobank. Associated Organisations do not have an official vote on formal issues but their input and active involvement in the project is required to ensure that the solutions developed will be suitable for future integration of the biobanks into the BBMRI structure.

Study Catalogue

Study Catalogue
© 2005 Public Population Project in Genomics.
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