Precision Link Biobank for Health Discovery

What is the Biobank for Health Discovery?

The Precision Link Biobank for Health Discovery was created to provide a valuable library of human samples for researchers to advance our knowledge of health and disease. The Biobank holds the health information and samples (such as blood, tissue and cells) of thousands of patients and their families at Boston Children's Hospital.

Patients and their families can voluntarily donate samples and allow researchers to study these along with their medical information.

It allows researchers to conduct studies on a variety of diseases, conditions and disorders, and enables patients and families to engage and contribute to our research mission and improve the medical care we provide.

biobank test tubes and in the background woman looking through microscope

Why join the Biobank?

The Biobank allows patients and their families to directly contribute to research. For example, Biobank contributors have already helped our researchers discover:

  • new factors that contribute to acute asthma severity
  • which environmental exposures may be contributing to rising autism prevalence
  • biomarkers that can help diagnose and assess patients with inflammatory bowel disease
  • how Trisonomy 21 affects patients’ stature, growth and bone development
  • how immune cells in our tonsils help us fight infection
  • how people grow and early ways to diagnose excessive weight gain in children

Who can join?

All patients and their families at Boston Children’s Hospital can participate in the Biobank. Participation is always voluntary and participants can withdraw at any time. There are NO additional costs to you or your insurance company for participation in the study.

What happens if I decide to join the Biobank?

You will be asked to take 5 minutes to review and sign a document saying you would like to participate.

You will be asked to give permission for:

  • the Biobank to collect and store samples that are no longer needed for clinical care
  • researchers to study these samples along with information in your medical record

You and your child will also have the option to voluntarily contribute a sample of blood which can be added on to the next clinical blood draw at Boston Children’s. 

What happens to my samples and information?

The samples and health information will be securely stored by the Biobank for Health Discovery at Boston Children’s.

Approved researchers can use the samples for a broad range of studies, such as:

  • identification of biomarkers predicting clinical conditions
  • examination of tissue under a microscope to better understand disease states
  • creation of “cell lines” to model certain health conditions
  • study of genes associated with specific diseases

How can I learn more?

Our team is ready to answer your questions. Please call us at 1-888-802-4453 or email us at BCHBiobank4Discovery@childrens.harvard.edu.

Researchers wishing to use the Precision Link Biobank may visit biobank.childrens.harvard.edu.