UK Biobank is a major national health resource, and a registered charity in its own right, with the aim of improving the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of serious and life-threatening illnesses – including cancer, heart diseases, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, eye disorders, depression and forms of dementia. UK Biobank recruited 500,000 people aged between 40-69 years in 2006-2010 from across the country to take part in this project. They have undergone measures, provided blood, urine and saliva samples for future analysis, detailed information about themselves and agreed to have their health followed. Over many years this will build into a powerful resource to help scientists discover why some people develop particular diseases and others do not.
UK Biobank was established by the Wellcome Trust medical charity, Medical Research Council, Department of Health, Scottish Government and the Northwest Regional Development Agency. It has also had funding from the Welsh Assembly Government, British Heart Foundation and Diabetes UK. UK Biobank is hosted by the University of Manchester and supported by the National Health Service (NHS). UK Biobank is open to bona fide researchers anywhere in the world, including those funded by academia and industry. The medical research project is a non-profit charity and had initial funding of about £62 million. UK Biobank has had additional funding of £6m for extra baseline measurements (such as the eye measures and saliva samples) and £25m for the next 5 years, 2011-2016 (such as storage of samples, and developing the on line access facility that will allow scientists to use the Resource). In addition to information collected during the baseline assessment, UK Biobank invites participants to wear a wrist worn activity monitor, has undertaken repeat measures on 20,000 participants, and is currently undertaking an MRI body and DEXA bone scanning enhancement. Many participants have also completed detailed web-based questionnaires on their diet, cognitive function and work history. All data, including genetic, biochemistry and imaging data, are being made available for research as they become ready.
Site inspection Report for UK Biobank HTA licensing number 12002. Licensed for storage of relevant material which has come from a human body for use for Scheduled Purposes 21-22 October 2010.