Last updated Dec 10, 2018
View the video below to hear from Dr Naomi Allen on the UK Biobank biomarker panel.
With the benefit of funding from the Medical Research Council (MRC), UK Biobank has measured a wide range of biochemical markers from the blood and urine samples it collected at baseline from all 500,000 participants.
The panel of biomarkers was developed by UK Biobank, under the guidance of its Enhancements Working Group and followed extensive consultation with relevant experts.
The individual biomarkers selected for assay were chosen because they are considered to be of most scientific relevance for:
- studying a wide range of diseases,
- established risk factors for disease (e.g., lipids for vascular disease, sex hormones for cancer),
- diagnostic measures (e.g., HbA1c for diabetes and rheumatoid factor for arthritis) or
- markers which characterize phenotypes which are not otherwise easy to assess (e.g., biomarkers for renal and liver function).
The biomarkers were measured in UK Biobank’s purpose-built facility in Stockport using the most up-to-date analytical methods that are available. These biomarkers are available now for researchers to apply to access and/or if researchers have already indicated that they are interested in these biomarkers then they will be distributed to them.
UK Biobank has approved an application by the University of Leicester to conduct an assay to establish telomere length. This project is led by Professor Sir Nilesh Samani and is funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC).
After the completion of this assay the data will be QCed and available for researchers.
Nightingale Health has applied to UK Biobank to conduct assays on all 500,000 UK Biobank participants using their blood analysis platform, which generates approximately 220 biomarkers.
A pilot study is currently underway, with the main phase expected to start in early 2019. It is expected to take three years to complete.
See Data Showcase timeline for more information.