About Us

The Partners HealthCare Biobank is a large research data and sample repository. It provides researchers access to high-quality, consented samples to help foster research, advance our understanding of the causes of common diseases, and advance the practice of medicine.


Consented Samples:

The Partners Biobank provides banked samples (plasma, serum, and DNA) collected from consented patients. These samples are available for distribution to Partners HealthCare investigators with appropriate approval from the Partners Institutional Review board (IRB).

The samples are linked to data from the Electronic Medical Record (EMR), including encounter detail, demographics, diagnoses, laboratory data, microbiology, radiology tests, pathology tests, medications, and health history. Additional survey data on lifestyle, environment and family history is available on a subset of consented subjects. The additional information includes education, physical activity, smoking, employment status, place of employment, sun sensitivity, alcohol use, body mass index, sleep duration, reproductive factors (for women) and family history.

Sample Processing:

The Partners HealthCare Biobank provides sample handling and preparation resources to investigators in the Partners research community. Our goal is to efficiently and effectively process specimens enabling the generation of high-quality data via downstream processes. The services provided are:

DNA extraction from whole blood and saliva

RNA extraction from whole blood

Lymphoblast transformation

Plasma/serum isolation

Sample plating

Sample retrieval

Tissue extraction

All projects containing subject samples and submitted to the Partners Biobank for handling must be approved by an institutional review board (IRB). All specimens must be entered into our Laboratory Information Management System (Gateway for Integration of Genomic-Proteomic Applications and Data, also known as GIGPAD) prior to delivery.

Genomic Data:

The Biobank is genotyping 50,000 of the Biobank’s subjects and genotype data for ~15,000 subjects is available now, for free. The remaining ~35,000 subjects will be genotyped over the next two years and their data will be released every six months. Samples have been genotyped using two versions of the biobank SNP array offered by Illumina that is designed to capture the diversity of genetic backgrounds across the globe. Imputed data is also available for a fee. Requests for this data are placed in the Biobank Portal.