UK DNA Banking Network: continuity and consolidation

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Medical and Human Sciences


The information contained within the genetic code (DNA) we inherit from our parents helps determine our future health and can explain why we develop certain diseases. Because the total DNA code of humans (the human genome) has been determined, scientists can now search for the small differences in this code between people who become ill and those who stay well. To perform experiments that identify and confirm these differences requires looking at the code of many thousands of people with the disease. However, it is time consuming and expensive to collect DNA samples from and medical records of such people. The UK DNA Banking Network (UDBN) was set up to hold a large number of DNA collections for different common diseases (e.g. diabetes, cancer, heart disease). UDBN gives out samples and anonymised health data to scientists who want to perform these experiments. UDBN?s service helps save money and it accelerates the pace of research. This application outlines how UDBN intends to continue providing its service over the next three years.

Technical Summary

Since 2003 UDBN has supported the MRC?s strategically important area of genetic epidemiology in post-genomic translational research. It now manages large DNA collections and associated data from studies funded by MRC and others. It has provided DNA for 33 studies. It is undertaking management for 14 new collections.

UDBN now seeks core support from MRC in line with advice it has received. UDBN will introduce a sustainable financial model that envisages an end to the need for MRC core support. UDBN will maintain until 2013 the ?MRC 2000? collections and review this activity to ascertain their continued scientific value. UDBN will continuously improve quality via ISO 9001-2000, ISO 9001-2008 and ISO 27001. Collections will be enriched with genotype data held at European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI). UDBN will undertake the management of ?MRC 2000? cells and EBV cell lines and will introduce capacity in high throughput DNA extraction. It will also provide resource management to new large and medium scale collections. A plan to strengthen and develop links with UK Biobank, the five Academic Health Science Centres and the three MRC / BBSRC sequencing hubs underpins UDBN?s strategic vision.


10 25 50
publication icon
Acosta-Herrera M (2019) Genome-wide meta-analysis reveals shared new in systemic seropositive rheumatic diseases. in Annals of the rheumatic diseases

publication icon
Al-Ajmi K (2018) Review of non-clinical risk models to aid prevention of breast cancer. in Cancer causes & control : CCC

publication icon
Baird AE (2014) Genetic basis of cranial cruciate ligament rupture (CCLR) in dogs. in Connective tissue research

Description National and international guidelines on biobanking
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Participation in advisory committee
Impact UDBN has contributed significantly through the European Science Foundation Guidelines for Biobanking.
Description MRC Research Grant
Amount £835,372 (GBP)
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2007 
End 01/2010
Description MRC Research Project/MRC
Amount £1,025,475 (GBP)
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2010 
End 01/2013
Title New UDBN disease collections 
Description New diabetes, renal failure, myositis, osteoarthritis, cognitive decline, childhood leukaemia, hip dysplasia, arthroplasty failure collections, 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of Data/Biological Samples 
Year Produced 2010 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact These collaborations are allowing UK research groups to work more effectively, gain funding and generate experiments. 
Title New sample collections 
Description New sample collections 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of Data/Biological Samples 
Year Produced 2006 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Access to sample collections and phenotype data, opportunities for increased collaborations, opportunities for research funding. 
Description Archiving of genotype and phenotype data of UDBN collections within European genotype/phenotype archive 
Organisation EMBL European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL - EBI)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This collaboration is providing a long-term and secure solution for genotype and phenotype data relating to national sample collections and the access to archive data.
Impact None.
Start Year 2010
Description Closer working and operational relationship between UK Biobank and UDBN 
Organisation UK Biobank
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution We are working towards co-location of UDBN to UK Biobank at Cheadle and the centralisation of all collections and services. UDBN will also be contributing to infrastructure of the proposed UK Biocentre at Cheadle.
Impact Collaborative joint funding between UK Biobank and UDBN has been awarded for further sample collections. These include National Childhood Leukaemic Sample Banking (LRF) and asthma (Innovations in Medicines Initiative).
Start Year 2010
Description Management of National collections of Motor Neurone disease samples 
Organisation Motor Neurone Disease Association (MND)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution UK DNA Banking Network (UDBN) now manages sample processing and sample distribution for all motor neurone disease research samples for genetic studies.
Impact Requests for samples have been processed resulting in funded studies.
Start Year 2008
Description Relocation of MRC EBV cell line collections to Manchester from ECACC 
Organisation Public Health England
Department Centre for Applied Microbiology and Research (CAMR)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Negotiation, planning and operational execution of relocation of exisiting MRC EBV cell line collections to UK Biobank, as part of UK DNA Banking Network infrastructure.
Impact PIs of other associated collections of EBV cell lines have approached UK DNA Banking Network (UDBN) to also relocate their collections to UK Biobank.
Start Year 2010
Description arcOGEN-whole genome association studies of osteoarthritis 
Organisation Versus Arthritis
PI Contribution UDBN processed and distributed 5500 DNA samples for a series of GWAS and other genetic studies within this project.
Impact A series of publications
Start Year 2008
Description Information regarding materials stored in UDBN 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact New collections and new requests for existing samples

Requests for talks from local hospitals.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010