From Bench to Biobank: Biomarker development and challenges of usage in cohort studies

From Bench to Biobank: Biomarker development and challenges of usage in cohort studies

On October 8th, LifeLines organizes its second scientific symposium. The topic of this year’s symposium is “From Bench to Biobank: biomarker development and challenges of usage in cohort studies”. Keynote speakers will specifically address the use of biomarkers in biobank research, a rapidly increasing field.

The LifeLines Cohort Study is a large population-based cohort study and biobank. It was established as a resource for research on complex interactions between environmental, phenotypic and genomic factors in the development of chronic diseases. It allows for research on Health Ageing.

Between 2006-2013, inhabitants of the Northern part of the Netherlands and their families were invited to participate, thereby contributing to a three-generation design. Participants visit one of the LifeLines research sites for a physical examination, including lung function, ECG and cognition tests, and completed an extensive questionnaire. Baseline data were collected for 167,729 participants, aged 6 months to 93 years. Every 5 years, participants are invited for a follow-up visit, and they receive follow-up questionnaires in between.

Linkage is being established with medical registries and environmental data. LifeLines contains information on biochemistry, medical history, psycho-social characteristics, lifestyle and more. Genomic data is available for part of the participants including genome-wide genetic data of 15,638 participants. Fasting blood, 24h urine and faeces samples are processed on the day of collection and stored at -80 ºC in a fully automated storage facility.

The data and samples of LifeLines are available for all researchers worldwide. Scientists can apply for data access by submitting a research proposal to the LifeLines Research Office (LLscience@umcg.nl).

Besides being an infrastructure for scientists, LifeLines plays an important role in the Healthy Ageing approach of the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG). The UMCG has developed a strategic focus on Healthy Ageing in all its primary domains: research, patient care and education & training. Several large-scale research programs and facilities, such as LifeLines en more recently ERIBA, were set up within Healthy Ageing.

Please visit the LifeLines website and LifeLines data catalogue for more information on the data access policy. More information or registration for the symposium can be found here.

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