Biobanks are a key prerequisite for modern medical research. By linking samples and clinical data they make it possible to clarify the causes and the course of diseases. The German Biobank Registry pools the medically relevant biobanks in Germany.

The German Biobank Registry

  • provides an overview of the medical biobanks in Germany;
  • increases the international visibility of German biobanks;
  • facilitates the networking of biobanks;
  • promotes an exchange of information and samples between research teams;
  • supports the use of existing resources;
  • provides information for investments in biobanks and
  • promotes transparency and trust in research where human samples are used.

Evaluating biobanks’ success based on their value for research

15 December 2016. In future, biobanks’ success should be measured not only by the number of samples they store – but on how many of those resources are leveraged for research projects. This suggestion was made by Dominic Allen, Chief Operating Officer at the Integrated BioBank of Luxembourg (IBBL), during his keynote address at the beginning of the fifth German National Biobank Symposium. The event drew approximately 250 attendees to Berlin, Germany, on 7 and 8 December 2016.


A Bit of Berlin in Bethesda

14.11.2016. Highlights and conclusions from the ISBER Annual Meeting held in Berlin/Germany in April 2016 were summarized in a session chaired by Roman Siddiqui (TMF/Germany) and Cari Lichtman (American Cancer Society/USA) at the ISBER Regional Meeting in Bethesda/USA on November 7, 2016. This was another opportunity to present Germany’s vibrant and well-organized biobanking community.


High-quality biobanking is key to high-quality research

05 April 2016. Biobanks are valuable assets for leading-edge medical and environmental research. These high-quality collections of biological samples enable scientists to achieve reliable outcomes – and are the basis for successful and sustainable research. Against this background, representatives from international biobank communities are assembling at ISBER’s Annual Meeting & Exhibits conference from 5 to 8 April 2016 in Berlin – with the aim of transferring knowledge and exploring the latest biobanking ideas and developments. By international comparison, German initiatives have made significant progress in recent years. During the session on 5 April, National Biobanking Day in Germany, leading experts from the nation will present the insights gained in medical biobanking.


Today, predictive molecular testing is available for 35 per cent of all tumour types

14 December 2015. “Today, we have predictive biomarkers that enable targeted therapies for 35 per cent of all tumour types. Biobanks are the basis for this achievement,” stated Professor Manfred Dietel (Charité University Hospital, Berlin) in his keynote address at the fourth National Biobank Symposium. The event took place on 9 and 10 December 2015 in the German capital. “The positive evolution of this event demonstrates the importance biobanks have gained in recent years. In future, biobanks will be key to high-quality research,” emphasised Professor Michael Krawczak (University Medical Centre, Schleswig-Holstein, Kiel Campus), who, as Chairman of the TMF Board of Directors, opened the Symposium.


New biobanking article on data sharing

15.09.2015. The article examines the complex regulatory context of data sharing and discusses relevant online tools, including the BioMedBridges Legal Assessment Tool, which was co-developed by the authors. It aims to to assist researchers working with sensitive data or biosamples with ethical and legal questions.



29.07.2015. The first version of the brand new European Catalogue of Biobanks is now online.


Template for informed consent for biobanks

22.07.2015. The Permanent Working Party of the German Medical Ethics Committees provides a template for informed consent concerning the donation, storage, and utilization of biological materials as well as collecting, processing, and usage of (related) data in biobanks. The document is a translation of the German version which has been recommended by the Working Party in November 2013. The template is based on German law and ethical views.


Biobank registries in Europe struggle with similar challenges

20.02.2015. National biobank registries throughout Europe prefer to establish “structured yellow pages” in order to make their countries’ biobank resources visible. Some of them also focus on additionally establishing “sample locators” as a means to foster scientific collaboration. However, all registries face similar challenges in achieving completeness of registration. This became apparent during the meeting of the biobank registries from seven European countries on 18th and 19th February 2015 in Berlin. Incentives for registration set by the national governments could greatly facilitate the process. The participants of the meeting expressed the wish to have more communication between them at the working level.


Evidence-based research with biobanks

16 December 2014. According to Allison Hubel from the University of Minnesota, USA, keeping samples at low temperatures, providing good training for employees and monitoring processes are key to ensuring the high-quality storage of biomaterials and creating valuable, long-term resources for medical research. Quality management took centre stage on the second day of the third National Biobank Symposium, held in Berlin on 3 and 4 December 2014 and attended by 290 participants. Hubel also underlined that blood and tissue samples are composed of a mixture of liquid and solid matter that have different freezing requirements, something which has to be taken into account during storage.


Biobanking 3.0: supporting transparency, acceptance and public support

9 December 2014. Transparent communications, trust and active public participation are becoming increasingly important factors for the long-term success of biobanks. The idea of increasing the involvement of external stakeholders has recently been dubbed “biobanking 3.0”. Central to this concept is the need to promote understanding of biobanking and strengthen public acceptance. Against this background, the TMF work groups for biobanking and science communications met in Berlin on 2 December 2014 to exchange their knowledge and experience. Biobank operators, researchers and communications experts pooled their ideas and made concrete proposals for effectively raising the profile of biomaterial repositories and intensifying dialogue with donors.