A biobank is a collection of human samples (e.g. tissue, blood, cells, extracted DNA) that is linked to the sample donor’s health data (with the informed consent of the donors). Samples for clinical studies and diagnostic purposes have been collected throughout the history of medicine, but in the new biobank concept, defined by the Biobank Act, the collected samples can be used for a variety of future research needs, not just for a defined specific research purpose as previously. Furthermore, the new research results are obliged to be returned to the biobank that further enriches its data set.
Biobanks are key resources for unravelling the molecular basis of disease subtypes, identification of new therapeutic targets and biomarkers – all of which lead to personalized healthcare and more effective treatment strategies via translational medical research. Especially the digitalization of biological samples and generation of big data will create great opportunities to develop new forms of treatment, targeted drugs and health services.
Northern Ostrobothnia Hospital District, the University of Oulu, NordLab and the hospital/healthcare districts of Lapland, Länsi-Pohja, Central Ostrobothnia and Kainuu have established a biobank in Northern Finland. The Borealis Biobank closely collaborates with the Medical Research Center Oulu. The Finnish biobank collaborate via the national BBMRI.fi (Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure) network.
Researchers have the opportunity to collect sample materials for their projects in collaboration with the biobank, e.g. focusing on certain diseases A preliminary feasibility mapping or study of the research materials can be conducted cost-effectively in the early stages of the research project.
The biobank can assign samples and related data only for high-quality health sciences research and development. A scientific committee will evaluate all sample and data requests. You can make a feasibility and sample and data request by using FINGENIOUS portal (see link on the right side). You can also contact Biobank Borealis directly, BiopankkiBorealis (at) ppshp.fi, +358 40 5049025.
When you submit your feasibility or access request through FINGENIOUS, your request will be distributed by FINBB (Finnish Biobank Cooperative) to all six regional hospital biobanks – unless you specify which biobanks your request is aimed at. A biobank research specialist at either FINBB or a regional biobank will contact you after receiving your request.
FINGENIOUS offer direct services:
FINGENIOUS is a service portal for researchers in biobank studies. Registering with FINGENIOUS is the first step to conducting a biobank study with samples and/or data from one or several regional hospital biobanks in Finland.
Please, use Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Microsoft Edge browsers. FINGENIOUS does not support Internet Explorer.
You will receive a feasibility report including the numbers of requested samples and the availability of the requested data across the regional hospital biobanks after a preliminary search. An initial feasibility service is free of charge. If compiling the feasibility report requires exceptional effort and a significant amount of time, you will be contacted to give you a cost estimate for the feasibility report.
Submitting access requests is free of charge. However, administrative costs related to access request handling will be included in the final cost estimation of your project.
Biobank's Scientific Committee will evaluate the requests in its next meeting, which take place once a month. Specifically, the Scientific Committee evaluates the scientific level, significance and ethicality of the research project. The amount of requested material will be assessed in relation to the number of available samples and defines the criteria for selecting the samples for the research project. Additional inquiries may be submitted to the researcher. Based on the decision of the scientific committee, the manager of the biobank decides on the transfer of the material.
Following a positive decision, a material transfer agreement with the researcher's organization will be signed, and then the data can be transferred. At the end of the study, the analysed results related to the samples and / or the raw data will be returned to the biobank as stated in the Material transfer agreement. The results of the study must also be published, e.g. in a scientific peer-reviewed journal.
The Scientific Committee covers a wide range of medical expertise. The committee may also request outside expert evaluations if needed.
The biobank offers the
The fees for the services are are based on a price list negotiated on a case-by-case basis.
Medical Research Center (MRC) Oulu