National Biosample Centre

As clinical, disease and population-based studies increase in complexity and ambition, the challenges associated with establishing, running and maintaining the associated resources of biological samples take up significant amounts of time and resources from leading researchers, their institutions and funder organisations.

The NIHR National Biosample Centre provides high throughput and high quality biosample processing, storage and retrieval services to support NIHR-supported research, and research funded by DHSC partners, such as the MRC, charities and industry.

The Centre's repository takes a whole system, industrialised approach, applying engineering disciplines to identify efficiencies by easing access, improving start up times, achieving cost savings, managing risk, ensuring quality standards and protecting valuable samples and the information attached to them.

The Centre has the capacity to store up to 20 million samples and is a significant national health research resource.

Funding and operations

The Centre launched in 2015 with a £24 million capital grant from the Department of Health to the University of Oxford who work in partnership with UK Biobank and UK Biocentre (UK Biobank’s wholly owned subsidiary), to design and deliver the Centre. The Centre is operated by specialist staff from UK Biocentre, reporting to the University of Oxford. The Centre charges on a fee-for-service basis.

Further information:

NIHR funding document