BBMRI.nlBiobanking and Biomolecular Research Infrastructure -The Netherlands


Dr. Tieneke Schaaij-Visser
Hanzeplein 1, 9713 GZ Groningen

The quality and success of personalized medicine & health research critically depends on the availability of increasingly larger and richer series of human samples, health phenotype data and images (e.g. CT, MRI and microscopy). Dutch personalized medicine & health research is world class. In the Netherlands, it is the largest research field with >10.000 researchers active. Serving these researchers in the most effective way with an infrastructure that makes samples, data and images Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR) for research is the core mission of aims to organize resources, procedures and logistics in a way that provides researchers with a ""one stop shop"", while at the same time providing compliance by design with legal and ethical conditions, and with participation of donors and citizens. is de Dutch National Node of BBMRI-ERIC, and partner in the national Personalized Health & Medicine Research Infrastructure: Health-RI. provides an overview of the services that together represent the infrastructure.
These are divided in four main themes:
1. Find & Access Samples, Images and Data:
- The BBMRI-NL biobank Catalogue is a searchable database, containing information on 300+ Dutch bio- and data collections. Researchers can use the catalogue to search collections on specific disease types, Genome Wide Association Study (GWAS) data, types of biomaterials, and many other variables. The contact details for each collection coordinator and information about conditions for the request and use of the data and materials are available.
- The Request Portals Podium and the PALGA Portal are online one-stop-shops for the request of samples, images and data. Podium contains entries from multiple national health registries, health databases, image archives and biobanks. The PALGA portal is a dedicated request portal for pathology data and samples.
- The BBMRI-NL Omics data set comprises -omics measures in blood of participants in 29 Dutch population and patient cohorts. Genetic, epigenetic, transcriptome and metabolome data are available of approximately 3,500 samples. The BBMRI Omics data set is the joint collection of the GoNL consortium, BIOS Consortium and the Metabolomics Consortium.
- The Biobank-in-a-box document is a dynamic, growing document that contains a checklist of items for people that are starting or managing a FAIR biobank or data/image collection.
2. Tools for data capture, integration and analyses:
- supports the use of for example OpenClinica, XNAT, tranSMART, cBioPortal and MOLGENIS; all dedicated software tools and services that help to organize, represent and manage heterogeneous data sets from various sources and data modalities in a FAIR manner.
- BBMRI Integrative Omics Analysis platform is the collection of tools that have been developed to perform (integrative) analyses using the BBMRI Omics data set. It consists of a publicly available collection of R-packages, a GitHub script collection and web tools.
- The Image Analysis Platform enables researchers to work together by sharing medical imaging data as well as image-analysis pipelines for standardized imaging biomarker extraction. The medical images can be stored both in a central XNAT database or locally.
- The BBMRI-Omics Atlas is an interactive webtool that allows you to explore the comprehensive collection of public atlases on the relationship between molecular data and disease phenotypes. The tool allows you to explore associations between available data layers within BBMRI-Omics, as well as associations between molecular data layers and investigated phenotypes.
3. Support on ethical, legal and societal implications (ELSI):
- The ELSI Servicedesk offers guidance on and answers to the ethical, legal and societal questions around Personalized Medicine research faced by life science professionals, policymakers and patients. The website provides frequently asked questions with answers, and the opportunity to contact the helpdesk, where one of the ELSI experts’ answers questions.
- Since biobank research depends largely on voluntary participation, and biobanks contain data and samples from citizens and/or patients, public trust and societal involvement are crucial. To ensure the ideas and concerns of these groups are heard, the Patient and Public Advisory Council was created.
- The public website contains information for patients and other interested people about biobanks and biobank research.
4. Knowledge, experience and expertise:
- offers a knowledge base of publications, white papers, guides, movies and education materials.

The combined research infrastructure facilitates research on personalized health and medicine.

Aansluiting bij strategische ontwikkelingen
Life Sciences & Health
Personalised medicine: uitgaan van het individu
Gezondheidszorgonderzoek, preventie en behandeling
Waardecreatie door verantwoorde toegang tot en gebruik van big data