Nebraska Biobank

The Nebraska Biobank is a joint effort of the University of Nebraska Medical Center and Nebraska Medicine. The aim of the Nebraska Biobank is to speed research in health care.

The Nebraska Biobank is made up of leftover blood samples from patients who elect to take part. Health facts of the person such as illness, but not their name, are linked to the stored samples. Researchers then are able to request certain blood samples for studies to help improve the diagnosis and treatment of disease, as well as better understand normal life processes.

Information for Patients

A biobank is a "bank” of samples, sometimes called a biorepository. A biobank can have many types of samples, such as blood, urine, DNA or tissue. These samples may be used for teaching or research. Some biobanks are linked to health facts while some are not.

Questions? Call 402-559-6941

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Nebraska Biobank?
The Nebraska Biobank is made up of leftover blood samples from patients who want to take part. Health facts of the person such as illness, but not their name, will be linked to the stored sample so that researchers can ask for certain types of samples for their studies. These samples will be used by researchers to learn how to improve the diagnosis and treatment of disease and to better understand normal life processes.
Why should I take part in the Nebraska Biobank?

By letting your samples be used by the Nebraska Biobank, you may help researchers study illnesses that touch Nebraskans and others. Heart disease, cancer, asthma, diabetes and Alzheimer's disease are just a few of the problems the Nebraska Biobank may help researchers understand.

What samples will be banked?

Only blood samples will be banked.

What is DNA?
DNA is the stored information we inherit from our parents that directs how we grow and change. This information is contained in pieces called genes.
How do you get DNA from blood?
DNA is present in our cells and can be collected from our blood. DNA will be taken out of the blood cells that would otherwise be thrown away.
Will anyone know that this is my blood?
No. The samples will be given a code and that code will be entered into a specially protected computer. This computer can match the sample with facts about the person's health contained in the medical records. Researchers will not be able to tell who the health facts come from, because the code removes the information about the sample that would match it to one single person.
Will someone let me know if my sample shows I am at risk for health problems?
No. Because we will not know whose sample is whose, it will be impossible to give anyone results about their sample. On the other hand, we hope that learning more about how normal genes work will help make everyone's health care better.
If I choose not to take part in the Biobank will it change my care?
No. Whether you choose to take part or not, your care will not change.
Will extra samples be taken for the Biobank?
No. Only those samples which are leftover after normal blood tests will be banked.
Will this cost me anything extra?
What if I do not want my blood to be used this way?
At least once a year when you check in for care, you will be given the chance to opt out of participating in the Nebraska Biobank. This means you can say you do not want your extra blood saved in the Biobank.
Can I change my mind?
Yes. You may change your status when you sign a new consent-to-treat form. Or you can email or call the Research Subject Advocate office, 402-559-6941.