Biospecimen Resources for Population Scientists

Policies and Best Practices for Biospecimen Research

NCI Resources

Other Non-Government Resources

Potential Sources of Biospecimens for Investigators

This list provides links to biospecimen resources that may be of interest to cancer epidemiologists, but is not exhaustive. Access to resources is dependent on procedures outlined for each individual study or resource. Availability may depend on suitability of proposed research, collaboration with study investigators, ethical considerations, approval from a steering committee, or availability of samples to perform study.

NCI Resources

  • Cancer Epidemiology Descriptive Cohort Database (CEDCD)
    The goal of this searchable database is to facilitate collaboration and highlight research opportunities within existing cohort studies. The CEDCD contains descriptive information about cohort studies following groups of people over time for cancer incidence, mortality, and other health outcomes. In addition to general study information, the CEDCD also includes biospecimen information for the studies.
  • Funded Projects Involving Biospecimens
    The Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program (EGRP) supports a variety of research involving biospecimens. To learn more about the types of biospecimens being collected and used for a variety of epidemiology research questions, view a list of EGRP's active grants collecting the following biospecimens:
  • NCI Human Biospecimen Resources
    Links to multiple resources, including NCI’s Cooperative Human Tissue Network, the National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN) Biospecimen Banks, and Specimen Resource Locator.

NIH Resources

  • Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
    • National Children's Study (NCS) Vanguard Data and Sample Archive
      The NCS Archive provides researchers with access to data and samples collected in the NCS Vanguard Study, which tested methods and procedures planned for use in a large epidemiological cohort study of environmental influences on child health and development.
  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
  • National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
    • Electronic Medical Records and Genomics (eMERGE) NetworkExternal Web Site Policy
      The primary goal of the eMERGE Network is to develop, disseminate, and apply approaches to research that combine biorepositories with electronic medical record (EMR) systems for genomic discovery and genomic medicine implementation research. To facilitate collaboration, external institutions may apply for affiliate membership.
  • National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
  • National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
    • Children's Health Exposure Analysis Resource (CHEAR)
      CHEAR was established to allow NIH-funded studies focused on children's health to add analyses of environmental exposures. The analyses are available without charge, but they require an application and agreement to CHEAR policies for data sharing.
    • Environmental Polymorphisms Registry
      This is a repository of DNA samples to help NIEHS and other scientists screen for genetic polymorphisms in "environmentally sensitive" genes.
    • EpiShare
      This is a web-based platform for sharing biospecimens and/or datasets with the research community. EpiShare provides a central location for researchers to see summaries of NIEHS Epidemiology Branch studies and specimen inventories, submit requests, and track all requestor correspondence.
  • National Institute of Aging (NIA)
    • NIA Virtual Repository
      This virtual repository provides investigators with an introduction to NIA's biogerontology studies and links to repositories that have human biospecimens available for sharing.
  • National Institutes of Health Common Fund Projects
  • Resources Developed by Multiple NIH Institutes and Centers
    • NeuroBioBank
      This is a national resource for investigators utilizing post-mortem brain tissue and related biospecimens for research to understand conditions of the nervous system.