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Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program

UK Biobank (UKB)

Lead Contact:

Principal Investigator (PI):

Funded Since: 2004
Funding Source: Medical Research Council, Wellcome Trust, North West Development Agency, Scottish Government, Welsh Assembly, Department of Health, National Institute for National Health, Diabetes UK, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK
Year(s) of Enrollment: 2006-2010
Study Website: Web Site Policy

UK Biobank is a very large and detailed prospective study with over 500,000 participants aged 40-69 years, recruited between 2006 and 2010. It was designed to allow detailed investigations of the genetic and non-genetic determinants of the diseases of middle and old age. It aims to combine extensive and precise assessment of exposures with comprehensive follow-up and characterization of many different health-related outcomes, and to promote innovative science by maximizing access to the resource.

The study has collected and continues to collect extensive phenotypic and genotypic data on its participants. This includes data from questionnaires, physical measures, sample assays (e.g., a range of biochemistry markers for all 500,000 participants), accelerometry (100,000 participants), multimodal imaging of the brain, heart and body (100,000 participants), and genome-wide genotyping and imputation to over 90 million variants (for all 500,000 participants). Full exome-wide and genome-wide sequencing is also underway for all 500,000 participants. As a prospective study, UK Biobank has linked to electronic health records, including death, cancer, hospital inpatient admissions, and primary care records. UK Biobank is also working with experts to make available adjudicated health outcomes that can be used readily by the research community. UK Biobank does not currently have access to digital pathology slides or tumour tissue specimens.

UK Biobank is available for open access, without the need for collaboration, to any bona fide researcher who wishes to use it to conduct health-related research that is in the public interest.