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Biobanking and Cohorts


Biobanking is the collection and storage of biological samples for research under highly standardized conditions in dedicated biorepositories, and is an essential prerequesite for a comprehensive molecular and biochemical characterization of  patients and participants and for more individualized/stratified treatment strategies.

In Kiel and Lübeck, highly standardized, advanced biobanking infrastructures exist with multiple scientific collaborations between both Campuses. In Kiel, the PopGen 2.0 Network ( is the organisational umbrella for the main biobanking activities in Kiel and Research Center Borstel. In Lübeck, the biobanking activities are coordinated by the Interdisciplinary Center for Biobanking - Lübeck (ICB-L,


The Cluster of Excellence „Inflammation at Interfaces“ has access to several large scale patient collections and cohorts as well as to several community-based reference cohorts, with comprehensive molecular and clinical phenotyping. These cohorts are listed in the Table below:

Table Long

# DNA samples (blood) for genetic and epigenetic analyses; * multiple longitudinal specimens and different sample sources (blood, feces, biopsies, bacteria); ** recruitment ongoing (also denoted by “>” for growing sample size); CHD=coronary heart disease, IBD=inflammatory bowel diseases, RA=rheumatoid arthritis, SLE=systemic lupus erythematosus, PSC=primary sclerosing cholangitis

The UKSH cohort will be built over the course of the next years and is currently in its pilot phase. It will ultimately include more than 50.000 patients, largely with inflammatory disease conditions. Furthermore, several clinical cohorts with inflammatory disease conditions have already been built and are still ongoing, including the Inflammation cohorts and the Therapy cohorts, with repeated collection of biosamples and clinical data. The IBD kindred cohort includes IBD patients and their first-degree relatives. Health-related data and biosamples (blood, stool) are collected approximately every 2 years. More information regarding the IBD kindred cohort can be found here:

Important Reference Cohorts are the PopGen control cohort, the German National Cohort and a large sample of blood donors. The PopGen control cohort is a community-based sample enriched with blood-donors, initially collected as a reference sample for genetic-epidemiological case-control analyses. Over the years, participants of the PopGen control cohort have been re-examined every 4-5 years and detailed molecular, physiological and imaging phenotyping data are available. The German National Cohort is a large nationwide population-based cohort study that will ultimately include 200,000 participants (10,000 from the Kiel area). More information can be found at and here:

Since 2015/2016 Broad Consents for Health Care Embedded Biobanking exist at both UKSH Campuses in Kiel and Lübeck for extensive clinical and molecular characterization of patients/cohorts in longitudinal studies in order to deduce individual therapies for precision medicine.

Links do exist to the National Cohort (NaKo), the Institute for Epidemiology, and to BBMRI-ERIC/German-Biobank Alliance/Lübeck.


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