For Volunteers

What is a Typical Visit Like?

There are many reasons why people take part in tissue banking projects. These range from wanting to help other people, an interest in the science, or because they or a member of their family have a specific condition.

Below are pictures of a typical visit and videos of other people's experiences.

We also welcome feedback, if you would like to post a comment about your experiences please visit our Feedback Page.

What Happens After my Visit?

We perform some analyses on the samples and measurments that we took during your visit and we send these results to you. We will send you a summary of your own results including measurements of cholesteroltriglycerides, fasting blood glucoseblood pressure and body mass index.

When we have the results of your visit, it is possible that we’ll invite you back for a second visit, which would involve a fat biopsy.

The procedure is carried out by one of the trained study nurses or a study doctor. We take two small samples of fat, one from your tummy and one from your buttock. We use local anaesthetic to numb the skin and fat underneath, which may cause a momentary sting. The biopsy would then be taken by inserting a needle into the fat tissue and applying suction through the needle. Approximately 1 gram of tissue is taken out. This procedure will take about 45 minutes. For further information please see the Additional Procedures Information Sheet (pdf).

We might also ask you to come back for an assessment of your habitual daily energy expenditure, which would involve wearing a pedometer-like device for 5 days.

Obviously, at any point, you are completely free to state that you are not willing to participate, and you should not feel that you have to participate just because you have previously donated a blood sample.

What makes the Oxford BioBank unique?

The Oxford Biobank is a resource for the future and the development of novel and individualized therapies for patients. The Oxford Biobank is currently expanding and we passed the first target of 5000 participants in May 2012. We are now well on our way to the next target of 10,000 participants, having now undertaken 7500+ visits.

That means that we will have the genotype and phenotype on 7500 samples. While some other biobank collections only collect genetic material, we collect data like height, weight and BMI as well as having full blood profiles for each genetic sample. This gives researchers a powerful tool to conduct their studies including ‘recruit-by-genotype’ studies which allow scientists to understand gene function at a whole body level. We can also conduct ‘recruit-by-phenotype’ studies for studies requiring specific phenotypic characteristics.

Due to the rich abundance of the collection, the Oxford Biobank has also been used on many occasions as a confirmation cohort for genome-wide association studies.

Consent & Withdrawal

We encourage you to discuss the invitation to join the Oxford Biobank with your partner, relatives and friends.

Before you take part in the Oxford BioBank, a trained research nurse will also talk you through the informed consent process. This makes sure that you know exactly what we are asking of you and that you understand completely what your involvement means.

At any time from the point when you have received an invitation or have volunteered to participate to your actual participation on the day, you can discuss any concerns you have with us.

If, for any reason, however, you do not want to continue your participation, you can withdraw from the study at any time. You don’t even need to tell us the reason for your withdrawal.

A copy of the Oxford BioBank consent form (pdf)

Participant consent explaination

+44 (0)1865 857284

Churchill Hospital
Headington, Oxford