What is the Australian Health Biobank?
The Australian Health Biobank (AHB) is being set up to provide a national collection of biological samples from the Australian population. This will be a unique resource for researchers in the future to undertake a wide range of studies for the benefit of all Australians.
The AHB is being funded by the Australian Department of Health who have contracted the CSIRO to act as the Australian Health Biobank Custodian.
A dedicated AHB team at CSIRO will ensure your samples, personal information and any results from your samples are stored securely. They are also responsible for making your samples, and data that is generated from them in the future, accessible to approved researchers.
What is a biobank?
A biobank is a collection of various biological materials (plant, animal or human) which are stored long term under carefully managed conditions, to advance future research discoveries.
Human biobanks can contain specimens such as cells, blood, urine, bone or hair. Biobank collections are vital resources for the research community and help to dramatically reduce the lead time for important discoveries to be made. Researchers can apply to access large numbers of samples and/or data that would have taken them many years, and considerable cost, to develop from scratch.
Some biobanks are set up to advance medical research into specific conditions, to help identify causes and early disease detection, develop treatments (for example personalised medicine), or cures.
Research is a vital part of our health care system. Across Australia, our health and medical researchers contribute to discoveries that help us lead longer, and healthier lives.
The AHB will support medical advances by providing researchers with access to samples from across the Australian population – making health and medical research easier and quicker.
How can I participate?
Samples for the AHB are currently being collected and will stay open until July 2024.
At this stage, participation in the AHB is only available for Australians who have been randomly selected to take part in the National Health Measures Survey (NHMS), conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
People who have been invited to contribute to the NHMS will also be asked if they would like to contribute samples to the AHB.
More information about the NHMS is available on the ABS web site at www.abs.gov.au/NHMS
If you have lost your provided paperwork or would like family or friends to read through the information provided to you, you can access the documents below.
Forms for participation
- Informed consent form PDF (150 KB)
- Informed consent form [text version] TXT (10 KB)
- Participant information brochure PDF (256 KB)
- Participant information brochure [text version] TXT (27 KB)
- Answers to Frequently Asked Questions PDF (341 KB)
- Answers to Frequently Asked Questions [text version] TXT (37 KB)
FAQ: Participant information is available in six languages other than English
What about my privacy?
Information on how participant's information is used, stored and retained can be found in the following factsheets:
More information can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions PDF (341 KB)document.
Information for researchers
Samples from the AHB will be made available for approved research studies, from universities and institutions across Australia, to conduct new research that supports medical advances.
From mid-2024 researchers will be able to apply to the AHB for access to samples and/or data. Each submission will need to have approval from an accredited human research ethics committee. Researchers will also be able to apply to the Australian Bureau of Statistics to link the results generated from samples in the biobank to other existing, de-identified, health and general information.
All research projects applying to use samples or information from the biobank will need to show they have potential to make a significant contribution to health and medical research, and be of benefit for the health and wellbeing of Australians.
More information on specimen access and associated fees will be provided in due course
Where can I find out more?
You can access common questions and queries in our Frequently Asked Questions PDF (341 KB) document.
If you have any further questions, please call 1300 363 400
If you have already donated samples to the biobank, and would like to review your details, or change your consent on how your samples are used, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This biobank, and all details of how it is managed, has been approved by an accredited Human Research Ethics Committee which is independent of the biobank project. If you have any concerns or complaints, you can contact the Executive Manager of the HREC email: email@example.com