Biobank Graz

Common questions

How and where can I make my specimen available?

If you are a patient at the University Hospital Graz or at an external cooperating facility, medically trained staff will ask you if you would like to donate your fluid or tissue specimens for research purposes. If so, you will then receive an Informed Consent form to sign. Your specimen will be stored at Biobank Graz.

Can I make my specimens available if I am not a patient at the University Hospital Graz?

A sample donation is also possible as a, blood donor and a study participant of the University Hospital Graz and external cooperating facilities.

Why should I make my blood, tissue or any other body fluid available to Biobank Graz?

To better understand the causes of a disease and its progression, it is important to scientifically investigate tissue and blood specimens as well as other body fluids. The findings from these investigations are used to develop new procedures for diagnosis, prevention and treatment of disease that may be of benefit you one day. This is only possible if patients are prepared to make their specimens available.

What happens to my specimen?

Your specimen is archived in Biobank Graz for an unlimited period of time. Identified by a code, it is made available for research purposes in connection with the medical data that was collected. If a research project on your disease is conducted, the researcher can submit a request for your specimen to Biobank Graz.

As a donor, do I have the opportunity to influence the purpose for which the biological specimens are used?

No, the purpose cannot be influenced.

How long are my specimens stored?

Specimens are normally stored for an unlimited period of time until they have been used up as part of research projects or until the donor withdraws his/her written consent.

Will I be contacted in the event of new research findings that are personally significant for me?

Individual feedback on information and research findings obtained from your medical specimens is not foreseen.

Does the Informed Consent form apply to the current situation or is it permanent?

The informed consent applies both to the current situation and in future cases when blood is drawn or tissue is obtained. Additionally, your consent is also valid for specimens that have already obtained in the past during necessary clinical procedures at University Hospital Graz or at any external cooperating facilities.

Are there any disadvantages to participating?

No. Your consent is completely voluntary and does not influence the diagnosis and treatment of your disease.

Do I need to return for another examination?

No. Your specimens are collected only as part of interventions necessary for your treatment and are not required (any longer) for your diagnosis and further treatment.

If I sign the Biobank Informed Consent form, will more tissue be removed during a biopsy?

No. During the planned procedure, no more tissue or other tissue is removed than what is required for diagnosis or therapy. The material that remains after the diagnosis has been made is not discarded but stored in Biobank Graz.

If I sign the Biobank Informed Consent form, will more blood be drawn?

Yes, but only if you are having a routine blood test may up to a maximum 20 ml additional blood (about 4 teaspoons) be drawn. Blood may not be drawn separately for the biobank alone.

Can I withdraw my informed consent?

Yes. You can withdraw your consent either in writing or orally without any reason at any time. If you wish, the specimens will be removed from Biobank Graz and destroyed.

Are there any disadvantages for me if I refuse or withdraw my informed consent?

No, none at all. All diagnostics and therapy are completely independent of your decision whether to make specimens available for Biobank Graz and thus for research.

How is the security of my personal data guaranteed?

Your specimens that are stored in Biobank Graz are identified by a code (pseudonymized). As a result of this code, even Biobank Graz staff do not have access to your personal data. Anyone who has access to these specimens and the pseudonymized data is obligated to maintain confidentiality. The Biobank Graz management is responsible for storage and if necessary destruction of specimens.

Who has access to samples and medical data?

If approval by the ethics committee is available for a research project, access to pseudonymized/anonymized samples and data will be granted to researchers of Med Uni Graz and external research institutions. Samples and data are stored in encrypted form.

Do social insurance providers or employers have access to my data?

No. Neither social insurance providers nor employers have access to data regarding your specimens that are stored in Biobank Graz.

Will my specimens be sold and/or exploited for commercial purposes?

Biobank Graz is a non-profit, independent, publicly funded institution of the Medical University of Graz that exclusively serves to promote biomedical research. Biobank Graz does not pursue any commercial goals and does not seek profits. Biobank Graz specimens and data are NOT SOLD and are made available exclusively for research projects.

Do I need to pay anything to participate in research projects?

No. There is no cost to participate in this research project.

Are biological specimens collected from children as well?

No. Since children are subject to special protection, biological specimens and data from children are neither collected nor made available for research purposes.


Biobank Graz Office 
Neue Stiftingtalstraße 2 / Entrance B /Second floor, 8010 Graz
T: +43 316 385 72716