Biobank Graz

What specimens are being stored in Biobank Graz?

Biobank Graz stores human tissue specimens (FFPE and cryospecimens) and body fluids (blood, urine, follicular fluid, etc.). Biobank Graz actively cooperates with nearly all university departments of University Hospital Graz. An overview of the collections is found in the BBMRI-ERIC Directory und here.

How do I know if the specimens I want are available for research?

General information on your specimen request and project applications is available on our specimen request page. If you have further questions regarding specimen availability, please contact our Project Management Team.

What specimen-related data are available?

Specimens and associated patient data are collected at University Hospital Graz and saved as a complete medical history. Biobank Graz does not have direct access to this data. With the patient's consent (provided that "yes" was chosen on the Biobank IC form), Biobank Graz may make the clinical data available in cooperation with the specific divisions.

Can I store my specimens in Biobank Graz?

Yes, for specific projects, it is possible to contribute specimens according to defined inclusion and exclusion criteria. Prospective cohorts are established in cooperation with the respective division. Biobank Graz may also provide storage capacity if a central storage location is required for larger EU projects. For questions about this, please contact our Project Management Team.

Is there an online database in which I can call up existing/required specimens and data?

Along with and BBMRI-ERIC, we are working on an online directory that provides an overview of the specimens available at Biobank Graz. Furthermore, specific collections and cohorts are summarized here. For more details, please contact the Biobank Graz Project Management Team.

Are there documentation/records on specimen collection/processing/storage?

Yes, the emphasis is on preanalytic documentation. In addition, Biobank Graz has an ISO 9001:2015 quality management system and works according to standard operating procedures (SOPs for short), which guarantee the quality of specimen handling and storage. All specimens are labeled with 2D barcodes and their temperatures are monitored 24/7. Pathological and clinical data on the specimens are available upon request.

What costs are involved?

Biobank Graz does not charge for the specimens themselves but only for the basic costs for processing, expendable materials, storage, retrieval, dispatch, personnel costs, etc. The price varies depending on expenditure and affiliation of the applicant.

  • Med Uni Graz/University Hospital Graz researchers: The service charges are low since Biobank Graz is part of Med Uni Graz. For projects with funding (FWF, EU, ÖNB, etc.), applicants must only make a small contribution to cover the running costs of Biobank Graz.
  • External academic institutions: The charges are somewhat higher than for internal projects. Since most projects are cooperative research with Med Uni Graz, the costs are nevertheless moderate. Cooperation should be encouraged so that both sides benefit.
  • Industry projects/projects with companies: Commercial customers must bear the full costs, i.e., only here are the actual costs fully covered. Charges are made for running costs, personnel, time for data collection as well as investment and rental fees.

In any case, costs will be calculated individually depending on the desired services. For more information, please contact our Project Management Team.

How long does it take to process a project request?

We try hard to respond to all project requests as quickly as possible. The processing time depends on the complexity of the project. You will receive an initial response within three business days. Database queries are usually more complex and take longer depending on the defined inclusion and exclusion criteria. The project leader of the cohort examines the project very closely and normally informs us of his*her decision within three weeks.

Why do I need an ethics application and where can I get help with one?

Only with a positive ethics decision is Biobank Graz permitted to distribute specimens for research projects. The ethics application must be submitted independently by the researcher to the Ethics Committee of the Medical University of Graz. If you would like to use Biobank specimens for research purposes and have questions concerning biobanking and ethics, you can take advantage of the consultation hour offered by the the Ethics Committee and Biobank Graz. To make an appointment, contact the Project Management Team. Additionally, the Study and Project Service of Biobank Graz would be happy to support you with your application.

What is required for specimen distribution?

  • The Informed Consent form signed by the patient
  • A positive decision on the submitted project from the Ethics Committee
  • The approval of the Biobank representative
  • For researchers not from Med Uni Graz: A signed cooperation agreement