FINBB has eight member biobanks
FINBB members are six regional hospital biobanks (Auria, Borealis, Central Finland, Eastern Finland, Helsinki and Tampere), Arctic Biobank at University of Oulu and national-level THL Biobank.
Arctic Biobank – University of Oulu was established in 2020 to host large population-based sample collections from Northern Finland. Arctic Biobank aims to promote research in health and well-being, and in medicine and life sciences. It provides samples and data for high-quality research projects aimed at elucidating the causes of disease and the impact of genetics, environment and lifestyles on their onset. The results of the research will help prevent disease and develop safer, more effective and individualized treatments.
Biobank Director: Minna Ruddock
Data/IT: Jari Jokelainen, Quality: Anu Outinen-Tuuponen, Projects: Maarit Kangas, Communications: Maarit Kangas, Scientific Director: Minna Ruddock
Auria Biobank is the oldest Finnish hospital biobank. It was established in 2012 by University of Turku and the hospital districts of Southwest Finland, Satakunta, and Vaasa. Auria has extensive experience in serving both academic research as well as pharmaceutical and diagnostic industry.
Auria Biobank is an accredited biobank (B001) by FINAS Finnish Accreditation Service, accreditation requirements SFS-EN ISO 20387:2020. Information on the activities within the scope of accreditation is available on the website www.finas.fi.
Over 1.5 million human biological FFPE tissue samples are stored at Auria Biobank. Other sample types available are fresh frozen tissues, blood, plasma, serum, cerebrospinal fluid CSF, and DNA. Genotype data is also available for a proportion of samples.
Clinical data collected as part of patient treatment in the hospital data lake can be linked to the biobank samples. Largely, the data is organized in a structured format. To collect data from unstructured texts, Auria develops and uses text mining algorithms. Auria uses AI models to predict e.g., treatment outcome from digitalized histopathological images. Based on the genotype information and clinical parameters, Auria Biobank is able to recontact defined groups of sample donors for clinical trials.
Biobank Director: Lila Kallio
Data/IT: Roosa Kallionpää, Quality: Virve Vainio, Projects: Merja Perälä, Communications: Juha Mäkelä, Scientific Director: Merja Perälä
Helsinki Biobank is owned by Helsinki University Hospital, three hospital/healthcare districts, and University of Helsinki. It is Finland’s largest hospital biobank with blood samples collected based on biobank consent from over 120,000 patients. The largest retrospective sample collection contains over one million FFPE samples covering different disease types. A specialty area of Helsinki Biobank is urology: FF and FFPE tissue samples as well as blood and urine samples (the latter ones also as a time series) are available from 2,000 patients with urological malignancies.
At Helsinki Biobank, samples can be linked to the extensive clinical patient data repository of HUS hospital district data lake. The HUS data lake works in a modern cloud computing environment that allows the analysis of large data sets. In addition, Helsinki Biobank serves research projects in the preparation of histological samples (clips, stains, TMA preparation), digital pathology, DNA and RNA extraction from tissue samples, isolation of PBMC (peripheral blood mononuclear cells), and data analysis.
Biobank Director: Eero Punkka
Data/IT: Otto Manninen, Quality: Tiina Nurmela, Projects: Theresa Knopp, Communications: Janita Niemelä, Otto Manninen, Scientific Director: Olli Carpen
Biobank of Eastern Finland
Biobank of Eastern Finland is a hospital biobank owned by four hospital/healthcare districts and University of Eastern Finland. The Biobank collects e.g., blood, tissue, and CSF samples and associated data from patients who have given a biobank consent. In addition, old diagnostic and research cohort samples have been transferred to the Biobank.
Biobank of Eastern Finland’s samples and related information are utilized in the research of multifactorial diseases, especially vascular, metabolic, musculoskeletal, neurological, and oncological diseases and mental health research in accordance with the focus areas of the Kuopio University Hospital and University of Eastern Finland. The Northern Savo hospital district data lake is utilized in compiling and mining the sample-related data. The Biobank of Eastern Finland supports academic research and companies engaged in health-related research.
Biobank Director: Professor Veli-Matti Kosma
Data/IT: Timo Laitinen, Quality: Lilja Tikkanen, Projects: Hanna Kujala, Communications: Mika Peippo, Scientific Director: Arto Mannermaa
Central Finland Biobank
Central Finland Biobank is owned by Central Finland Health Care District and University of Jyväskylä. Whole blood, plasma, ctDNA and tissue samples as well as healthcare data linked to the samples have been collected since the beginning of 2018. The FFPE tissue samples collected by the hospital pathology laboratory before 2013 have also been transferred to the Biobank. The collections include samples for example from patients with triple negative breast cancer, lung cancer, gastrointestinal malignancies and rheumatoid arthritis.
The research focus of the Central Finland Biobank covers biological, medical, sports and health science research. The biobank serves research and product development covered by the research area and supports the development of diagnostics and treatment. The biobank also offers laboratory services, for example DNA extraction, slide digitization, and TMA block preparation.
Biobank Operations Manager: Erna Mäkinen
Data/IT: Tomi Lilja, Quality: Erna Mäkinen, Projects: Erna Mäkinen, Communications: Senni Lipponen
Biobank Operations Manager
Biobank Borealis of Northern Finland
Biobank Borealis of Northern Finland operates in conjunction with five of Finland’s Northern hospital districts, University of Oulu, and Nordlab. The Biobank contains two million FFPE samples transferred from pathology units and a rapidly growing collection of blood samples (serum, plasma, DNA) as well as cerebrospinal fluid samples. The Biobank also contains The Finnish Maternity Cohort (FMC) with two million serum samples collected from mothers during their early pregnancies. This unique cohort allows follow-up times across generations. FF tissue and liquid biopsy collections from cancer patients are also available.
Biobank Borealis offers researchers services in whole slide imaging, digital pathology, TMA block preparation and sample processing services. The Biobank is also engaged in developing analysis tools in cooperation with several parties. Biobank Borealis serves studies aiming to identify factors contributing to disease mechanisms, prevent diseases, and promote the well-being or health of the population or develop treatments.
Biobank Director: Raisa Serpi
Data/IT: Juha Kivelä and Elli Heikura, Quality: Johanna Korvala, Projects: Anne-Mari Moilanen, Scientific Director: Raisa Serpi, Vice Director: Pia Nyberg
Finnish Clinical Biobank Tampere
Finnish Clinical Biobank Tampere is a university hospital biobank founded by University of Tampere and hospital districts of Pirkanmaa, South Ostrobothnia and Kanta-Häme. Samples are collected extensively in specialized healthcare, primary healthcare, and maternity clinics in the region. The biobank provides researchers with fresh-frozen (FF) tumor tissue, DNA, plasma and serum samples. Also, old pathological FFPE samples and clinical genetics diagnostic samples have been transferred to Tampere Biobank.
Tampere Biobank specializes in oncological, pediatric, pregnancy, neurological, ophthalmological, and psychiatric sample collections. In addition, collections include both FF and FFPE samples in oncology. Due to the cold chain used during sample collection, plasma and serum samples are also suitable for proteomics, metabolomics and lipidomics analyses.
The Biobank utilizes the digital platform (OmaTays) of the Tampere University Hospital as a means of contacting sample donors, which facilitates flexible patient recontacting for further recall studies and distribution of questionnaires. Biobank samples can be linked with health records from several registers, which significantly increases their value in research.
Biobank Director: Sanna Siltanen
Data/IT: Sami Niemelä, Quality: Kimmo Savinainen, Projects: Enni Makkonen, Communications: Aino Pitkänen, VP: Kimmo Savinainen
The nationwide THL Biobank is a part of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). It is a nationwide cohort biobank that collects and stores valuable research samples from all over Finland. THL Biobank supports research into the causes of diseases, the impact of genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors on diseases, as well as research aiming to develop new solutions for health promotion and disease prevention. THL Biobank hosts population and disease-specific research collections, which contain high-quality samples and data from approximately 250,000 sample donors from all over Finland.
THL Biobank hosts remarkable population and disease-specific research collections, which contain high-quality samples and data. The biobank collections include plasma, serum, urine, and DNA samples. Cell samples, such as PBMC, B-lymphocytes, and skin fibroblasts are also available. The data include extensive life-style, demographic, and clinically measured data about the sample donors and data derived from the samples. Genome-wide data is available for the majority of sample donors, and metabolomics data is available for all recent population-based cohorts.
Samples and data
All samples and data of THL Biobank belong to different research cohorts, varying from population-based health examination surveys (e.g. FINRISK) to disease specific study cohorts, diabetes studies as one specialty.
THL Biobank hosts an impressive collection of omics data analyzed from over 290,000 samples. The vast majority of omics data is genome data returned to THL Biobank from projects that have genetically analyzed the biobank samples, such as FinnGen, but also others. In addition to genomics, THL Biobank has an abundance of other omics data, the largest one being metabolomics data available from over 42,000 samples.
THL Biobank is a good source for biomedical research
The mission of THL Biobank is to serve scientists not only as a source of samples and data but also by providing expertise and excellence in other parts of a research project to ensure a path for scientific discoveries. For example, services of the THL expert network bring valuable medical insight into the projects and the state-of-the-art laboratory services enable tailored projects for the researcher.
Biobank Director: Tiina Wahlfors
Data/IT: Kaisa Silander, Quality: Minttu Sauramo, Projects: Katariina Peltonen, Communications: Tiina Wahlfors, Scientific Director: Markus Perola
Biobank Director, Communications