Northwest Biobank at Kaiser Permanente


Samples retrieved from the Kaiser Permanente Northwest Biobank (NWBB) include specimens currently in storage as stabilized buffy coat or DNA frozen at -80C. Buffy coat samples will have DNA extracted before transfer to the selected investigator for use in research.  The NWBB currently has over 12,500 samples on hand for this use.  

Collection of samples began in 2009 with a cohort of hypertensive patients invited to participate by mail (N=524).  Over the years we have collected samples from members with other conditions such as breast cancer, prostate cancer and lung cancer (N=2,816), people who had diabetes diagnosed at KP (N=4,803), members with diagnosis of depression (N=803), women at increased risk for ovarian cancer (N=923), members 80 years of age and older (N=1,082), and members with a cardiovascular diagnosis (N=855).  We have also had members join the NW Biobank who heard by word of mouth, or were invited as healthy controls, or had other conditions (N=716). Some subjects have multiple conditions, but are counted only once in the category where they were identified for recruitment.

  • 58% of the samples are from female members
  • 98% are 40 years of age or older
  • 93% are white

Samples from the Tissue Clinical library may also be available.  The Kaiser Permanente Northwest pathology department currently holds more than 3.5 million blocks and associated slides dating back to 1971 in a clinical tissue library.  The Tissue Clinical Library consists of archival paraffin-embedded tissue samples that were originally collected for clinical diagnostic purposes. The blocks contain both normal and tumor tissue. The majority of the specimens have been fixed in 10% neutral buffered formalin and then embedded in paraffin blocks.  These specimens have been successfully accessed for numerous research studies.


Who benefits?

  • Researchers with existing programs of funded research could benefit significantly by augmenting their existing sample resources with a new collection.

  • Specimen-retrieval efforts could focus on KPNW members with prostate cancer, hypertension, colon cancer, ovarian cancer, diabetes, or other prevalent conditions.

  • A researcher with an interest in longevity may obtain DNA samples from KPNW members who are very long-lived.

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Katrina Goddard, PhDThe Director of the NW Biobank at Kaiser Permanente, Katrina Goddard, PhD, will consult with interested investigators. Dr. Goddard can provide in-depth information regarding the collection and work with the interested applicant to provide preliminary information about sample availability.

To schedule a consultation with Dr. Goddard, please contact Robin Daily (


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