• Photo of two people riding bikes

    Many studies that use the Mayo Clinic Biobank are aimed at better understanding how a person's genes (DNA) may influence overall health and wellness.

  • Photo of a Mayo Clinic researcher in a lab

    A blood sample and medical information is collected from all Mayo Clinic Biobank participants, who may also permit the use of tissue samples from past and future surgeries at Mayo Clinic.

  • Photo of two people gardening

    The Mayo Clinic Biobank is overseen by several groups, including a Community Advisory Board that ensures decisions are made with input from the community.

  • Photo of a Mayo Clinic researcher in a lab

    Established in spring 2009 at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., the Mayo Clinic Biobank has a goal of enrolling 50,000 Mayo Clinic patients by 2016.

The Mayo Clinic Biobank is a collection of samples, including blood and blood derivatives, and health information donated by volunteers. Unlike many biobanks in existence at Mayo Clinic and elsewhere, the Mayo Clinic Biobank is not focused on any particular disease.

Rather, the Biobank collects samples and health information from patients and other volunteers regardless of their health history. The only requirements are that they are:

  • At least 18 years old
  • A current or former patient at Mayo Clinic or the Mayo Clinic Health System
  • Able to give informed consent
  • Living in the U.S.

Once a participant becomes a part of the Biobank, he or she becomes a part of ongoing health research conducted at Mayo Clinic.

The Biobank was established at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and recruitment began in April 2009. Since then, the Biobank has expanded to Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., and the Mayo Clinic Health System. The Biobank's goal is to enroll 50,000 Mayo Clinic patients by 2016 to support a wide array of health-related research studies.

What's new?

As of late 2013, the Mayo Clinic Biobank is sending out a short (eight-page) follow-up questionnaire to certain participants to find out about particular health conditions that they may have developed since enrolling in the Biobank. Participants can expect to receive this questionnaire about four years after they enroll.

The questionnaire includes a series of questions about gastric symptoms that would help us identify if you have an undiagnosed gastroenterological condition called irritable bowel syndrome.

In addition, there are general health questions that your doctor would not typically ask. This information helps the Biobank determine if your data and samples are appropriate for use in various studies.

For example, if you have developed a particular disease since you enrolled in the Biobank, we would know not to use your sample as a "control" (someone without the disease). However, your sample could be used as a "case" (someone with the disease).

Although some of this information may be in Mayo medical records, we know that many people enrolled in the Biobank seek medical care at facilities other than Mayo Clinic. This questionnaire allows us to collect the same information from everyone.