The Northern Ireland Biobank (NIB) is a collaborative project between Queens University Belfast (QUB) and the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust (BHSCT). The vision of the biobank is to host and distribute a collection of well defined, quality assured biological samples to support translational research programmes in Northern Ireland and beyond.

The Health and Social Care Research and Development Division of the Public Health Agency (HSC R&D Division) provides the majority of the funding for NIB. Cancer Research–UK, the Friends of the Cancer Centre and Prostate Cancer UK have also provided financial support. Queens University is the host institution. The NIB Steering Committee oversees the good practices of the bank.

NIB has approval from ORECNI (reference 16/NI/0030) to collect, store and distribute samples to researchers. The first phase is the collection of tumour and non-tumour control tissues and patient-matched blood samples, with urine and saliva samples when appropriate. NIB focuses on malignancies from the gastrointestinal tract, thoracic cavity, breast, lymphoreticular system, head and neck, genitourinary and gynaecological tracts.  The NIB also has approval in place to collect samples of tissues and blood from individuals with premalignant or potentially malignant conditions and to access samples from BHSCT pathology archives.  BHSCT Tissue Pathology is fully CPA-accredited.

The second phase of the NIB will be the collection of haematological (‘liquid’) malignancies for research building on the infrastructure established by Phase 1 of the biobank. 


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NI Biobank 2017 UK Biobank of the Year Runner-Up

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Annual Report to Research Ethics Committee


Annual Report to Office of Research Ethics (NI) 2017-2018

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Annual Report 2012

Access Policy

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