Article Title

The Kaiser Permanente Biobank: A Multiregion Resource Linking Specimens and Electronic Medical Records for Broad Research in an Integrated Health Care Delivery System

Publication Date



biorepository, genetics


Background/Aims: Kaiser Permanente (KP) is an integrated health care delivery system spanning seven geographic regions with 9.3 million members. The KP Biobank is an extension of existing biobanks in four KP regions –– Northwest, Southern California, Georgia and Northern California –– which together include specimens and phenotypic data for a total of 210,000 members. This includes the Research Program on Genes, Environment, and Health (RPGEH) Biobank, and the Genetic Epidemiology Research on Adult Health and Aging (GERA) cohort, which has genome-wide genotype data on 110,266 participants. We describe the design and features of a new initiative to consolidate these efforts into a single entity, called the KP Biobank, and expand the cohort to a total of 500,000 participants across all seven KP regions.

Methods: The KP Biobank will include a general cohort (410,000 participants), designed to represent the diversity of KP members, and two specialized cohorts: a cancer cohort (30,000 participants) and a pregnancy cohort (60,000 participants). For the cancer cohort, we will develop a rapid cases ascertainment system to identify and enroll cases close to the time of diagnosis. For the pregnancy cohort, newly pregnant members will be asked to provide specimens during their first and second trimesters of pregnancy. Whole blood and serum will be collected from participants in every cohort. Participants consent to broad future uses of specimens and data. Specimens will be stored centrally at an existing facility in Northern California and linked to phenotypic information from the medical record. We also will collect patient reported information on demographics, behavioral and environmental exposures via survey. A unique feature of the KP Biobank is the establishment of a translational research center (TRC), with a mission to support clinical integration of new discoveries and research across the translational continuum. The consolidated governance of the KP Biobank will streamline and facilitate collaboration and partnerships through a single access review committee and application procedure. Any researcher, including external scientists, may apply for use of specimens or genotyping data.

Results: Not applicable.

Discussion: The KP Biobank will facilitate future genomic and nongenomic research, particularly questions addressing diverse populations, longitudinal measures to assess changes over time and long-term outcomes.




April 1st, 2015


April 28th, 2015