BioBank Donation Guide


Beaumont's BioBank is a research center focused on developing innovative methods for early detection of disease and personalized treatment plans. The researchers accomplish this by using leading-edge analysis techniques and technologies.


But researchers would not be able to do any of this without biological contributions like tissues, blood and fluids from patients. It is through the analysis of these donations that scientists from Beaumont and other major research institutions around the country are able to advance research for the benefit of you and thousands of other patients.


What is the Biobank? The BioBank at Beaumont is a centralized laboratory of biological samples contributed by tens of thousands of patients. The samples are collected, stored, and analyzed to develop biomarkers. Biomarkers are genes or a set of genes or their products that researchers use to predict key clinical issues such as diagnosis, prognosis, treatment response, treatment choice or recurrence. Researchers now are analyzing the specimens to enhance the understanding of various diseases and conditions.


What is a biological sample? Blood, urine, bodily fluids, skin, hair and nails are examples of the type of biological samples that are collected by researchers investigating a variety of diseases.


Why is donating so important? Analysis of biological samples helps scientists investigate diseases and aids in the prevention and treatment such as Alzheimer's, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Your sample could be used in different types of research, including development of early detection methods, finding the causes of diseases, inventing new medications, and understanding the genetic basis for certain diseases. Human samples cannot be simply replicated; they must be donated. It is that simple: without biological sample donations, researchers cannot study diseases.


How do I donate? After you agree to donate, you will sign a consent form. A health care provider from the BioBank can explain the various parts of the form. Your biological sample will be collected by the representative as a new sample or as a leftover specimen from a regularly scheduled test and transported back to the BioBank. In order to help researchers classify your sample, other information about you will be shared and may include your gender, racial or ethnic group, date of birth, date of diagnosis, treatment history, and/or family and medical history.


What will happen to my sample after I donate it? Your information is entered into a computerized system that assigns a random number and bar code to the sample. The sample then is stored indefinitely in a permanent temperature storage unit. When a researcher has an approved research study that requires your sample, the sample is sent without any personal information that can identify you.


Will my privacy be protected? Your tissue, blood sample, and medical information will be labeled with a code. The Beaumont BioBank will have the information that matches the code. The Beaumont BioBank will keep the information in a safeguarded database. Only authorized people, such as BioBank key personnel who have agreed to protect your identity will have access to this database.


What are the risks to me? There are few, if any, risks to you. Physically, the sample donation generally is done at the same time as other medical tests or procedures. Other risks are outlined in the consent agreement.


Can I opt out of research? Yes. Providing your tissue samples is voluntary. You can change your mind at any time. If you would like to withdraw your sample, please call the BioBank staff and let them know of your decision.


Please visit the BioBank website at or call (248) 551-0428 during business hours for more information about the BioBank.