UK Biobank is a major national resource for health research, with the aim of improving the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of serious and life-threatening illnesses – including cancer, heart diseases, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, eye disorders, depression and forms of dementia.
Funded primarily by the MRC and the Wellcome Trust, UK Biobank recruited 500,000 people aged between 40-69 years in 2006-2010 from across the country to take part in this project. They have undergone measures, provided blood, urine and saliva samples for future analysis, detailed information about themselves and agreed to have their health followed.
Over many years this will build into a powerful resource to help scientists discover why some people develop particular diseases and others do not.
UK Biobank is a tool for health research. The resource is available to all bona fide researchers for all types of health-related research that is in the public interest, without any preferential or exclusive access.
All researchers, whether in universities, charities, government agencies or commercial companies, and whether based in the UK or abroad, are subject to the same application process and approval criteria.
Details about UK Biobank and how to access the resource can be found at the UK Biobank web site: