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What is the Kaiser Permanente Research Bank?

The Kaiser Permanente (KP) Research Bank is a nationwide research bank that facilitates studies related to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease. KP makes this resource—including samples and data—available to scientists who apply to use the information for genetic, epidemiological, and other scientific research.

What Makes the Kaiser Permanente Research Bank Unique?

The KP Research Bank includes information from three sources—genetic information from a blood sample, comprehensive medical record information, and survey data on lifestyle and health issues not captured in the medical record.

By combining data from seven regions nationwide, the KP Research Bank has the scale to reflect population diversity. Kaiser Permanente members are demographically diverse, reflecting the general population.

As a nationwide, integrated health system, KP is uniquely positioned to apply the findings made through the KP Research Bank to clinical practice.

A priority of the KP Research Bank is ensuring that information is disseminated in a way that advances research and health care. KP Research Bank may share de-identified information through secure databases–such as online database of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Any genetic information is de-identified to protect the participant’s privacy.

What Are the KP Research Bank Core Values?

The KP Research Bank strives to:

  1. Follow the highest ethical research standards.
  2. Protect participant privacy.
  3. Clearly communicate the potential benefits and risks of participation.
  4. Construct a resource that reflects the diversity of the community so it
    will benefit all people.
  5. Respond to the concerns of participants, community groups and other stakeholders.
  6. Inform the public about research findings.
  7. Collaborate with researchers who share the same values.

Who are the KP Research Bank Advisors?

The leadership, scientists, and staff of the KP Research Bank seek advice from other research scientists, ethicists, members of Kaiser Permanente, and the community at large. This ensures that the research programs address the goals and concerns of all stakeholders.

Three different types of groups regularly advise the KP Research Bank:

  1. The Scientific Advisory Board provides scientific leadership and guidance to the research team. For more information, please email ResearchBank@kp.org.
    See current members here >
  2. The Bioethics Advisory Board provides leadership regarding bioethical issues and best practices in issues of ethics and governance. For more information please email ResearchBank@kp.org.
    See current members here >
  3. The Community Advisory Boards (CAB)—three regional and one national – represent the voice of the communities Kaiser Permanente serves. The CABs provide a diversity of input on a wide range of issues related to the KP Research Bank’s role in public health.

Within all regions, KP members and non-members are represented, as are the voices of advocacy, environmental and community-based health groups, community leaders, social safety-net providers, labor and public health organizations, academic institutions, and others.

For more information about the Community Advisory boards, please email ResearchBank@kp.org.

What are the Current Focuses of Research?

As one of the nation’s most productive research institutions, Kaiser Permanente and our research scientists are transforming the future of health. Many studies using samples and data from the KP Research Bank are currently underway to determine how genetic and environmental factors play a role in health and disease. The KP Research Bank is designed to provide samples and data to researchers studying nearly every aspect of health and disease.

Some examples of current research are:

In December 2015, findings from the first large-scale genetic study of hernia risk in adults were announced. Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco and Kaiser Permanente identified variations at four locations in the genome that underlie the risk of inguinal hernia, the most common type of hernia. The findings provide insight into the origins of hernia development and highlight genetic pathways for studies of its treatment.

Other examples of approved projects that are using or will use KP Research Bank samples and/or data include studies on:

  • Asthma status and severity
  • Breast cancer
  • COPD and lung cancer
  • Hearing impairment
  • Narcolepsy
  • Migraines
  • Pregnancy
  • Skin cancer

If you are a researcher interested in accessing the KP Research Bank, we encourage you to speak with our KP Research Bank Access Team about your project.

Please email ResearchBank@kp.org or call 844-268-2947, Monday through Friday, 8am-6pm Pacific Time (11am – 9pm Eastern, 10am – 8pm Central, 9am – 7pm Mountain, 5am – 3pm Hawaii).

Who Governs and Oversees the KP Research Bank?

Institutional Review Board

Like all research institutions, the KP Research Bank is required to have an Institutional Review Board (IRB). This governing body of physicians, scientists, and community representatives reviews and approves every study before it begins.

The goal of this Board is to minimize any risk to participants by making sure that the KP Research Bank, as well as collaborating organizations and research scientists, follow federal regulations and guidelines.

Access Review Committee

Researchers first submit an application. Before they can use samples and data for their research projects, the Access Review Committee (ARC) must grant its approval.

Some factors the Access Review Committee considers:

  1. Is the question or research area scientifically important?
  2. Does the project proposal only use data or does it also include the use of samples?
  3. Does the KP Research Bank have an available number and type of sample to complete this request?
  4. How would the project add value to the overall goals of the KP Research Bank? For example, could it submit genetic sequencing data back into the KP Research Bank database?

Submit Your Application

Submission deadlines

Applications will be subject to two stages of review: Pre-application review and application review.

  • Pre-applications may be submitted at any time.
  • Annual submission deadlines for applications are February 15th, April 15th, June 15th, August 15th, October 15th, and December 15 Applications will be reviewed by our ARC in the month following the deadline.

Pre-application

Pre-applications will be reviewed by the ARC within 2-4 weeks of submission, depending on whether assistance is required to identify a Kaiser Permanente collaborator.

To submit your completed pre-application, please email it to our Access Administrator at ResearchBankAccess@kp.org

The purpose of the pre-application is to:

  • Outline the proposed project, including requested samples and/or data (1 page limit)
  • Provide a brief lay summary of the proposed research project that can be understood by members of the public (200 word limit)
  • Outline the credentials of the applicant
  • Request Kaiser Permanente collaborators if needed

If the pre-application is approved, the Access Administrator will notify and invite the investigator via email to submit an application.

Application

Once your pre-application has been approved, you will be invited to submit an application.

To submit your completed application, please email it to our Access Administrator at ResearchBankAccess@kp.org

If you are interesting in conducting research with the KP Research Bank, but you have more questions, please email our Access Administrator at ResearchBankAccess@kp.org or fill out and submit the form below.

Review Criteria

The table found here outlines which review criteria will be used to assess KP Research Bank pre-applications and applications. The KP Research Bank strives for transparency in the review process. If you have questions about the review criteria or process, please email our Access Administrator at ResearchBankAccess@kp.org or complete the form below.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Subject

Phone Number (required)

Organization

Please describe your inquiry (required)

How is the KP Research Bank funded?

Kaiser Permanente has invested core funding for the development of the KP Research Bank. Building the KP Research Bank is a part of the KP mission to improve health for KP members and the communities KP is serving. Conducting research, developing and disseminating evidence based knowledge is an integral part of the belief in the Total Health of individuals and communities.

How Can My Organization Partner with the KP Research Bank?

For more information on potential partnerships with KP Research Bank please email ResearchBankAccess@kp.org or complete the form below:

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Subject

Phone Number (required)

Organization

Please describe your inquiry (required)