The Kaiser Permanente (KP) Research Bank is the second largest biobank in the US. It provides an exceptional opportunity to enable research studies related to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease. KP makes this core resource—including de-identified medical record information, a health survey and biospecimens—available to scientists who apply to use the information for genetic, epidemiological, and other scientific research.
KP is unique in that it is
- population-based, including up to 20-50% of each regional area’s insured population;
- large, consisting of over 11.6 million members; and
- has a well-characterized population, with more than 12 years of electronic medical records.
The KP Research Bank is structured both technically and operationally to provide the widest possible value to the genomics and translational research community. The opportunities for collaborative research are unparalleled.
KPRB’s mission is to create a core resource with high quality biospecimen and data collection to enable research in all areas with an emphasis on genomics and translational research with the goal of advancing knowledge for the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management of disease that benefits our members and the community at large.
The goals of KPRB are to:
- Establish a resource for investigators both at Kaiser Permanente and external institutions to advance knowledge and understanding of factors involved in human health and disease.
- Enroll 500,000 volunteers.
- Conduct research in strict compliance with all legal requirements and ethical best practices.
- Protect the security and privacy of individuals who contribute data and biospecimens to the KPRB resource in accordance with all applicable legal safeguards.
Description of Our Collections
The KP Research Bank includes members aged 18 and over, from all seven KP regions, who volunteered to participate in the program.
*As of June 2017
The KP Research Bank is currently enrolling, consenting, and collecting blood specimens and other data on adult KP members aged 18 years and older who volunteer. Recruitment is done using e- mail, U.S. mail and in person communications at KP facilities.
To enable the broadest possible collaborative opportunities for the KP Research Bank, we collect biologic samples with a consent that specifies use in future research, and possible sharing of data with researchers outside KP. We collect whole blood through standard venipuncture at any KP clinical laboratory. Primary sample types stored are whole blood, DNA and serum.
Although a large general cohort will have many prevalent cases of common and rare diseases that are useful for case- control studies, the need for very large sample sizes is critical to determine their association with a trait or disease. The recent advent of lower cost and high throughput technologies such as next generation sequencing — such as with large gene panels, exome and whole genome sequencing — can identify rare variants.
Some participants in the KPRB general cohort were initially enrolled through the Research Program on Genes, Environment and Health (RPGEH) in Northern and Southern California. These participants provided a saliva sample in a whole-saliva collection kit (OrageneTM DNA collection kit, DNA Genotek, Inc., Ottawa, Ontario, Canada). In 2011, RPGEH transitioned from collection of saliva to the collection of blood specimens from participants. 103,000 of these subjects have available Affymetrics Axiom array data, a subset of which is available on the dbGaP website here.
Exposures during the prenatal period have lasting effects on maternal and child health outcomes. To better understand the effects of the in utero environment on women’s and children’s short- and long-term health, we have developed a large representative pregnancy cohort with comprehensive information on a broad range of environmental influences and the ability to link to prenatal, child and maternal health outcomes. The Kaiser Permanente Research Bank pregnancy cohort was established in 2010 to create a resource for conducting research to better understand factors influencing women’s and children’s health. Based in Kaiser Permanente’s Northern California region, with recruitment integrated into routine prenatal care, the KPRB pregnancy cohort currently contains approximately 25,000 unique pregnancies linked to EHR and survey data. The cohort represents the racial and ethnic diversity and pregnancy outcomes of female members in Kaiser Permanente Northern California.
An estimated 15.5 million cancer survivors live in the United States, and that number is expected to grow to over 20 million by 2026 (www.cancercontrol.cancer.gov/ocs). The need to identify ways to reduce the burden of cancer, through improved and targeted therapies, and symptom control remains an urgent element of the nation’s health research agenda. The purpose of the Cancer Cohort is to facilitate high-impact, population research focused on understanding the contribution of genetics and life-style factors in improving cancer treatment and outcomes, reducing co-morbidities, and maximizing quality of life. We plan to enroll 30,000 adult Kaiser Permanente members with newly diagnosed cancer using a rapid case ascertainment system that identifies patients within days of their diagnosis.
Demographic and clinical data on cohort members
2007-present: A comprehensive lifestyle and behavior survey is conducted at the time of consent to participation in the General Cohort, Cancer Cohort, and Pregnancy Cohort. Variables include self- and family history of the occurrence of about 35 conditions and diseases; behavioral factors, including diet, physical activity, smoking, and alcohol consumption; reproductive history for women; and urinary and reproductive health for men. This survey captures data not readily found in the medical record and will provide important information that can be associated with the molecular and biomarker information collected via the samples.
Data from electronic medical records and other health plan databases are also available for cohort members. Databases are standardized across the KP regions and include enrollment, demographics, procedures, diagnoses, medical encounters, pharmacy, vital signs, and census variables.
Approved studies may use the clinical and/or survey data with or without the biologic specimens.
The Research Biorepository occupies over 5,000 square feet in Berkeley California and contains state-of-the-art equipment. The equipment includes an ABF 500 automated blood fractionation robot unit, an RTS A4 temperature and humidity controlled robotic ambient storage unit for storing DNA using Biomatrica DNAstable storage medium, a walk-in -80° C freezer with 2,552 cubic feet of usable storage for approximately 5,000,000 1ml storage tubes, and two MVE1894R-190 liquid nitrogen storage tanks. The freezers have 24-7 alarms and monitoring with redundant back-up support of uninterrupted power source (UPS), freestanding diesel power generator, and liquid nitrogen. In addition, the laboratory contains one upright -80° C freezer, two -20° C freezers, two refrigerators and other routine laboratory equipment (e.g., centrifuges, liquid handlers (Beckman Coulter and Tecan), DI water, biological hoods, capper/decapper units, etc.)
The Biorepository laboratory is capable of high-throughput processing of new specimens and DNA extraction, normalization and plating with this equipment. A custom developed Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) tracks specimens at each step. The Berkeley facility maintains an ISO-certification for continuous improvement as a world-class storage facility.
About the KP Research Bank
Senior Administrative Leadership
Sarah Rowell, MPH – Administrative Director, Program Office
Alan Bauck, MBA – Data Coordination Core, Lead
Alex Lituev, MD – Biorepository Lead
Heather Feigelson PhD, MPH – KP Colorado Scientific Lead and Cancer Cohort Lead
Andrew Bradlyn, PhD – KP Georgia Scientific Lead
Stacey Honda, MD – KP Hawaii Scientific Lead
Michael Horberg MD, MAS, FACP, FIDSA – KP Mid-Atlantic States Scientific Lead
Cathy Schaefer, PhD – KP Northern California Scientific Lead and Scientific Director of Data Coordination Core
Sheila Weinmann, PhD, MPH – KP Northwest Scientific Lead
Deborah Young, PhD – KP Southern California Scientific Lead
Lisa Croen, PhD – Pregnancy Cohort Lead
Trine Jeppeson – Contact Center Lead, Program Office
Marianne Sadler, MPH – LIMS and Systems Lead, ISO Management Rep, Program Office
Inga Wagar – Access Administrator, Program Office
Susan Woo – Laboratory Practice Specialist, Program Office
Michelle Wrenn, MPH – Operations Lead, KP Colorado
Brandi Robinson, MPH – Operations Lead, KP Georgia
Cyndee Yonehara, MPH – Operations Lead, KP Hawaii
Cabell Jonas, PhD – Operations Lead, KP Mid-Atlantic States
Elaine Chung, MPH – Operations Lead, KP Northern California
Kristin Muessig, MS – Operations Lead, KP Northwest
Galina Inzhakova, MPH – Operations Lead, KP Southern California
Terrence Chinn, MPH – Project Manager Data Coordination Core, KP Northern California
KP Research Bank Advisors
Scientific Advisory Board (SAB)
The Scientific Advisory Board provides scientific leadership and guidance to the research team. For more information, please contact us.
Joan Bailey-Wilson, PhD
Head, Statistical Genetics Section
Co-Branch Chief, Computational and Statistical Genomics Branch
National Human Genome Research Institute
Rory Collins, PhD
Chief Executive, UK Biobank
Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology
University of Oxford
Alpa Patel, PhD
Strategic Director, CPS-3
American Cancer Society
Brenda Eskenazi, PhD
Maxwell Professor of Maternal and Child Health and Epidemiology
Chair, Community Health and Human Development
School of Public Health, Division of Epidemiology
University of California, Berkeley
Sandra Soo-Jin Lee, PhD
Senior Research Scholar
Center for Biomedical Ethics
Daniel Schaid, PhD
Professor of Biostatistics
Department of Health Sciences Research
Marc Weisskopf, PhD, ScD
Departments of Environmental Health and Epidemiology
Harvard School of Public Health
Muin J. Khoury, MD, PhD
Director, Office of Public Health Genomics
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
David Ledbetter, PhD
Executive Vice President & Chief Scientific Officer
Geisinger Health System
Bioethics Advisory Board (BAB)
The Bioethics Advisory Board provides leadership regarding bioethical issues and best practices in issues of ethics and governance. For more information please contact us.
Eric Garcia, MS
National Research Compliance Officer and Director of the National Compliance in Research Support Program (N-CRSP)
Kaiser Foundation Research Institute (KFRI)
Hank Greely, JD
Director, Center for Law and the Biosciences
Stanford Law School
Malia Fullerton, DPhil
Director, Institute for Public Health Genetics
University of Washington School of Public Health
Osagie Obasogie, JD, PhD
Haas Distinguished Chair and Professor of Bioethics
Joint Medical Program
Division of Community Health Sciences
University of California, Berkeley
Maile Taualii, PhD, MPH
University of Hawaii
Community Advisory Boards (CAB)
Four CABs — 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 contact us.
Institutional Review Board (IRB)
Similar to 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 research regulations, guidelines, and ethical principles.
Researcher Application Process
Access Review Committee and Review Criteria
The KP Research Bank Access Review Committee (ARC) reviews each research proposal.
The KP Research Bank strives for transparency in the review process. The table found here outlines the review criteria used to assess KP Research Bank pre-applications and applications. If you have questions about the review criteria or process, complete the form below.
Applications are 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 15th Applications will be reviewed by the ARC in the month following the deadline.
If you are interesting in conducting research with the KP Research Bank, but you have more questions, fill out and submit the form below.
To submit your pre-application, please contact our Access Administrator by using the form below.
- Pre-applications will be reviewed by the ARC within 2-4 weeks of submission, depending on whether assistance is required to identify a KP collaborator.
- If the pre-application is approved, the Access Administrator will notify and invite the investigator via email to submit an application.
The purpose of the pre-application is to:
- Outline the proposed research project, including requested biospecimens 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 KP collaborators if not already identified
Once your pre-application has been approved, you will be invited to submit an application. For reference, please see the Application below.
Contact the Access Administrator
News and Updates
Select publications using the KP Research Bank resource, or prior KP biobanking resources including the Research Program on Genes, Environment, and Health.
- Hoffmann TJ, Keats BJ, Yoshikawa N, Schaefer C, Risch N, Lustig LR. A Large Genome-Wide Association Study of Age-Related Hearing Impairment Using Electronic Health Records. PLoS Genet. 2016 Oct 20; 12(10):e1006371. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1006371. eCollection 2016. PubMed PMID: 27764096.
- Zhou K, Yee SW, Seiser EL, van Leeuwen N, et al. Variation in the glucose transporter gene SLC2A2 is associated with glycemic response to metformin. Nat Genet. 2016 Sep;48(9):1055-9. doi: 10.1038/ng.3632. Epub 2016 Aug 8. PubMed PMID: 27500523; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5007158.
- Han E, Abrams B, Sridhar S, Xu F, Hedderson M. Validity of Self-Reported Pre-Pregnancy Weight and Body Mass Index Classification in an Integrated Health Care Delivery System. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2016 Jul;30(4):314-9. doi: 10.1111/ppe.12286. Epub 2016 Mar 9. PubMed PMID: 26961120.
- Sridhar SB, Xu F, Hedderson MM. Trimester-specific gestational weight gain and infant size for gestational age. PLoS One. 2016 Jul 21;11(7):e0159500. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0159500. eCollection 2016. PubMed PMID: 27442137; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4956066.
- DeLorenze GN, Nelson CL, Scott WK, Allen AS, Ray GT, Tsai AL, Quesenberry CP Jr, Fowler VG Jr. Polymorphisms in HLA Class II Genes Are Associated With Susceptibility to Staphylococcus aureus Infection in a White Population. J Infect Dis. 2016 Mar 1;213(5):816-23. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiv483. Epub 2015 Oct 8. PubMed PMID: 26450422; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4747615.
- Shen L, Melles RB, Metlapally R, Barcellos L, Schaefer C, Risch N, Herrinton LJ, Wildsoet C, Jorgenson E. The Association of Refractive Error with Glaucoma in a Multiethnic Population. Ophthalmology. 2016 Jan;123(1):92-101. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2015.07.002. Epub 2015 Aug 8. PubMed PMID: 26260281; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4695304.
- Jorgenson E, Makki N, Shen L, Chen DC, Tian C, Eckalbar WL, Hinds D, Ahituv N, Avins A. A genome-wide association study identifies four novel susceptibility loci underlying inguinal hernia. Nat Commun. 2015 Dec 21;6:10130. doi:10.1038/ncomms10130. PubMed PMID: 26686553; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4703831.
- Hoffmann TJ, Van Den Eeden SK, Sakoda LC, Jorgenson E, Habel LA, Graff RE, Passarelli MN, Cario CL, Emami NC, Chao CR, Ghai NR, Shan J, Ranatunga DK, Quesenberry CP, Aaronson D, Presti J, Wang Z, Berndt SI, Chanock SJ, McDonnell SK, French AJ, Schaid DJ, Thibodeau SN, Li Q, Freedman ML, Penney KL, Mucci LA, Haiman CA, Henderson BE, Seminara D, Kvale MN, Kwok PY, Schaefer C, Risch N, Witte JS. A large multiethnic genome-wide association study of prostate cancer identifies novel risk variants and substantial ethnic differences. Cancer Discov. 2015 Aug;5(8):878-91. doi: 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-15-0315. Epub 2015 Jun 1.PubMed PMID: 26034056; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4527942.
- Kvale MN, Hesselson S, Hoffmann TJ, Cao Y, Chan D, Connell S, Croen LA, Dispensa BP, Eshragh J, Finn A, Gollub J, Iribarren C, Jorgenson E, Kushi LH, Lao R, Lu Y, Ludwig D, Mathauda GK, McGuire WB, Mei G, Miles S, Mittman M, Patil M, Quesenberry CP Jr, Ranatunga D, Rowell S, Sadler M, Sakoda LC, Shapero M, Shen L, Shenoy T, Smethurst D, Somkin CP, Van Den Eeden SK, Walter L, Wan E, Webster T, Whitmer RA, Wong S, Zau C, Zhan Y, Schaefer C, Kwok PY, Risch N. Genotyping Informatics and Quality Control for 100,000 Subjects in the Genetic Epidemiology Research on Adult Health and Aging (GERA) Cohort. Genetics. 2015 Aug;200(4):1051-60. doi: 10.1534/genetics.115.178905. Epub 2015 Jun 19. PubMed PMID: 26092718; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4574249.
- Banda Y, Kvale MN, Hoffmann TJ, Hesselson SE, Ranatunga D, Tang H, Sabatti C, Croen LA, Dispensa BP, Henderson M, Iribarren C, Jorgenson E, Kushi LH, Ludwig D, Olberg D, Quesenberry CP Jr, Rowell S, Sadler M, Sakoda LC, Sciortino S, Shen L, Smethurst D, Somkin CP, Van Den Eeden SK, Walter L, Whitmer RA, Kwok PY, Schaefer C, Risch N. Characterizing race/ethnicity and genetic ancestry for 100,000 subjects in the Genetic Epidemiology Research on Adult Health and Aging (GERA) cohort. Genetics. 2015 Aug;200(4):1285-95. doi: 10.1534/genetics.115.178616. Epub 2015 Jun 19. PubMed PMID: 26092716; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4574246.
- Lapham K, Kvale MN, Lin J, Connell S, Croen LA, Dispensa BP, Fang L, Hesselson S, Hoffmann TJ, Iribarren C, Jorgenson E, Kushi LH, Ludwig D, Matsuguchi T, McGuire WB, Miles S, Quesenberry CP Jr, Rowell S, Sadler M, Sakoda LC, Smethurst D, Somkin CP, Van Den Eeden SK, Walter L, Whitmer RA, Kwok PY, Risch N, Schaefer C, Blackburn EH. Automated assay of telomere length measurement and informatics for 100,000 subjects in the Genetic Epidemiology Research on Adult Health and Aging (GERA) Cohort. Genetics. 2015 Aug;200(4):1061-72. doi: 10.1534/genetics.115.178624. Epub 2015 Jun 19. PubMed PMID: 26092717; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4574243.
- Shen L, Hoffmann TJ, Melles RB, Sakoda LC, Kvale MN, Banda Y, Schaefer C, Risch N, Jorgenson E. Differences in the genetic susceptibility to age-related macular degeneration clinical subtypes. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2015 Jul 1;56(8):4290-9. doi: 10.1167/iovs.15-16533. PubMed PMID: 26176866; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4509058.
- Wen CC, Yee SW, Liang X, Hoffmann TJ, Kvale MN, Banda Y, Jorgenson E, Schaefer C, Risch N, Giacomini KM. Genome-wide association study identifies ABCG2 (BCRP) as an allopurinol transporter and a determinant of drug response. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2015 May;97(5):518-25. doi: 10.1002/cpt.89. Epub 2015 Apr 6. PubMed PMID:25676789; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4479153.
- Hoffmann TJ, Sakoda LC, Shen L, Jorgenson E, Habel LA, Liu J, Kvale MN, Asgari MM, Banda Y, Corley D, Kushi LH, Quesenberry CP Jr, Schaefer C, Van Den Eeden SK, Risch N, Witte JS. Imputation of the Rare HOXB13 G84E Mutation and Cancer Risk in a Large Population-Based Cohort. PLoS Genet. 2015 Jan 28;11(1):e1004930. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1004930. eCollection 2015 Jan. Erratum in: PLoS Genet. 2015 Jun;11(6):e1005362. PLoS Genet. 2015 Apr;11(4):e1005114. PubMed PMID: 25629170; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4309593.
- Wall JD, Tang LF, Zerbe B, Kvale MN, Kwok PY, Schaefer C, Risch N. Estimating genotype error rates from high-coverage next-generation sequence data. Genome Res. 2014 Nov;24(11):1734-9. doi: 10.1101/gr.168393.113. Epub 2014 Oct 10. PubMed PMID: 25304867; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4216915.
- Sridhar SB, Darbinian J, Ehrlich SF, Markman MA, Gunderson EP, Ferrara A, Hedderson MM. Maternal gestational weight gain and offspring risk for childhood overweight or obesity. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2014 Sep;211(3):259.e1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2014.02.030. Epub 2014 Apr 13. PubMed PMID: 24735804.
- Van Den Eeden SK, Ferrara A, Shan J, Jacobsen SJ, Quinn VP, Haque R, Quesenberry CP. Impact of type 2 diabetes on lower urinary tract symptoms in men: a cohort study. BMC Urol. 2013 Feb 20;13:12. doi: 10.1186/1471-2490-13-12. PubMed PMID: 23421436; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3605100.
- Van Den Eeden SK, Shan J, Jacobsen SJ, Aaronsen D, Haque R, Quinn VP, Quesenberry CP Jr; Urologic Diseases in America Project. Evaluating racial/ethnic disparities in lower urinary tract symptoms in men. J Urol. 2012 Jan;187(1):185-9. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2011.09.043. Epub 2011 Nov 17. PubMed PMID: 22100004; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4005424.
- Hoffmann TJ, Zhan Y, Kvale MN, Hesselson SE, Gollub J, Iribarren C, Lu Y, Mei G, Purdy MM, Quesenberry C, Rowell S, Shapero MH, Smethurst D, Somkin CP, Van den Eeden SK, Walter L, Webster T, Whitmer RA, Finn A, Schaefer C, Kwok PY, Risch N. Design and coverage of high throughput genotyping arrays optimized for individuals of East Asian, African American, and Latino race/ethnicity using imputation and a novel hybrid SNP selection algorithm. Genomics. 2011 Dec;98(6):422-30. doi: 10.1016/j.ygeno.2011.08.007. Epub 2011 Aug 28. PubMed PMID: 21903159; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3502750.
- Fortier I, Doiron D, Little J, Ferretti V, L’Heureux F, Stolk RP, Knoppers BM, Hudson TJ, Burton PR; International Harmonization Initiative. Is rigorous retrospective harmonization possible? Application of the DataSHaPER approach across 53 large studies. Int J Epidemiol. 2011 Oct;40(5):1314-28. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyr106. Epub 2011 Jul 30. PubMed PMID: 21804097; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3204208.
- Hoffmann TJ, Kvale MN, Hesselson SE, Zhan Y, Aquino C, Cao Y, Cawley S, Chung E, Connell S, Eshragh J, Ewing M, Gollub J, Henderson M, Hubbell E, Iribarren C, Kaufman J, Lao RZ, Lu Y, Ludwig D, Mathauda GK, McGuire W, Mei G, Miles S, Purdy MM, Quesenberry C, Ranatunga D, Rowell S, Sadler M, Shapero MH, Shen L, ShenoyTR, Smethurst D, Van den Eeden SK, Walter L, Wan E, Wearley R, Webster T, Wen CC, Weng L, Whitmer RA, Williams A, Wong SC, Zau C, Finn A, Schaefer C, Kwok PY, Risch N. Next generation genome-wide association tool: design and coverage of a high-throughput European-optimized SNP array. Genomics. 2011 Aug;98(2):79-89. doi: 10.1016/j.ygeno.2011.04.005. Epub 2011 Apr 30. PubMed PMID: 21565264; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3146553.