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About the Beryllium BioBank


The Beryllium BioBank is made up by the collaborating investigators of five Clinical Centers, a Data Coordinating Center (DCC), two Core Laboratories (a Specimen Core Laboratory (SCL) and a DNA Core Laboratory (GPCL)), with oversight by both the DOE Program Office and the Steering Committee Chair.  

                                              Beryllium BioBank Participating Centers




The specific goal of the Beryllium BioBank is to facilitate future beryllium disease research and improve our understanding of beryllium-related health effects by collecting and archiving biological specimens and associated clinical data from patients with chronic beryllium disease, beryllium sensitization, and those exposed to beryllium who are non-sensitized. 

Study Design Overview
Current and former Department of Energy workers were recruited for the Beryllium BioBank over a 36-month period by five participating clinical centers. 

The participants in this program are all volunteers and have given their written consent to participate.  Following informed consent, participants were asked to:
  1. donate blood to the repository for DNA extraction, plasma and cell pellet; 
  2. complete a private interviewer-administered questionnaire to obtain demographic information, medical symptoms and history, smoking history, occupational and exposure history; 
  3. provide consent to review medical evaluation results and tests including physiologic and radiographic studies; 
  4. provide consent to review DOE exposure and work history records including years of employment, job titles, and building locations; and if appropriate; 
  5. provide permission to collect leftover bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, cells, and transbronchial biopsy lung tissue obtained for the purpose of a participant’s clinical evaluation;
  6. if available, the BBR will accept leftover tissues specimens from autopsy, open lung biopsy, lymph nodes, and skin biopsy. 

                                                               Beryllium BioBank Process Flow


All biological specimens and clinical data were de-identified at the clinical centers before being banked and stored at the following locations: 
  • radiographic and clinical data- Data Coordinating Center (DCC); 
  • biopsy tissue and lavage fluid and cells, and peripheral blood cell pellets-Specimen Core Laboratory (SCL) (NJH); 
  • blood specimens for DNA extraction and plasma- Genetics and Plasma Core Laboratory (GPCL) (HUP). (temporary storage)
​At the completion of the collection period, all biological specimens were transferred to the National Jewish Health BioRepository.   The Data Coordinating Center will manage inquiries and access for future investigators who have approved study proposals.

For more detailed descriptions and processes, please view the Beryllium BioBank Protocol:



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