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Last Updated: 07/25/14

Mission and Goals

The lack of standardized, high-quality biospecimens is widely recognized as a significant roadblock to cancer research. The National Cancer Institute (NCI), through its Biorepositories and Biospecimen Research Branch (BBRB), is leading a national initiative to systematically address and resolve one of the most difficult problems that will drive 21st century cancer research: the limited availability of carefully collected and controlled, high-quality human biospecimens annotated with essential clinical data and properly consented for broad investigational use. This issue has been repeatedly identified by the scientific community as a leading obstacle to progress in post-genomics cancer research, and the NCI is committed to resolving this complex problem through a multifaceted approach that addresses those factors under our control and provides insights that will inform broader policy making in this area.

Established in 2005, BBRB is pursuing its mission to facilitate cancer and biomedical research by improving the quality and consistency of human biospecimens. BBRB achieves this mission through development and deployment of standards that represent the state of the science for biospecimen collections. This mission is carried out through five core focus areas;

  • Support and development of scientific research to bolster the evidence base for biospecimen collection, handling and processing practices
  • Leading the development and continuous improvement of policies and processes for collection and management of biospecimen resources
  • Providing educational materials and forums for communication around biospecimen related issues
  • Partnering nationally and internationally to harmonize biospecimen and biobanking standards
  • Providing a resource for direct support of NCI and NIH programs and service to the research community
BBRB Mission and Goals