«Pendant des siècles, la Médecine s’est préoccupée de soigner. Aujourd’hui elle s'est donnée comme but de prévenir plutôt que de guérir.»
Pr Jean Dausset, Prix Nobel de Médecine, 1980
La Fondation Jean Dausset - Centre d’Etude du Polymorphisme Humain participe aux efforts nationaux et internationaux de recherche pour mieux déterminer le rôle du polymorphisme génétique chez l’Homme, tout particulièrement dans les maladies complexes, pour mieux les comprendre, les diagnostiquer et participer au développement d’une médecine personnalisée.
Introduction Main collections Missions Network

The CEPH Biobank is partner of the BioCF (Biobanque Cohortes françaises) Equipex+ selected by the ANR (French National Research Agency).

BioCF is the result of a collaboration between the INSERM (project coordinator), the Paris Saclay University, the Paris Univeristy and the Fondation Jean Dausset - CEPH.

BioCF's goal is to help the development of collaborations between national epidemiologic cohorts: CONSTANCES, E3N, E4N, ELFE / EPIPAGE2 and GAZEL, to gather collections in a single place at CEPH, to annotate them wih genetic data (UK Biobank like) and to set up a laboratoy of biobanking sciences.

The first french Biobank to be certified ISO20387:2018

The CEPH-Biobank has succeeded on March 12, 2020 in getting the international certification ISO20387:2018, the new biobank international standard, making it the first French biobank to get this distinction for its activities of collection, reception, processing, storage and distribution of human samples in collaboration or service. It is one of the first biobanks in the world to get this certification. The CEPH-Biobank is also compliant, since March 2017, with the international quality standard ISO9001:2015.

This achievement rewards the CEPH's vision, the great investment of the biobank's team and the excellence of our projects. It ensures our collaborators that we provide qualified services and materials for international human genetic research.

CEPH biobank presentation

The CEPH Biobank is certified according to the ISO20387:2018 and ISO9001:2015 standards for its activities of collection, reception, treatment, conservation, distribution of human biological resources in collaboration or service since 12 March 2020.

The CEPH Biobank was previously certified according to the NF S96-900 and ISO9001:2015 standards for its activities of reception, treatment, conservation, distribution of human biological resources since 31 March 2017.

The CEPH Biobank is a high throughput biological resource centre that receives human samples such as fresh or frozen blood, tissues, cell pellets, serum or plasma, lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCL), mouth swabs, saliva or DNA for processing and storage for research programs.

Tens of thousands of samples are received each year within different programs. This high throughput requires a technological expertise and high standardization levels. Technical validation of protocols together with a database developed and adapted to the biobank and wide range quality control procedures are insuring traceability, reproducibility and high quality of biological materials. The biobank is compliant with the ISO9001:2015 and ISO20387:2018 standards since March 2020 and was previously compliant with ISO9001:2015 and NF S96-900 standards since March 2017.

The CEPH biobank obtained in April 27 2021 the mark Optimized "Performance 3C-R" which is the highest performance mark delivered.

Main collections at the biobank

The CEPH biobank is storing, maintaining and distributing the following collections to the scientific community:

  • The CEPH reference family panel that was used to build the human genetic linkage maps including trios tested in HapMap and 1000 Genomes projects.
  • The Human Genome Diversity Panel-CEPH (HGDP-CEPH) distributed to the scientific community since 2002. This panel is composed of LCL and DNA from 1050 individuals collected in 51 populations from all over the world. This panel is a reference in population genetics programs.

In the 1990s-2000s, CEPH collected biological samples, from sibship of nonagenarians and their siblings and unrelated centenarians. DNA, plasma, serum and LCL from about 2200 individuals are conserved. The biobank also stores DNAs from the European FP6 program GEHA (Genetics of Healthy Aging) in which CEPH was involved as a partner.
The biobank processed biological samples used in the European FP7 program
CAGEKID (CAncer GEnomics of KIDney).
The biobank is processing and storing samples from the breast cancer SIGNAL clinical trial led by INCa and the bladder cancer COBLAnCE "Investissement d'Avenir" project.

The CEPH biobank is in charge of DNA extractions for the MyPEBS (My PErsonal Breast Screening) project funded by the European Union's Horizon H2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement N° 75539.

The CEPH Biobank is selected as the Biobank of the SAPRIS-SERO Project related the COVID-19 crisis.
The aims of this project are:
1) quantification and follow up of impact of SARS-Cov2 infection in the French Population using serological tests.
2) study of the determining factors on the Constances, E3N-E4N, ELFE-Epipage 2 and NutriNet Santé cohorts.


See the catalogue of samples stored in the biobank.

Activities of the biobank

The CEPH biobank establishes collections in collaboration with research groups and offers logistical support to their research activities. The Biobank, working in tight collaboration with project coordinators to organize and establish collections, is involved in all steps of the process to optimize biological materials. quality and quantity.

Sample reception
Proper packaging containing barcoded Vacutainer tubes for blood samplings and shipment documents are sent to coordinators to ensure anonymity and traceability of samples. Couriers following biological samples shipment international rules are used for transportation to ensure the integrity of biological material during transportation. All samples received at the biobank are immediately controlled, registered in the biobank database and labelled with a unique barcode.

Biological material transformation
Transformation of each biological material is registered in the database. Our database allows traceability of methodologies, operators and samples. The exclusive use of barcodes and barcode readers at each step of each process dramatically reduces the risk of error.

B lymphocytes, isolated from peripheral blood by Ficoll density gradient, are used for further immortalization by infection with Epstein-Barr Virus. The production of LCLs allows endless amplification of cells for DNA, RNA or protein extraction.
DNA purification is automated on robots able to extract DNA from fresh or frozen blood, frozen tissue, cell pellets, saliva or cheek swabs using the salt precipitation method. DNA quantification is performed with a fluorometry-based method. DNA concentrations are normalized to a standard value.

RNAs from tissues or frozen blood are extracted on silica membranes using a semi-automated protocol. RNA samples are quantified by spectrometry.

Quality control
All stored or received external LCL are systematically screened for mycoplasmas upon thawing before expansion.

Around 20% of DNAs processed at the biobank are quality controlled on a Fragment Analyzer (Agilent):
- integrity of genomic DNA
- amplification capacity of DNAs and gender assessed by PCR and compared to the provided patient sex
Fingerprints are operated to check the identity of different productions of DNA or to solve suspicions of discrepancies between different DNAs.

RNA integrity is evaluated by RIN (RNA Integrity Number) determination.

Punch of DBS samples
Punch of DBS samples are performed on a Panthera (PerkinElmer) either for serological studies or DNA extractions.

Sample Storage
Biological samples are kept: - At -80°C freezers for tissues, plasma serum, DNA, RNA and blood awaiting extraction.
- In liquid nitrogen at -196°C for lymphocyte fractions and LCLs.
- At room temperature for stabilized saliva or cheek swabs before DNA extraction.

As an additional safety measure, DNA, blood and LCLs are aliquoted when possible and conserved in two different freezers or containers.

An automated temperature control and recording system allows the monitoring of temperature in all freezers, refrigerators, incubators and liquid nitrogen tanks of the biobank. In case of temperature over threshold, an alarm is triggered and a rapid intervention ensues. An empty operating -80°C freezer is used as backup in case of equipment failure.
Two restricted access areas are dedicated either to sample storage at -80°C or at -196°C. Large liquid nitrogen tanks (15.000-30.000 vials) are automatically filled with liquid nitrogen from a central tank and remotely monitored.

The biobank is storing :

  • DNA, plasma and serum in -80°C freezers: around 252.000 tubes,
  • Saliva (more than 60.000 samples) and dry blood spot (more than 92.000 DBS sampling) in -30°C freezers
  • LCLs and viable lymphocytes in liquid nitrogen: 65.000 vials.

Sample Availability
Biological materials are shipped at the appropriate temperature, according to each project policy and biological material transfer governing rules.
In 2021, the CEPH Biobank has shipped more than 52.000 biological samples to collaborators.

Biobank network

The CEPH biobank main collaborators are :

  • l'AP/HP,
  • le CNRGH-IG-CEA (Centre National de Recherche en Génomique Humaine)
  • la Fondation Synergie Lyon Cancer
  • l’IFCT (Intergroupe Francophone de Cancérologie Thoracique),
  • l’INCa (Institut National du Cancer)
  • l'INSERM
  • l’Institut Gustave Roussy
  • l’Institut régional du Cancer Montpellier / Val d’Aurelle,

The biobank participates in the following networks :

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