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We’re asking all adult members of Kaiser Permanente Northwest—more than 300,000 people—to contribute their leftover blood to the NW Biobank. The NW Biobank is a confidential secure repository that will be used for genetic research.

At Kaiser Permanente, we can link medical care information to genetic information to study genetic factors in disease or response to treatment.

This research may lead to an understanding of disease causes and help improve treatment and prevention. In the past ten years, genetic research has opened up a new world of possibilities to understand, treat, and prevent disease. Today, for example, we use genetic testing to assess risk for some breast and colon cancers. We also use it regularly in prenatal care to identify carriers of cystic fibrosis.

Imagine what the next ten years hold. Scientists are on the brink of discovering the genes for diseases such as addiction, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, cancer, and others. We hope to enter into an era of tailor-made treatment plans designed for your genome.

Studying genes requires samples of DNA—one of the building blocks of living human cells. But collecting blood samples for research is expensive and slow.

We are looking for new ways to get blood samples. Normally, when your doctor orders a blood draw as part of your regular medical care, only a portion is used for the clinical test. The rest (about ½ teaspoon) is often just thrown away. The extra blood is only used if you need another test.

The NW Biobank was established to save these discarded samples so scientists have the tools they need for genetic research.

Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research - 3800 N. Interstate Ave. - Portland, OR 97227