The NIHR BioResource Centre Maudsley is part of the NIHR BioResource) and works in collaboration with King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Neurological Services.
The research tissue bank recruits participants living with, or without, mental health conditions. An important aspect of the biobank is that participants consent to being recontacted, thereby providing a valuable resource for the scientific community.
Specifically, we have volunteers with diagnoses of:
- mood disorders
- eating disorders
- Parkinson’s disorder
- motor neuron disease
- and neurological sleep and eye disorders.
We currently have over 15,000 volunteers with samples stored within the BioResource and are continuing to recruit volunteers. Additionally, we securely store patient contact details allowing us to re-approach our volunteers to help recruit for other studies and clinical trials.
Network of collaborators
We collaborate extensively with researchers and clinicians from:
- King’s College London
- South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
- as well as neurology services in King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.
We support collaborating clinicians and welcome volunteers from our local communities and charitable organisations. We collaborate with existing research projects by organizing sample collections from participants, consenting them to our BioResource and then storing these for future use.
The BioResource has pioneered large online projects, specifically the Genetic Links to Anxiety and Depression Study (GLAD Study) and the Eating Disorders Genetics Initiative UK (EDGI UK). Both projects publicise the projects using standard social media platforms and have achieved huge success in not only recruiting large numbers of participating but also in educating the public about these conditions via weekly social media posts. Both projects are collecting extensive phenotypic data which has been valuable in researching aspects of these conditions.
To find out more about our GLAD and EDGI projects, visit:
The Genetic Links to Anxiety and Depression (GLAD) Study, led by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Mental Health BioResource and researchers at King’s College London, in collaboration with researchers at Ulster University, University of Edinburgh, and Cardiff University, is a project set up to support studies exploring risk factors for depression and/or anxiety. Since it was launched in Sept 2018, approximately 56,000 participants had registered to the GLAD Study by March 2022. The Study has successfully recruited almost 43,000 participants who have provided questionnaire data and of these, almost 30,000 participants have returned their saliva kits enabling us to do genetic analysis. To date, the Study data and participants have been accessed by 50 researchers. Recruitment to the GLAD Study is also taking place via NHS sites and to date, 234 sites have been set up in NHS Trusts, GP practices and clinics.
The Eating Disorders Genetics Initiative UK (EDGI), also led by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Mental Health BioResource (part of the NIHR BioResource), researchers at King’s College London and Beat, the UK’s eating disorder charity, is a project set up to support studies exploring risk factors for eating disorders. EDGI UK is part of a global effort to thoroughly investigate eating disorders, to investigate the inter-relationship between genes and environment and explore new therapies which may have more lasting effectiveness than current treatments. Since its launch in Feb 2020, almost 12,000 participants have registered for the study and about 6000 participants have completed the baseline questionnaire and almost 4000 participants have provided saliva samples for DNA. EDGI UK has also been set up for recruitment in 10 NHS clinical sites.
Recruiting Diverse Populations
We understand that individuals from many different ethnic minority communities are underrepresented in research studies, both as research participants and as researchers, and that this lack of representation has roots in historic injustice and systemic racism towards these groups.The NIHR BioResource Centre Maudsley is committed to prioritising this issue by engaging in discussions with different communities and taking necessary steps to improve representation in our team and our participants.
We have set up the South London African Ancestry Project (SLGAAP), whereby we intend to follow participatory action framework guidance to co-design a genetics project which is acceptable to the Black community. This dedicated resource will enable genetic, psychological experimental medicine studies in individuals of African ancestry.
We recognise that research involving genetics is especially sensitive and as such, we have a responsibility to be transparent about how we collect, analyse and store your data, as well as who has access to this.
For more information
Please contact Dr Gursharan Kalsi, Research Coordinator & Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to collaborate with the BioResource.
If you would like to volunteer for the BioResource, please email us at email@example.com.
Take a look inside our biolab with Professor Gerome Breen (film from 2013):