«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

CEPH biobank presentation


The CEPH Biobank is certified according to the ISO9001 : 2015 and NF S96-900 norms 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 follows the rules of the NF S96-900 and ISO 9001: 2015 standards.


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.

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. Degradation of genomic DNA is assessed by agarose gel electrophoresis. Gender is assessed by PCR and compared to the provided patient sex. Two microsatellites are also used to test the amplification capacity of DNAs. 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.

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 232.000 tubes,
  • LCLs and viable lymphocytes in liquid nitrogen: 85.000 vials.


Sample Availability
Biological materials are shipped at the appropriate temperature, according to each project.s policy and biological material transfer governing rules.

Biobank network

The CEPH biobank main collaborators are :

  • INCa (Institut National du Cancer),
  • Institut régional du Cancer Montpellier / Val d’Aurelle,
  • Fondation Synergie Lyon Cancer
  • IFCT (Intergroupe Francophone de Cancérologie Thoracique),
  • INSERM,
  • AP/HP (Assistance Publique/Hôpitaux de Paris),
  • Centre Hospitalier Universitaire in Caen.
  • CNG-IG-CEA (Centre National de Génotypage)

The biobank participates in the following networks :

Contact the .


Donate and help
our research !
15 euros 30 euros
60 euros 90 euros
Other amount