About Us

The German Biobank Node is the umbrella organisation for biobanks in Germany. Under GBN’s leadership, 18 biobank sites and two IT development centres work together to make biosamples available for national and international biomedical research. GBN is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and represents the interests of German biobanks in the European infrastructure BBMRI-ERIC (Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure - European Research Infrastructure Consortium).


Step 1: Find relevant biosamples with the Sample Locator

The Sample Locator enables scientists to search for specific research-relevant biosamples and related data across multiple academic biobanks, mostly based in Germany. The online search-tool was developed by an interdisciplinary team of developers from the German Biobank Alliance (GBA) located at several sites within Germany, based on previous work within the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the BBMRI-ERIC Common Service IT.

The first stage of finding biosamples and data consists of a feasibility search. The search result shows how many desired samples in total are available in the biobanks connected to the Sample Locator. After logging in via the authentication service BBMRI-ERIC AAI, users will then see in which locations how many samples are available. In order to comply with data protection requirements, the search results (numbers of potentially available samples and numbers of donors) are slightly obfuscated (i.e. plus or minus one to ten, the scale being randomly generated for each search request).

To register with BBMRI-ERIC AAI, you can use your institutional email and account-password in case you are based with an institution listed in the Deutsches Forschungsnetz (DFN). If this does not apply, you will need to register using the LifeScience Hostel (green button). In both cases your registration-application will be verified by GBN within a working day.

If you have any questions about the Sample Locator or would like to give feedback, please contact feedback@germanbiobanknode.de.

Step 2: Request biospecimens using the Negotiator

To request samples, users are automatically referred from the Sample Locator to the Negotiator, a platform for structured communication between inquirers and biobanks originally developed at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the BBMRI-ERIC Common Service IT. If you have questions regarding the Negotiator, please contact negotiator@helpdesk.bbmri-eric.eu.

Further information

GBN website

BBMRI-ERIC website

How to register to BBMRI-ERIC services