Centre for Law and Genetics

Biobanking Research

Biobanks and Biobanking

Biobanking is one of the key developments in the personalised medicine era. It presents many new challenges to ethics, law and society, particularly concerns around consent, privacy, return of results, governance, funding, commercialisation and benefit sharing. As biobanks change and develop over time, the challenges they present also change, causing us to shift our research foci.

Much of the work for the last decade at the CLG has been about finding ways to provide appropriate support for biobanking activities, taking into account the ethical social and legal issues that it raises. The overarching aim is to promote and support health and medical research that leads to improved health and health care in Australia and globally.

Relevant Projects

CLG researchers have undertaken significant research in this area, led by Professor Don Chalmers and Professor Dianne Nicol. Much of this is captured in the following projects.

This project was about understanding public opinions surrounding biobanking. We brought together 26 Tasmanians over four days, to see what they thought.

  • Databanks

This was one of the early CLG projects. It focused on a broad range of ethical, legal and social issues which arise in the context of biobanking.

This is one of our newer projects. MTAs while not limited to use in biobanks can play an important part in facilitating ethically and legally appropriate exchange of biobank tissue, data use and data sharing.

Many of the CLG research team are participating in the set up of the TASGRID facility (located at the Menzies Institute for Medical Research, lead investigator Assoc Prof Jo Dickinson), which we hope will become an important resource for use in Tasmanian genetic research into disease.