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Newcastle Research Biobank for Rare and Neuromuscular Diseases

The principal objective of this Biobank is to collect biomaterial from patients affected by Rare Neuromuscular Disorders (NMD).

The MRC Centre for Rare Neuromuscular Diseases Biobank is a unique repository of well characterised, high quality biomaterials, including:

  • muscle
  • muscle and skin cell lines
  • DNA
  • RNA
  • plasma
  • serum and urine

They were generously donated by patients with NMD. Samples are routinely collected from patients attending The John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre clinics, those participating in clinical trials or participants in NMD natural history studies.

Supporting translational research

The MRC Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases Biobank is an integrated resource operating between Newcastle University and University College London to support the translational research.

During the past 10 years, the biobank has assembled a collection of more than 15,000 anonymised NMD samples.

Samples are distributed to researchers within Newcastle University and the wider scientific community with an aim of facilitating translational research of NMD (research from the bench to the bedside).

Positive impact of neuromuscular biobanking

Numerous high profile research publications have highlighted the positive impact of neuromuscular biobanking for translational research. They have proven this facility to be essential for:

  • diagnostics
  • basic science research
  • industry
  • drug development
  • therapy

This biobank is an official member of the EuroBioBank network. EuroBioBank is a unique network of biobanks that stores and distributes samples to scientists conducting research on rare diseases. The network consists of 25 RD biobanks located in 11 countries.

A catalogue of the biobanks collection is available to researchers worldwide via the RD-Connect catalogue.

Curator details

Chief Investigator: Professor Volker Straub
Biobank Manager: Daniel Cox 

Access policy

Please contact the Biobank directly to view the access policy/request access to samples.


The John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre 
Institute of Genetic Medicine
Newcastle University
International Centre for Life
Newcastle upon Tyne

Find more details on the JWMDRC Website.