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Qatar (Observer)


Contact: Dr. Nahla Afifi, National Node Coordinator

Website: Qatar Biobank

Coordinating institution:

Qatar Biobank (QBB) acts as Qatar’s National centre for standardised high-quality bioresources and annotated information aiming to support research, capacity building and precision health initiatives in the State of Qatar, the region and worldwide.

The strategic alliance of BBMRI-ERIC and the State of Qatar, via Qatar Biobank (QBB) being an Observer member of BBMRI-ERIC nominated as the National Node, will facilitate collaboration on activities related to biobanking and bio preservation of samples and accompanied data, collected in the Middle East, for research and development. Qatar Biobank is a unique resource in the region hosting various cohort studies (population-based, disease-based, and birth cohorts).

The State of Qatar is the first non-European, Middle East country to participate in the debates of the Assembly of Members. Qatar’s National network will be a valuable resource for BBMRI-ERIC enabling the global research society to benefit from fostering an international exchange of knowledge and human bioresources collected and stored in the Middle East.

Background information about the Qatar Biobank


To act as the Qatar National Centre for biological samples and information to enable research towards the discovery and development of new healthcare interventions.


QBB specific objectives are to:

  • sustain a biobank as a fully operational organization, internationally recognized for excellence
  • create a network facilitating collaboration activities related to biobanking and bio preservation of samples collected in the Middle East for research and development
  • provide the Middle East region most advanced biobank collection


QBB performs different cohort studies. The main cohort studies are:

  1. The QBB population-based cohort study aiming to recruit 60000 participants, adults Qataris or people that they live in Qatar for 15 years or more. This is based on an agnostic hypothesis and the protocol is designed to fit for purpose for the latest sophisticated analytical platforms. In this study we follow up the participants every 5 years.
  2. The second collection is the Qatar Birth cohort study aiming to Assess the synergetic role of environmental exposure & genetic factors in the development of chronic diseases at early childhood. The study aims to recruit 3000 triads (pregnant women, their husbands and their children) in different time points.

The COVID-19 biorepository aiming to deliver high quality samples and data to support research around COVID-19. In this study QBB recruited participants infected with COVID-19 and followed up them weekly during the disease period and monthly after recovery for a year. The vaccination arm of the study recruited participants  before their vaccination against COVID-19 and follow them up for a year.

the bbmri-eric qa logo

National Node Coordinator

The website was co-funded within ADOPT BBMRI-ERIC, a project that has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 676550.
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