Tayside Bioresource

The Tayside Bioresource is a portfolio of individual studies that have been recruiting participants from Tayside to genetic research since 1997.

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School of Medicine
University of Dundee
Ninewells Hospital

Ninewells Campus
Group or department


As of January 2012, 40,000 individuals (10% of total Tayside population), have been recruited to these research studies and their DNA has been donated for future research, with the aim of improving the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of serious and life-threatening illnesses – including cancer, heart diseases, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, eye disorders, depression and forms of dementia. Each of these studies involved a great deal of effort and expense to put together, but have shown the utility of having a bioresource linked to the rich clinical datasets which are unique to Tayside.

With the recent funding from the Wellcome Trust we are now exploring the use of “spare blood” in research, and we are seeking population-wide pre-consent for the storage and analysis of blood samples that are taken in routine clinical care. Over a three year period over three quarters of the population of Tayside will have a blood sample taken for one reason or another. This project is known as GoSHARE.

Researchers from around the UK and internationally are studying these DNA samples to determine the role of genes in both disease susceptibility and the effectiveness of treatments.

GoSHARE Spare Blood Project

The Blood Sciences Laboratory and Ninewells Hospital receive over 7,000 samples daily from GPs and Hospital clinics from all over the Tayside region. These samples are routinely discarded after the necessary tests are performed. In Tayside we are seeking pre-consent from the local population for the storage and analysis of any of this blood that is left over after tests have been completed. Whereas before, it took 2 days to analyse and get the results to the GPs, we now have a new sophisticated system in place and each sample is analysed in a few hours with the results being available much sooner than before.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the name for a collection of lung diseases including chronic bronchitis, emphysema and chronic obstructive airways disease. The main cause of COPD is smoking and exposure to tobacco smoke, however some cases of COPD are caused by fumes, dust, air pollution and genetic disorders.

Management of COPD is similar, but not identical to that for asthma, and individuals may benefit from different drugs than others. We are interested in finding out why some people with COPD respond well to drugs and others do not.

We have collected DNA from over 2000 individuals with COPD in Tayside (The GoTARDIS study) and we are currently engaged in research to discover genetic markers that are associated with susceptibility to COPD and response to COPD drugs such as steroids, beta-agonists and antibiotics.


If you were diagnosed with diabetes in the last 2 years and want to take part in the GoDARTS Scotland study please email louise.greig@nhs.net or phone 01382 383208. If you have diabetes and were diagnosed more than 2 years ago you can still sign up to take part in research at www.share-sdrn.org

A high quality resource, initially funded by the Wellcome Trust and supported by Diabetes UK, has been created with successful recruitment of consented patients with type 2 diabetes and matching controls (non diabetics) throughout Tayside.

This resource is already available to researchers worldwide and is helping to define genetic factors related to diabetes including susceptibility, complications and response to treatment.

BREATHE Study (Asthma)

Asthma is the most common chronic condition in childhood, and Scotland has one of the highest prevalences of asthma anywhere in the world. Many individuals do not find that basic asthma medicine are sufficient to control their asthma, and doctors find they have to keep “adding on” more medicines.

We wish to use genetic information to get the right drug to the right patient at the right time, and our recent study shows that this is possible.

In Tayside we initiated the BREATHE study in 2004, where we recruited children from the asthma clinic at Ninewells Hospital and Perth Royal Infirmary, and from many GP practices throughout Tayside. This was then extended to a Scottish wide study known as PAGES, and the BREATHE Study has now extended to recruitment in Brighton. In total over 2300 children have been included in these studies and they have helped discover many genes involved in asthma susceptibility and drug response.

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