The Cimbi Database and Biobank

Contact person: Peter Steen Jensen

At NRU we have for more than a decade systematically acquired high-resolution brain imaging data (PET, MR, rsMRI, functional MRI) from several hundreds of carefully screened and well-characterized healthy individuals and patients with various neuropsychiatric disorders. Thereby we have been able to build a large cohort database (the Cimbi Database) that contains a wide range of imaging associated data including demographic, neuropsychological, biochemical, genetic and imaging data. The Cimbi biobank is the associated collection of biological specimens from the cohort, including saliva, blood, and in some instances urine and hair samples, which allow for additional biochemical and genetic analyses.

In particular, we have as part of the extensive Cimbi project taken a special interest in the serotonergic (5-HT) system since it is involved in a wide range of psycho­physiological functions including mood, aggression, sleep, and feeding. We have imaged the 5-HT neurotransmitter system in humans to the extent that this is possible today, i.e. the serotonin trans­porter and the 5-HT1A, 5-HT1B, 5-HT2A, and 5-HT4 receptors.

The Cimbi database and biobank represent a unique and valuable research instrument serving the purpose of storing the wealth of acquired data in a highly structured and safe manner as well as providing a quality controlled resource for future hypothesis-generating and hypothesis-driven studies. From an international perspective, the comprehensive nature and the sample sizes are exceptional.

The Cimbi Database and associated biobank were supported by the Lundbeck Foundation through its grant to establish Cimbi, by the Danish Research Council, and by Rigshospitalet. The database and biobank are approved by the Danish Data Protection Agency, and all data have been acquired with prior permission from the Danish Ethics Committee system and prior written informed consent from all enrolled individuals. The database runs in a secured environment on Rigshospitalet’s IT-system inaccessible to unauthorized persons.

All researchers can request access to data from the database by completing a standardized application form to provide detailed information about the specific database request. The application form and guidelines are available here. Please note that there are some formal requirements that must be fulfilled if the data request is from an international researcher. For example we do not have permission for sharing data outside of the EU, so researchers from a non-EU country will have to come here to work on the data instead.

More information about the Cimbi database can be found in:
Knudsen GM, Jensen PS, Erritzoe D, Baaré WFC, Ettrup A, Fisher PM, Gillings N, Hansen HD, Hansen LK, Hasselbalch SG, Henningsson S, Herth MM, Holst KK, Iversen P, Kessing LV, Macoveanu J, Madsen KS, Mortensen EL, Nielsen FÅ, Paulson OB, Siebner HR, Stenbæk DS, Svarer C, Jernigan TL, Strother SC, Frokjaer VG. The Center for Integrated Molecular Brain Imaging (Cimbi) Database. NeuroImage. 2016 Jan 1;124(Pt B):1213-1219