BioResource

The Maudsley BioResource for Mental Health is in collaboration with Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust BioResource (both part of the NIHR BioResource) and King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Neurological Services.  We focus on research into psychiatry and neurology from our local clinical psychiatry and neurology services.

Specifically, we have volunteers with diagnoses of dementia, schizophrenia, autism, mood and eating disorders, as well as epilepsy, motor neuron disease, and neurological sleep and eye disorders. We currently have over 10,000 volunteers with samples stored within the BioResource, and are continuing to recruit volunteers. We securely store patient contact details allowing us to re-approach our volunteers to help recruit for other studies and clinical trials.

As we expand our network of collaborators, we hope to continue to increase our annual target until we achieve our overall collection target of 50,000 biological samples. These samples, together with anonymised clinical, and where available, neuroimaging data, are available to clinicians, researchers, and students who are interested in researching the biological changes and genetics behind the development of different psychiatric and neurological conditions.

We collaborate extensively with researchers and clinicians from King’s College London, and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, as well as neurology services in King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. We attend the clinics of collaborating clinicians and also welcome volunteers from our local communities and charitable organisations. We collaborate with existing research projects by organizing sample collections from participants, consenting them also to our BioResource and then storing these for future use. We also attend clinics at King's Centre for Neuroimaging Sciences, where we actively recruit memory, dementia and neurology patients from across the South East London area.

We have a unique collaboration with the Charlotte’s Helix Initiative, a parent-run charity that aims to increase genetic and biological research into anorexia. Along with international efforts, the overall aim to collect 25,000 samples worldwide from volunteers who are suffering or who have suffered from Anorexia Nervosa. With these samples, researchers can begin to look into the genetics behind eating disorders and hopefully gain better understanding into their causes, and potentially into more efficient treatments. The Maudsley BioResource has teamed up with Charlotte’s Helix and has pledged to collect 1000 of these samples from across the United Kingdom.

We are supporting local delivery of the 100,000 Genomes Project in collaboration with the South London Genomic Medicine Centre. This initiative aims to take advantage of the scientific breakthroughs in genomics research and use them to provide potential benefits to the diagnosis and treatment of patients with rare diseases within the NHS. We are recruiting trios of family members where one or more members are affected with Classical Tuberous Sclerosis, Moderate/ Severe Intellectual Disability, Severe Familial Low Weight or Anorexia Nervosa, or Kleine-Levin Syndrome. These families will have their full genomes sequenced and genetic risk variants identified, which can help lead to a better understanding of not only the causes of rare diseases, but also potentially, of the treatments for these conditions.

For more information, or if you wish to collaborate with the BioResource, please contact Dr Cerisse Gunasinghe at cerisse.gunasinghe@kcl.ac.uk.

If you would like to volunteer for the BioResource, please email us at bioresource@kcl.ac.uk.

Take a look inside our biolab with Dr Gerome Breen: