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"Children of 1997" Biobank

From August 2013 to December 2017, we conducted a Clinical Follow-up program in two phases, for participants of "Children of 1997". The follow-up included questionnaires, lung function tests, body composition assessment, collection of biological samples (including saliva, urine, hair and toenails) and blood tests. We and other bona fida researches will use the data to study the causes and development of infectious and chronic diseases (such as diabetes and heart diseases), thereby improving public health. We also asked the participants to complete a questionnaire survey.


Why set up "Children of 1997" Biobank?

"Children of 1997" Biobank provides important information to help researchers understand the causes of chronic diseases in the local population of Hong Kong, in East Asia and globally.

Dr. Ryan SL Au Yeung explained "Children of 1997" biobank to the media "HK01" in 2018. Please click the video on the right for further information.

Sources:HK01 (Chinese Version Only)

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What biological samples were collected in "Children of 1997" Biobank?

1. Blood 


2. Stool     


3. Saliva     


4. Urine                      


5. Hair           


6. Toenail

When were samples collected? Where are they currently stored? Where is the "Children of 1997" Biobank located?

The biological samples were collected in two phases from August 2013 to January 2016 and from July to December 2017, and are currently stored in the "Children of 1997" Biobank. The "Children of 1997" Biobank is located at the Centre for PanorOmic Sciences of The University of Hong Kong.

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Photos sourcesLKS Faculty of Medicine, HKU; Centre of PanorOmic Sciences, HKU; School of Public Health, HKU

What do researchers hope to discover from biological samples?

While the cause of disease remains to be fully understood, these biological samples offer different perspectives to explain changes in infectious and non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as the influence of the environment, the microbiome, metabolomics genetics and even infectious diseases. The "Children of 1997" birth cohort has detailed data from birth to the present, including growth and blood pressure during adolescence. Public health researchers hope to use these data to understand more about the causes of the disease from childhood onwards, provide stronger evidence for new ways of preventing disease, and help promote public health.

Thanks to the support of the Medical and Health Research Fund (CFS-HKU1) of the Health Bureau of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China, the samples have already been genotyped and a genome-wide association study "GWAS" conducted. Little gene-related research has focused on East Asians, so this data will make a significant contribution to understanding causes of disease in an East Asian setting.


  1. Mayo Clinic Biobank. Introduction. Available from: [Accessed 29 October 2019]

  2. De Souza YG, Greenspan JS. Biobanking past, present and future: responsibilities and benefits. AIDS (London, England). 2013 Jan 28;27(3):303.

  3. Swiss Biobanking Platform. What is a Biobank?. Available from: [Accessed 29 October 2019]

  4. UK Biobank. About UK Biobank. Available from: [Accessed 1 November 2019]

  5. Hawkins AK. Biobanks: importance, implications and opportunities for genetic counselors. Journal of genetic counseling. 2010 Oct 1;19(5):423-9.

  6. Genetics Home Reference. What are genome-wide association studies?. Available from: [Accessed 7 November 2019]

  7. National Human Genome Research Institute. Genome-Wide Association Studies Fact Sheet. Available from: [Accessed 7 November 2019]

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