The Western Australian DNA Bank is a state-of-the-art national processing and long-term secure storage facility for biospecimens (including DNA, RNA, serum and plasma) that have been collected from participants of medical research projects. The WA DNA Bank itself does not recruit these participants, but processes and stores biospecimens for medical researchers who have collected a sample from consenting donors.

The WA DNA Bank, initially funded by the Federal Government through the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC), is based at two separate sites in Perth, Western Australia, which maximises the safety and security of samples. The project is led by the Centre for Genetic Origins of Health and Disease under the direction of Professor Eric Moses and is managed by Michael Epis.

A key aim of the WA DNA Bank is to facilitate access to human DNA collections in WA by the broader Western Australian and Australian research communities with appropriate ethics approval. It is hoped that bringing together large numbers of DNA samples in the state-of-the-art facilities established by the WA DNA Bank will greatly increase the opportunities for Australian researchers to access both large population-based genetic epidemiology resources and smaller research datasets held by individual research groups in Western Australia.

By encouraging more medical researchers to use the WA DNA Bank facilities we anticipate that significant new initiatives and collaborations relevant to gene discovery, clinical and genetic epidemiology, new therapies and preventive medicine will ensue at the national and international level.


How to use the WA DNA Bank

If you are a bona fide researcher and wish to use the WA DNA Bank, please contact the Manager as soon as possible. The WA DNA Bank has a number of requirements that need to be met before samples can be accepted.

How to access DNA from the WA DNA Bank

If you are using the WA DNA Bank to store DNA from a human medical research study you may access your own DNA collection at any time, within the logistical capabilities of the WA DNA Bank. The WA DNA Bank has developed a ‘Custodian Access Form’ that ensures the release of DNA samples is authorised by the appropriate Custodian. This form is available here.

If you are a medical researcher who is not currently using the facility but wish to obtain DNA samples stored in the WA DNA Bank, you will need to fill out an ‘External Researcher DNA Access Request Form” (available here). Access to the DNA samples stored in the facility cannot be guaranteed by the WA DNA Bank as this requires the approval of the relevant study Custodian. You are strongly advised to make contact with the study Custodian to discuss your interest in obtaining access to their DNA collection for medical research purposes. The WA DNA Bank can facilitate the process but cannot release any biospecimens without the Custodian’s authorisation. Furthermore, if the Custodian agrees in principle to collaborate or share the DNA for research purposes you must obtain human research ethics approval to undertake the study prior to obtaining the DNA. Further details available from the Manager.

WA DNA Bank Collections

The following collections have been maintained by the WA DNA Bank:

Name of study Study Acronym
Acute Anterior Uveitis Study AAU Prof David Mackey, Ms Lisa Kearns, Dr Alex Hewitt
Age Related Macular Degeneration Study AMD Dr Alex Hewitt
Age Related Macular Degeneration Study Victoria AMD-V Prof David Mackey, Ms Lisa Kearns, Dr Alex Hewitt
Busselton Diabetes Study BDS Professor Tim Davis, Dr Wendy Davis, Dr Kirsten Peters
Development of Sleep at Altitude Study deSAT Dr Romola Bucks, Dr Cathy Hill
Diabetic Retinopathy Study DR Dr Alex Hewitt
Eye Tissue Bank ETB Dr Alex Hewitt, Dr David Mackey, Dr Maria Franchina
Fremantle Diabetes Study Phase I FDS I Professor Tim Davis, Dr Wendy Davis, Dr Kirsten Peters
Fremantle Diabetes Study Phase II FDS II Professor Tim Davis, Dr Wendy Davis, Dr Kirsten Peters
Giant Cell Arteritis Study GCA Prof David Mackey, Ms Lisa Kearns, Dr Alex Hewitt
Glaucoma Inheritance Study in Tasmania GIST Prof David Mackey, Ms Lisa Kearns, Dr Alex Hewitt
Genetic Understanding of Asbestos-Related Disorders GUARD Clinical Prof Bill Musk, Prof Michael Garlepp, Prof Nicholas de Klerk, Ms Alison Reid, Prof Bruce Robinson
Australian Inherited Retinal Disease Register and DNA Bank IRD Dr John de Roach, Dr Tina Lamey, Ms Terri McLaren
Kidskin II: Moles and Genes Study KS2 Prof Lyle Palmer, Dr Liz Milne
Parkinson’s Centre ParkC Dr Meghan Thomas
A Phase I/II controlled dose escalating trial to establish the baseline safety and efficacy of a single sub-retinal injection of rAAV.sflt-1 into eyepatients with exudative age-related macular degeneration (AMD) PRAMD Professor Piroska Elizabeth Rakoczy
Princess Margaret Hospital Endocrinology and Diabetes Collections (Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes and Obesity) PMH IDDM
Professor Tim Jones, Dr Elizabeth Davis
The Raine Study RAINE Raine Study Executive (Chair Prof Ian Puddey)
Randomised Trial Comparing Adjuvant Radiotherapy with Surveillance and Early Salvage Radiotherapy in Patients with Positive Margins oDisease Following Radical Prostatectomy‚ÄĚ Genetics Study RAVES Genetic Study Trans Tasman Radiation Oncology Group, Dr David Joseph
Renal Biobank RB Dr Aron Chakera
Ethnic and Gender Comparison of Craniofacial Phenotypes in Obstructive Sleep Apnoea SAGIC Nigel McArdle
Venous Ulcer Study VUS Dr Hilary Wallace, Prof Michael Stacey
Vitamin A Study VITAMIN A Clinical Prof Bill Musk, Prof Nicholas de Klerk, Ms Alison Reid
WA Family Study of Schizophrenia WAFSS Prof Assen Jablensky, Prof Luba Kalaydjieva, Dr Daniel Rock
WA Gynaecological Oncology Research Group WAGO Dr Nik Zeps
WA Melanoma Health Study WAMHS Prof Lyle Palmer
WA Sleep Health Study WASHS Dr Sutapa Mukherjee, Dr David Hillman
WA Scar Outcome Study WASOS Dr Hilary Wallace, Prof Fiona Wood
WA Twin Child Health Study WATCH Prof Nicholas de Klerk


The WA DNA Bank owns or has access to the following equipment:

  • Qiagen QIAsymphony SP: for automated extraction of DNA or RNA from whole blood, buffy coats and PAXgene tubes (RNA)
  • Qiagen QIAgility: for automated aliquotting and diluting of samples
  • Qiagen QIAcube: for automated extraction of DNA and RNA from a range of tissue types using Qiagen kits
  • Promega HSM 2.0 Reliaprep Large Volume qDNA isolation for manual extraction of DNA from¬† whole blood (3-10ml)


Since the WA DNA Bank commenced operations in 2006, more than 100,000 samples have been banked.

The WA DNA Bank provides the following services:

  • Extraction and secure storage of DNA from whole blood and buffy coats using the QIAsymphony SP System;
  • Extraction and secure storage of RNA from whole blood using the PAXgene Blood RNA system;
  • Extraction and secure storage of DNA from saliva collected using Oragene DNA Collection kits;
  • Processing and secure storage of serum and plasma; and
  • Aliquotting and distribution of these materials ready for analysis.

The WADB can also extract DNA and RNA from other sample types including urine, tears, serum and plasma.

Contact the Manager of the WA DNA Bank for more information, including service fees.

Contact information

Michael Epis, Manager


Phone number: +61 8 9224 0321

Email: michael.epis@uwa.edu.au

How to acknowledge the WA DNA Bank

It is mandatory that investigators acknowledge the WA DNA Bank facility in any published work that results from accessing the WA DNA Bank resource. A suggested wording is provided below, however authors are free to choose their own wording for this acknowledgement:

  • “The authors gratefully acknowledge the assistance of the Western Australian DNA Bank with providing access to biospecimens for this study.”