Biobanking in everyday clinical practice in psychiatry—The Munich Mental Health Biobank

Janos L. Kalman*, Gerrit Burkhardt, Kristina Adorjan, Barbara B. Barton, Sylvia De Jonge, Daniela Eser-Valeri, Christine M. Falter-Wagner, Urs Heilbronner, Andrea Jobst, Daniel Keeser, Christian Koenig, Gabi Koller, Nikolaos Koutsouleris, Carolin Kurz, Dominic Landgraf, Katharina Merz, Richard Musil, Afton M. Nelson, Frank Padberg, Sergi PapiolOliver Pogarell, Robert Perneczky, Florian Raabe, Matthias A. Reinhard, Almut Richter, Tobias Rüther, Maria Susanne Simon, Andrea Schmitt, Lenka Slapakova, Nanja Scheel, Cornelius Schüle, Elias Wagner, Sven P. Wichert, Peter Zill, Peter Falkai, Thomas G. Schulze, Eva Christina Schulte

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Translational research on complex, multifactorial mental health disorders, such as bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, schizophrenia, and substance use disorders requires databases with large-scale, harmonized, and integrated real-world and research data. The Munich Mental Health Biobank (MMHB) is a mental health-specific biobank that was established in 2019 to collect, store, connect, and supply such high-quality phenotypic data and biosamples from patients and study participants, including healthy controls, recruited at the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy (DPP) and the Institute of Psychiatric Phenomics and Genomics (IPPG), University Hospital of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU), Munich, Germany. Participants are asked to complete a questionnaire that assesses sociodemographic and cross-diagnostic clinical information, provide blood samples, and grant access to their existing medical records. The generated data and biosamples are available to both academic and industry researchers. In this manuscript, we outline the workflow and infrastructure of the MMHB, describe the clinical characteristics and representativeness of the sample collected so far, and reveal future plans for expansion and application. As of 31 October 2021, the MMHB contains a continuously growing set of data from 578 patients and 104 healthy controls (46.37% women; median age, 38.31 years). The five most common mental health diagnoses in the MMHB are recurrent depressive disorder (38.78%; ICD-10: F33), alcohol-related disorders (19.88%; ICD-10: F10), schizophrenia (19.69%; ICD-10: F20), depressive episode (15.94%; ICD-10: F32), and personality disorders (13.78%; ICD-10: F60). Compared with the average patient treated at the recruiting hospitals, MMHB participants have significantly more mental health-related contacts, less severe symptoms, and a higher level of functioning. The distribution of diagnoses is also markedly different in MMHB participants compared with individuals who did not participate in the biobank. After establishing the necessary infrastructure and initiating recruitment, the major tasks for the next phase of the MMHB project are to improve the pace of participant enrollment, diversify the sociodemographic and diagnostic characteristics of the sample, and improve the utilization of real-world data generated in routine clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number934640
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jul 2022


  • biobank
  • broad consent
  • electronic health record (EHR)
  • medical informatics initiative
  • mental health
  • psychiatry
  • real-world data (RWD)
  • representativeness


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