The SickKids Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences Biobank (SickKids DOVS Biobank) is a collection of tissues donated as a resource for the purpose of research into vision and eye health. 

The SickKids DOVS Biobank was set up in 2020 as a branch of the SickKids Central Biobank. It is intended to streamline efforts of departmental faculty to bank, use and share a rich collection of specimens and clinical data to advance vision and eye health research.

Regulatory Framework

The SickKids DOVS Biobank has been approved by the SickKids Research Ethics Board (REB#1000067780).  

The biobank is compliant with the laws, codes, and agency and institutional requirements that exist in Canada. These external governance elements include:  

  • Canadian legislation and regulations governing the collection, use dissemination, retention and destruction of human biospecimens and associated data for research purposes.   
  • Canadian professional codes of conduct where these overlap with stakeholders’ activities. 

Information for Patients

Patients are initially identified as suitable donors by the direct healthcare team responsible for their care, who can then discuss the option of donation of specimens to the biobank. 

We are very grateful to all those who have donated specimens to SickKids DOVS Biobank, as these donations help us learn more about vision and eye health. 

When specimens arrive into the SickKids DOVS Biobank, they are de-identified and given a unique reference number, protecting the privacy of the donor.  Only relevant clinical information is released to researchers. 

Contact Details

If you would like further information regarding SickKids DOVS Biobank or donating tissue for research, please contact us: 



SickKids Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences Biobank 

Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences 

The Hospital for Sick Children 

555 University Ave. 

Toronto, ON, M5G 1X8

Withdrawal of Consent

Patients who donate tissue samples to the SickKids DOVS Biobank are free to withdraw their consent at any time, without giving a reasonWithdrawal of consent will not affect their clinical care or legal rights in any way. Withdrawal of consent can be arranged by contacting SickKids DOVS Biobank (contact details above). There is no time limit associated with withdrawal of consent and donors are free to withdraw their consent at any time. If consent is withdrawn, the SickKids DOVS Biobank will arrange for the appropriate disposal, where possible, of any samples still remaining. Clinical data associated to the participant will also be removed from the Biobank database.

Information for Investigators

If you are interested in finding out more about SickKids DOVS Biobank please contact us by email at the address above.  

To inquire about sample availability, please complete the Project Intake Form. A representative from the biobank will query and will contact you about specimen availability within two weeks. If specimens are available you will be asked to complete the Biospecimen and Data Request Form. Please note that requests are for data and specimens that are currently available in inventory.   

Sample requests apply to existing inventory and routine biobank collections. The number of samples requested may differ from number of samples approved for release. Requests may not be fulfilled if the proposed study overlaps with concurrent projects and will be based on sample availability.   

All requests will be reviewed by the Data Access Committee. Decisions are based on availability of samples at the time request are reviewed.  Approximate turn-around-time from request through review is 4 weeks. The Data Access Committee will consider the following in its review: 

  • Compatibility with ongoing studies 
  • Availability and rarity of requested biospecimens and absence of restrictions on the biospecimens during informed consent 
  • Appropriate ethics approval to perform proposed research 
  • Sufficient funding to perform proposed research 

Following the review you will be informed whether the request has been approved or returned for re-submission. Following approval the biobank will execute a Material Transfer Agreement. Upon acceptance of terms and payment specimens will be shipped to the investigator.