The National Institute on Drug Abuse, in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health, has established the NIDA Center for Genetic Studies, also known as the NIDA Genetic Repository, under a contract to Rutgers University and its subcontractor, Washington University School of Medicine, to produce, store, and distribute clinical data and biomaterials (DNA samples and cell lines) available in the NIDA Genetics Initiative.

Biomaterials Available from the Repository

The following table summarizes biomaterials available from the repository. Subjects are grouped into distributions according to the way they were ascertained for their respective studies. This should not be confused with clinical diagnoses. Subjects in the Nicotine Dependence distribution, for example, may or may not be diagnosed with Nicotine Dependence.

DistributionSubjectsWith DNAPlasmaLCLs*CPLs*Whole Blood
Cannabis Dependence201201 (100%)0 ( 0%)0 ( 0%)0 ( 0%)199 (99%)
Cocaine Dependence2,4431,568 (64%)95 ( 4%)1,155 (47%)1,485 (61%)133 ( 5%)
Nicotine Dependence15,59313,230 (85%)2,467 (16%)7,716 (49%)12,636 (81%)4,658 (30%)
Opioid Dependence7,9716,556 (82%)2 ( 0%)3,189 (40%)4,240 (53%)3,860 (48%)
Opioid-Cocaine Dependence7,0075,344 (76%)0 ( 0%)2,128 (30%)4,922 (70%)2,879 (41%)
Polysubstance Dependence4,4533,465 (78%)3 ( 0%)2,004 (45%)3,365 (76%)1,814 (41%)
Total37,66830,364 (81%)2,567 ( 7%)16,192 (43%)26,648 (71%)13,543 (36%)
*Cell types are described below.

Cryopreserved lymphocytes (CPLs) are isolated by gradient centrifugation of blood and aspiration of the peripheral blood mononuclear (PBMC) layer with subsequent cryopreservation in freezing media and using a computer-controlled rate freezer. Lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) are derived by transformation of B lymphocytes using Epstein Barr Virus (EBV). Aliquots of whole blood are reserved on receipt and stored at -80°C. The plasma fraction of whole blood is isolated by centrifugation and aliquoted for storage at -80°C.

CPLs are ideal for creating induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). While many somatic cell types such as skin fibroblasts are amenable to reprogramming to iPSCs, the best source cell type is cryopreserved lymphocytes. There are highly efficient protocols in place at Sampled for converting the erythroblast cell fraction of the CPL to iPSC. Erythroblasts have the advantage of not having genomic rearrangements as do T cells and also exhibit less genomic instability and mosaicism than fibroblasts because of the relative exposure of the skin to environmental factors.

You can explore the data in greater detail in our Statistics Exploration Tool.

Access to Data and Biomaterials

To download data and/or order biomaterials, please see these instructions from NIDA. One of the requirements is this distribution agreement.


To get an account, please contact Sue Winkeler at winkeler@wustl.edu. Note that an account will allow you to log in, but you will not have access to the private areas of the site, such as data downloads, until you apply for access.