How we collect samples

What will we collect?

We will be collecting various bodily samples. This will be done by a trained medical technologist or phlebotomist. A list of these specimen types include: urine, blood and nail clipping – clean cut of finger or toenail. The collection of saliva sample is currently on hold due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

Blood tests can tell us more about our health. For example, some conditions have no symptoms and can only be identified from a blood test. They can also help us figure out why some people develop specific diseases.

Blood samples and blood tests

Certain tests require blood to be collected in specific tubes. As a result we collect in several tubes. These include the red top, the purple top and the grey top tube.

While it might look like a lot the total amount is about 30 mls (less than 3 tablespoons). We will be checking your cholesterol levels, blood count and blood sugar levels.

Why collect nail and saliva samples

The saliva sample is a more convenient way of collecting DNA. Your DNA is an important risk factor for several chronic diseases which run in families and is only being used for health research and no other purpose.

The urine samples allow us to gain information on diet and exposure to toxins like cigarette smoke.

Exposure to toxic chemical that can cause cancer and heart diseases are stored in the nail over a long period of time.

About Us

At The Life Project, we study the causes of cancer, cardiovascular illnesses and diabetes to better understand, diagnose, treat and prevent these diseases in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean.


For Participants

Interested in participating in the life study? Your participation will help us to maximise the chances of learning lifesaving information about cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.



Access a wide range of informational sources to meet the social, financial and health needs of participants, patients and caregivers.


The Science

We are studying the causes of cancer and cardiovascular illnesses & diabetes to better understand, how to prevent, diagnose & treat black patients in Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean.