Biobanks linked to electronic health records provide a rich data resource for health-related research. With the establishment of large-scale infrastructure, the availability and utility of data from biobanks has dramatically increased over time. As more researchers become interested in using biobank data to explore a diverse spectrum of scientific questions, resources guiding the data access, design, and analysis of biobank-based studies will be crucial. The first aim of this review is to characterize the types of biobanks that are discussed in the recent literature and provide detailed descriptions of specific biobanks including their location, size, data access, data linkages and more. The development and accessibility of large-scale biorepositories provide the opportunity to accelerate agnostic searches, new discoveries, and hypothesis-generating studies of disease-treatment, disease-exposure and disease-gene associations. Rather than spending time and money designing and implementing a single study with pre-defined objectives, researchers can use biobanks’ existing data-rich resources to answer scientific questions as quickly as they can analyze them. While the data are becoming increasingly available, additional thought is needed to address issues related to the design of such studies and analysis of these data. In the second aim of this review, we discuss statistical issues related to biobank research in general including study design, sampling strategy, phenotype identification, and missing data. These issues are illustrated using data from the Michigan Genomics Initiative, UK Biobank, and Genes for Good. We summarize the current body of statistical literature aimed at addressing some of these challenges and discuss some of the standing open problems in this area. This work serves to complement and extend recent reviews about biobank-based research and aims to provide a resource catalog with statistical and practical guidance to researchers pursuing biobank-based research.