Daniel Bos holds a position as Assistant Professor at the departments of Radiology & Nuclear Medicine, and Epidemiology of the Erasmus MC Rotterdam, the Netherlands. His research focuses on the interface of cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases, with a strong emphasis on imaging. Additionally, he is actively involved in the field of biobanking, with a specific interest in the implementation and optimization of imaging studies into large-scale research infrastructures. During the past years he was awarded the Best Scientific Paper Award of the Dutch Society of Radiology, a Van Leersum fellowship of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Science, and the Lourens Penning Prize in Neuroradiology. As of May 2019, he has published over 70 articles in renowned international refereed journals (H-index: 16).
Bart Wilkowski has obtained his Ph.D. degree in biomedical informatics (semantic text mining) from the Technical University of Denmark in 2011. His PhD project was carried out in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, USA. He has a Master’s engineer degree in Telecommunications and Computer Science from the Technical University of Lodz in Poland. Since June 2011, Bart has been head of the Danish Biobank Register at the Danish National Biobank in Copenhagen. He designed, developed and, together with his team, is still expanding the system. Since 2017, Bart is managing the IT team of the Danish National Biobank. At the Danish National Biobank, Bart is also involved in supporting daily operation of automated freezers and robots
Sofia Iacomussi is a PhD Candidate in Law, Science and Technology at University of Bologna (Italy). After a Bachelor (University of Torino) and Master (University of Milano) degree in Philosophy, she moved to King’s College London where she got a Master of Science in Bioethics and Society. During this period, she worked on ethics of reproductive and genetic technologies and she successfully graduated with a dissertation on the regulation of genome editing technologies. Currently, her research interests involve ethical and legal issues in biobanking and an exploration of participatory models in the scientific governance.
Peggy Manders is a cancer epidemiologist. Since 2012, she works as general manager at the Radboud Biobank, the central biobank facility of the Radboud university medical center, and is responsible for the operational organization of this Radboud Technology Center. Furthermore, she is the UMC-coordinator of the Parelsnoer Institute, a national network of standardized clinical biobanks in the Netherlands, and the coordinator of the Parelsnoer Institute Biobank Hereditary Colorectal Cancer. She is also a Radboudumc representative in the Committee on Regulation and Research (COREON).
Prior to her work at the Radboud Biobank, she worked as a senior researcher at the department of Human Genetics of the Radboudumc in Nijmegen where she was responsible for the implementation and operational organization of various biobanks. Furthermore, she was responsible for developing an informed consent procedure for the department regarding unsolicited findings.
Jakub Pawlikowski, M.D., Ph.D., J.D., M.A.: is graduated in medicine (M. D. and Ph.D. in Medical University of Lublin, Poland), law (doctor of juristic science) and humanities (Master of Philosophy). He is currently a head of Chair of Social Medicine and Department of Medical Law and Ethics at Medical University of Lublin. He was also a Visiting Associate Professor at T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University, Boston, USA. His research interests concentrate on sociocultural determinants of health and attitudes towards biobanking, medical law, bioethics and public health. He is also a member of national experts bodies: Polish Agency for Health Technology Assessment; Expert Panel on Human Rights in the Context of Science and Technology Development at the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education. He published monographs and several articles about societal, ethical and legal aspects of biobanking and is a coordinator of ELSI program in Polish Node of BBMRI (bbmri.pl).
Consent and Consequences – the Patient’s Perspective on Biobanking
The question whether a patient wants to donate bio samples and data for research purposes is mostly and quickly answered with a yes. Patients want to help, especially other affected people, by providing what it takes to continue research and improve therapy. However, taking a closer look on the possible outcomes of donating samples and data, we see that a lot of questions must be answered and a lot of consequences must be anticipated before the donating process can be started. Therefore, it needs to be recognised that possible outcomes, e.g. research results that are reported back, may have consequences not only for medical aspects in a patient´s life, but also for their social life, insurance questions as well as in regards to financial and employment issues. This talk will give insights about the information that is necessary to give an informed consent, patients centred manners in which research results or even incidental findings may be reported back und how far this potential new knowledge may reach into other aspects of the donor´s life.
Volker Liebenberg, Director Medical Affairs EMEA for illumina, is a physician with more than 15 years of experience in the IVD industry. His focus has been on innovative technologies, especially molecular diagnostics.
Prior to illumina he was with several diagnostic companies including QIAGEN GmbH, B.R.A.H.M.S. (Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.), Metanomics Health (BASF) and Epigenomics AG, where he gained experience and drove implementation of IVD-products across various indications in oncology, infectious disease, prenatal screening and cardiology.
Dr. Liebenberg’s passion is to improve patient care by translating innovative technologies into routine care. Based in Berlin, he interacts with leading laboratories and medical institutions across the globe driving the generation and dissemination of evidence proving the value of diagnostics.
IVDR – Biobanking Requirements of IVD Manufacturers
The EU-IVD-Regulation (IVDR) has redefined the requirements for European IVD-products (IVDs). The new risk-based product classification leads to an about 6-fold higher oversight of products by Notified Bodies. This dimension of change is unprecedented in this industry and drives manufacturers to economically reassess their portfolio and pipeline due to the substantial one-time investments and the increased maintenance cost.
The biggest changes driven by the IVDR are the need for additional clinical performance data and the ongoing surveillance of the IVDs in the market. Both are sustainably increasing the need for clinical samples and data, which IVD manufacturers have limited access to.
Meanwhile innovative diagnostic service providers have evolved showing the benefit of combining laboratory processes and IVD development motivating traditional manufacturers to increase efficiency. Therefore, the transition caused by the IVDR creates an opportunity for biobanks to engage with IVD-manufacturers, which have cooperated rather sporadically in the past.
Burkhard Knopf obtained his PhD in biology at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz in 2010. Since then, Burkhard has been working as a scientist at Fraunhofer IME in the department Environmental Specimen Bank (ESB) and Elemental Analysis. He is responsible for the analysis of different elements/elemental species in ESB samples for the German Environment Agency. The laboratory is accredited according to DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025. In addition, Burkhard has been responsible for the determination of cadmium in human urine for the German ESB as part of the HBM4EU project since 2018. Burkhard’s main experiences and research interests are the determination and speciation of trace elements in various sample types (environmental, biological, industrial, etc.) applying different types of ICP-MS instrumentations (GC-ICP-MS, HPLC-ICP-MS; ICP-QQQ-MS).
The German Environmental Specimen Bank – A Tool for the Real-Time and Retrospective Monitoring of Chemicals of Concern
The German Environmental Specimen Bank (UPB) is an archive of human and environmental samples stored at ultra-low temperatures. With regularly collected samples the state of the environment can be documented and changes of burdens of natural and anthropogenic substances can be followed over time. Samples are collected, transported, processed and stored in such a way that their biological and chemical information remains constant over long periods. These samples are not only used for a real-time monitoring of the environment but especially for the retrospective monitoring of chemicals of emerging concern. For example, mercury is measured in all sample matrices in real-time monitoring since the start of the ESB sampling whereas new chemicals were measured retrospectively in archived time series samples. Results from ESB monitoring studies support the risk assessment of chemicals by providing exposure data and information on their bioaccumulation potential.
Richard Stephens is a survivor of two cancers, a heart emergency, and continued co-morbidities and late effects. He has participated in four interventional studies and nine others, and has been a patient advocate since 1999.
Richard formerly Chaired the NCRI’s Consumer Forum and now Chairs BBMRI-ERIC’s Stakeholder Forum. He sits on strategic groups for NIHR, NHS England, PHE-NCRAS, CQC, MRC CTU, Genomics England, Cancer Research UK and ABPI, and works with industry and with patient groups in Canada and Europe.
Richard was the patient representative who co-authored the English Cancer Strategy 2015-2020, was a founder member of the AllTrials campaign and useMYdata movement, and is co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Research Involvement and Engagement. He is the patient ambassador/campaigner for the NCRI’s Living With And Beyond Cancer research priorities, recently embraced by EORTC.
In the UK Richard is regarded as the leading patient advocate in cancer research.
Dr Balwir Matharoo-Ball is the Deputy Director of the Biobank at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust. Bal has over 30 years’ knowledge and a wealth of both Biobanking, research and NHS experience. Prior to her appointment with the NUH Bal was head hunted for the position of Senior Group Leader at The John van Geest Cancer Research Centre at Nottingham Trent University where she was in charge of the Proteomics group and was successful in securing grants and published in number of articles in peer-reviewed journals. Bal also carried out research into premature labour at the University of Nottingham and prior to which she worked in Oman as the Head of Biomedical Sciences for the Ministry of Health.
Professor Felice Alex Felice is Professor (Biomedical Sciences) at the University of Malta in the School of Medicine, and Visiting Thalassaemia Consultant in the Ministry of Health, Mater Dei Hospital. Here, he directed the establishment of the Thalassaemia and Molecular Genetics research and services and the development of a Molecular Biotechnology Research Program including Human / Medical Genomics, the BioBank at the UM, and the membership in Eurobiobank and BBMRI-ERIC. His main research interest is in globin gene control and the genomics of rare disease.
Demian Martin is currently studying Piano at the Lübeck Academy of Music with Prof. Konrad Elser.
He has won several prices in piano competitions in Germany and Switzerland (incl. a 1st price at the federal stage of Germany’s competition “Jugend Musiziert”).
Since he began playing the piano at the age of 6 he has been auto-didactically learning to improvise and compose. Having given several self-presented piano improvisation concerts as well as diverse cabaret shows he is an experienced piano improvisation artist throughout all genres, capable of instantly transforming a given theme into the style of any historical composer.
Alois Bilavcik studied plant physiology at the Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. The topic of his theses was Physiological Aspects of Tolerance of Fruit Trees to Low Temperatures and Their Cryopreservation. Since 1995, he has worked in the Crop Research Institute in Prague in the team dealing with stress physiology and cryobiology. He focuses on low temperature physiology of plants and the use of thermal analysis in evaluation of plant responses to low temperatures, and development of cryopreservation methods for fruit crops in National programme on conservation and utilization of Plant Genetic Resources and Agro-biodiversity in the Czech Planning. He is interested in in vitro biotechnology as a tool for cryopreservation studies. He uses and optimise the dormant bud cryotechniques for temperate fruits. His recent project involves the topic of frost damages of apricot generative organs and the ways of the frost protection. His strong interest in introducing new promising fruit species in the Central Europe conditions resulted in establishing collection of such species for further frost resistance studies and growing evaluations.
Johanna Rienks is project manager at Lifelines, a large three-generation population-based cohort and biobank among 167,000 participants in the northern part of the Netherlands. Before starting her current position at Lifelines in 2018 she did a PhD in Nutritional Epidemiology at the University of Bonn in Germany and successfully defended her thesis recently. In 2009 she completed her training as a dietitian at the University of Applied Sciences in Nijmegen and obtained her Master in Nutritional Epidemiology in 2011 from Wageningen University and Research in the Netherlands. She worked as research assistant on a nutritional intervention study before commencing her PhD.
As project manager at Lifelines she coordinates and manages research projects for the collection and release of data and biomaterials using the Lifelines infrastructure. These projects are broad and range from biomedical research to social sciences.
Furthermore, Johanna advises Lifelines about ethical challenges of biobanking, the implications this has for all stakeholders, explores future directions and develops policies.
Peter Hufnagl (PhD) studied mathematics and statistics at the Academy of Mining Freiberg. He focused firstly on medical image analysis and developed frameworks for tumor characterization and drug research.
As head of digital pathology at the Institute of Pathology at Charité Berlin he is engaged in the application of virtual microscopy systems and machine learning in histology. He is co-author of the German guidelines for clinical use of digital pathology. From the beginning he was also head of IT of the ZeBanC, the central biobank of the Charité.
To enforce the cooperation with the industry he founded the Center for Biomedical Image and Information Processing (CBMI) in 2016.
Since the spring of 2019 he has been the coordinator of the EMPAIA (Ecosystem for Pathology Diagnostics with AI Assistance; https://www.empaia.org/) consortium.
AI in Pathology and Biobanking – the EMPAIA Spirit
Artificial intelligence (AI) methods will revolutionize image-based medical diagnosis in the next 10-20 years. Without AI, today’s medical quality standards cannot be maintained due to a shortage of skilled personnel and an increasing number of patients and pathology cases. At the same time, case complexity is increasing due to the demands of precision medicine. To address these challenges, AI image analysis techniques become a basic tool, enabling pathologists to perform a greater variety of tasks at high speed and unprecedented accuracy.
At the same time, biobanks are increasingly becoming databases. For many applications it is no longer necessary to collect material. Instead, it is possible to bring AI-based methods to the data.
Within the ecosystem EMPAIA we address these questions, with a focus on pathology. What are the implications for biobanks?
Single-Cell Genomic Atlas of Great Ape Cerebral Organoids Uncovers
Human-specific Features of Brain Development
The human brain has changed dramatically since humans diverged from our closest living relatives, chimpanzees and the other great apes1-5. However, the genetic and developmental programs underlying this divergence are not fully understood6-8. Here, we have analyzed stem cell-derived cerebral organoids using single-cell transcriptomics (scRNA-seq) and accessible chromatin profiling (scATAC-seq) to explore gene regulatory changes that are specific to humans. We first analyze cell composition and reconstruct differentiation trajectories over the entire course of human cerebral organoid development from pluripotency, through neuroectoderm and neuroepithelial stages, followed by divergence into neuronal fates within the dorsal and ventral forebrain, midbrain and hindbrain regions. We find that brain region composition varies in organoids from different iPSC lines, yet regional gene expression patterns are largely reproducible across individuals. We then analyze chimpanzee and macaque cerebral organoids and find that human neuronal development proceeds at a delayed pace relative to the other two primates. Through pseudotemporal alignment of differentiation paths, we identify human-specific gene expression resolved to distinct cell states along progenitor to neuron lineages in the cortex. We find that chromatin accessibility is dynamic during cortex development, and identify instances of accessibility divergence between human and chimpanzee that correlate with human-specific gene expression and genetic change. Finally, we map human-specific expression in adult prefrontal cortex using single-nucleus RNA-seq and find developmental differences that persist into adulthood, as well as cell state-specific changes that occur exclusively in the adult brain. Our data provide a temporal cell atlas of great ape forebrain development, and illuminate dynamic gene regulatory features that are unique to humans.
The Role of Learned Societies in Stem Cell Research: Support for Initiatives on Stem Cell Banking and Stem Cells in Biodiversity
The German Stem Cell Network (GSCN) is a nationwide network of stem cell researchers. The goal of the GSCN is to create synergies between all areas of basic and applied stem cell research and to create an interface between science, education, politics and society. The central task of the network is to bundle the existing competences in Germany in the field of stem cell research and develop synergies with the field of regenerative medicine to encourage new national and international research activities. In addition, public relation measures and outreach activities provide target group-specific information and education on this important field of research. The GSCN defines itself as a hub for contacts and as a platform for the rapprochement of different fields around the dynamically developing and relatively young cross-sectional technology of stem cell research. In such a diverse and interdisciplinary field, it is important to create an opportunity for the exchange of knowledge, data, protocols and know-how to mutual benefit. A scientific network is dynamic and successful if it is supported, enriched and driven from a center of content and logistics. Along these lines, in 2015 the GSCN helped establish and support the PluriCore network, an association of German core units on stem cell technologies for the exchange of protocols, cells and scientific data. A further goal of the scientific community as a whole, which the GSCN actively supports, is the establishment of stem cell banks both with human and animal pluripotent cells. The banking of animal pluripotent stem cells of a wide variety of species will be of special importance in the future. A comprehensive source of biodiversity can be established through such collections, and biological materials of rare and extinct animal species can be conserved.
Ms Joanna Vella holds a Bachelor Honours degree in Pharmacy from the University of Malta and a Master’s degree in Forensic Science from King’s College London. Joanna is in her final year of a part-time doctoral degree at the University of Malta.
Joanna started her career in the field of biobanking nine years ago as Research Support Officer II and Biobank assistant and is now Manager of the biobank at the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery and the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Biobanking in the University of Malta.
Joanna won an award for best London Metropolitan Police project for her master’s degree research project on mRNA and DNA profiling of minute body fluid stains in 2009 and also won the Joint Research Council (JRC) Malta Young Scientist Award in 2017 for her biobank-led research in rare disease.
Stefan Liebau studied human medicine and is now full professor (W3) and chairman of the Institute of Neuroanatomy & Developmental Biology at the University of Tübingen. His institute focuses its research on investigations of developmental biology regarding the neurosensory systems using induced pluripotent stem cells. His group has established 3-dimensional human stem cell derived retinal organoids, representing a bona fide platform to investigate questions of basic and translational science. Moreover, his group has already investigated the development and function of several neural systems in vitro and has additionally established a variety of experimental methods. Amongst others, his methodology comprises efficient and simple generation of induced pluripotent stem cells from plucked human hair, simplified and cost effective and stable iPSC culture systems, differentiation into the neural lineage and human retina, generation and implementation of reporter systems, inducible expression systems, sorting strategies, as well as single cell qPCR, electrophysiology, Crispr/CAS etc.
Non-Invasive Harvesting of Somatic Specimen
Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) of variable species origin provide a unique tool for investigating developmental or pathomechanistical questions. Moreover, it provides a highly valuable specimen for future reproduction of endangered or extinct species. The generation of iPSCs is in most cases performed via skin biopsies, a surgical intervention with an unforeseeable risk of wound infection. Especially in animals, a thorough post-treatment of these wounds is difficult. We have established the reprogramming of somatic cells to iPSCs from hair root keratinocytes. This technique uses plucked hair from humans or animals, a non-invasive intervention with no harm to the individual. Nevertheless, as it works with great reliability in humans, the successful harvesting of hair with an intact outer root sheath from animals is still not fully established. Therefore, we will be provided with hair samples from a variety of species from the Berlin Zoo, the Berlin Tiergarten and the LZW in Berlin. We also aim to establish individual and specific culture techniques for various species in the near future.
Bobrova Olena, Ph.D., Senior Researcher of the Department of Cryobiophysics at Institute for Problems of Cryobiology and Cryomedicine of the National Academy of Sciences of the Ukraine, Kharkiv. Her research focuses on several scientific areas: studying the phase state of cryobiological system during the process of cooling and heating; studying intermolecular interactions in aqueous-cryoprotective salines aimed to prevent the cryodamages by salt and metabolite hyperconcentrations; development of cryopreservation methods for plant explants and animal cells.
Emmanuelle GORMALLY is the Dean of the Life Sciences Faculty at the Catholic University of Lyon (France) and ESTBB deputy director. After a PhD at Oxford University in 1998, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC, WHO, France) between 1999 and 2005. She joined the Graduate School of Biology – Biochemistry – Biotechnologies (ESTBB) of the Catholic University of Lyon in 2002 as a lecturer. In 2008 she developed and coordinated a Bachelor for medical technologists in West Africa (BAMS Bamako). In 2010 she developed the first master in Biobank Management that she continues to coordinate. She is conducting research activities in the field of hepatocellular carcinoma – hepatitis B infection in a West African context.
Dipl.-Ing Roland Leiminger was born in 1961 and studied at the University of Applied Sciences Reutlingen and Berlin. His focus is on instrumental analytics, biotechnology and reactor design. He is Director Clinical Key Account Management at Bruker Biospin. He is responsible for the distribution of NMR systems and the implementation of new application strategies. Its territorial responsibility extends in the EIMEA area. His main topics are biobanks, research collaborations and the opening of new diagnostic work areas by NMR
He has more than 30 years of experience in environmental and medical diagnostics. He has successfully introduced new technologies in the various technological markets. His successes have always been characterized by excellent market knowledge, future-oriented and creative and solution-oriented acting. He is a team player with clear visions. In addition, he is a trained QMM and auditor. He is a very good networker with excellent medical knowledge
Prof. Andres Metspalu, (MD 1976, PhD 1979) Head of the Estonian Biobank, Institute of Genomics, University of Tartu. He was a postdoc at Colombia and Yale University in 1981-1982. His main scientific interests are human genetics, genomics of complex diseases and population based biobanks and application of the precision medicine in health care, 1993-1994 at BCM, Houston, as a visiting faculty and year 2000 at IARC, Lyon, France as a recipient of the International VSS Award and in 2012 sabbatical at University of Lausanne. From 1996 to 2008 A. Metspalu was also the head and founder of the MD Center of the Tartu University Hospital. Metspalu is the past (2006) president of the European Society of the Human Genetics. 2010 he elected to the Estonian Academy of Sciences. His H-index is 102. He is serving in several national and international committees and has received among other awards and honors the Order of the Estonian Red Cross 3rd Class and L’Ordre des Palmes Academiques from the Republic of France. From 2010, he is Doctor Honoris Causa of Vilnius University.
From Biobanking to Personalised Medicine – an Estonian Case
The Estonian Biobank was founded in 2000 as a volunteer-based biobank, and now, 19 years later, it contains a collection of health and genetics data of close to 200 000 individuals, approximately 20% of the adult population of the country. The Human Genes Research Act (passed in 2000) allows regular updating of data through linking to national registries, enabling long-term follow-up of the cohort and re-contacting biobank participants. A nationwide technical infrastructure (X-road) for the secure electronic exchange of medical data has also been established and is maintained by the state. Individuals have been genotyped with Illumina’s Global Screening Array, and the whole genomes of 3,000 individuals and whole exomes of 2500 individuals have been sequenced. This serves as a population-based imputation reference. I will report 3 pilot projects where personalized medicine is implemented in Estonia: familiar hypercholesterolemia (FH), breast cancer and drug response. Using a “genetics first approach”, we discovered many new FH patients not detected by the medical system and for over 50% of the cases the treatment was changed. We have developed decision support tools for several major diseases, including risk estimates based on polygenic risks scores (PRS) for breast cancer, and pharmacogenomics based recommendations. Today, over 2,000 participants of the Estonian Biobank have received genetics-based counselling and the feedback has been very positive. As all these data will be transferred to the medical system within the next few years, personalized medicine as 4P medicine (personalized, predictive, preventive and participatory) has reached the point of no return in Estonia.
Christoph Brochhausen is the Vice Chair of Pathology at the University of Regensburg, leads the Tissue Biobank at the Comprehensive Cancer Center East Bavaria and the Central Biobank Regensburg, Germany. As senior consultant pathologist he is responsible for the diagnostic service of the electron microscopy unit. He is specialised in orthopaedic- and cardio-vascular pathology. His research is focused on Tissue Engineering, Regenerative Medicine and Digital Pathology. Christoph Brochhausen coordinats BRoTHER, a Bavarian-Czech research project in biobank cooperation. He is awarded with the Michalis lecture, Trinity College Cambridge (UK, 2008), the Best Paper Award of the European Society of Biomaterials (2009), the „Land of ideas“ award from the German Government (2012), the Histalim biotechnology award (France, 2015) and the „Ars legendi award“ of the German Faculty Day (2015). Christoph Brochhausen has written more than 100 scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals, 18 book contributions and two books. Citations: >2000, H-index: 24
Martin Zünkeler, trained lawyer and graduated marketing specialist is the founder and CEO of Kairos. Before founding Kairos, he was managing director and founder of the “CoM.MeD GmbH” and head of marketing for leading European hospital information system vendor. Due to several longer stays in the U.S., Martin has developed a deep knowledge surrounding “Comprehensive Cancer Centers (CCC)” and research IT. He was an external employee and provisional commercial director of the CCC at the “Charité” in Berlin for three years.
Nikolas von Bubnoff trained in medicine at the Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich before specialising in internal medicine. Professor von Bubnoff is currently Head of the Department of Internal Medicine, Hematology and Oncology at the University Medical Centre Lübeck.
Professor von Bubnoff’s research focuses on preclinical and clinical development of targeted treatment strategies, molecular mechanisms of treatment resistance, and circulating tumor (ct)DNA biomarker development in solid tumors. His clinical focus spans across molecular oncology, myeloid neoplasia, systemic mastocytosis, gastrointestinal stromal tumors, and cerebral lymphoma.
Mukthar Kader is a qualified and registered Medical technologist (Clinical Pathology) in South Africa and has 18 years of experience in the Clinical Pathology environment. He has gained experience working as a Laboratory Manager of a Clinical Pathology and a PCR laboratory and has been involved and facilitated the accreditation processes of several laboratories. At Clinical Laboratory Services, (CLS) he holds the position of Project Manager a key staff member of the H3Africa(H3A) team within CLS. He is the primary contact person for the CLS H3A BR project. He is responsible for the biorepository operations and overall project management. He is a member of the University of Witwatersrand Biobank ethics committee.
Dr. Carmen Swanepoel is a Principal Medical Scientist and lecturer within the Division of Haematopathology and jointly appointed by the National Health Laboratory Services (NHLS) and Stellenbosch University (SU) at Tygerberg Hospital, South Africa. She is concerned with research, diagnostic test development and the teaching and training of staff/students. She currently oversees the cell culture facility and a small registered biobank (NSB) and also fulfill the roles of the Haematology Molecular Diagnostic Scientist. Over the years she has gained expertise in other biobank and genomic related operations ranging from governance, ethics, LIMS, sample and data sharing and protection, sample QC/QA, risk management through to sustainability.Promoting the science of biobanking and genetics within South Africa and the rest of Africa is a key mission and are involved in various projects associated with biobanking, cancer and genetic research. Other research interest includes molecular applications in leukemia diagnosis and cancer resistance mechanisms.
Erik Steinfelder earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Analytical Chemistry from the Saxion University of Applied Sciences in Deventer, Netherlands, and subsequently completed a course in Foundations of Management at Nyenrode Business University in Breukelen, Netherlands. In 2008, he joined Thermo Fisher Scientific, a multinational biotechnology product development company based in the US. In his position as first Biobank Commercial Leader EMEA, he went on to head the complete biobank portfolio and range of activities and, most recently, became Corporate Accounts Executive. Additionally, between 2014 and 2017, he was also President-elect, President and past President of ESBB, the European, Middle Eastern and African Society for Biopreservation and Biobanking. Since August 2017 he is the Director General of BBMRI-ERIC.
Irina Mitrofanova was born on January 19, 1965. She graduated from Szent István Agricultural University, Gödöllő, Hungary (1989). She obtained her Ph.D. in Biotechnology and Botany in 1994 from the State Nikita Botanical Garden, Nikita, Ukraine and holds Doctor of Biology Sciences degree in Biotechnology at Nikita Botanical Garden, Ukrainian Academy of Agricultural Science in 2007. She is well-known researcher, who works more than 25 years in Plant Biotechnology and Virology. Her specialized fields are in somatic embryogenesis and organogenesis of ornamental, aromatic, fruit crops, essential oil plants and wild-growing endemics and rare plant species, in monitoring of viral disease in horticultural agrocenosis, virus diagnostics and identification, in plant in vitro conservation. She participated and gave invite and oral presentation to many international conferences and symposiums. She also convened International symposiums supported by the International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS), namely “Biotechnology as an Instrument for Plant Biodiversity Conservation (physiological, biochemical, embryological, genetic and legal aspects)” – YaltaBiotech 2018” in 2018, Yalta, Russian Federation. She is a member of the Russian, European and International Society on Plant Physiology, Plant Biology and Biotechnology, National Correspondent of the International Association for Plant Biotechnology from Russian Federation. She is author or co-author of more than 180 scientific papers and reviews, 8 books and book chapters on plant virology, plant tissue culture, in vitro morphogenesis (somatic embryogenesis and organogenesis), in vitro genebank creation and ex vitro plant adaptation. She is an expert of Russian Academy of Science, Russian Scientific Foundation, Russian Foundation for Basic Research, of Skolkovo Foundation. She is a member of Expert Council of Russian Scientific Foundation for research projects, member of the Editorial Board of several Russian and International Journals on plant botany, breeding and biotechnology.
Dr. Oelmueller joint QIAGEN in 1995. He currently heads the Molecular Diagnostics Technology Center for Sample Technologies. At the QIAGEN / BD joint venture company PreAnalytiX he is QIAGEN’s management committee co-chair. The company develops and sells integrated systems for sample collection, stabilization and purification of nucleic acids from clinical specimens. Dr. Oelmueller was the coordinator of the EU FP7 Collaborative Grant Project SPIDIA (2008 – 2013) and is the current coordinator of the EU Horizon 2020 Coordination and Support Action SPDIA4P (2017 – 2020). Both projects focus on the standardization and improvement of pre-analytical workflows for in-vitro diagnostics. He is a working group convener at the ISO/TC 212 (clinical Laboratory testing and in vitro diagnostic test systems) and at the CEN/TC 140 (in vitro diagnostic medical devices). In 2017 he received the “DIN Honorary Needle” Award for his international engagement in standards developments for quality management in medical laboratories.
Anu Jalanko, PhD, Adjunct Professor, Senior Scientist at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland FIMM, HiLIFE Helsinki Institute of Life Science, University Helsinki. She is acting as the Project Manager of a major national effort, the FinnGen Project, launched in 2017 (www.finngen.fi/en). Her other affiliation is National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) where she is nominated as the National Coordinator of BBMRI.fi, responsible for national coordination of biobanks and representing Finland in the Management Committee of the European Biobank Infrastructure BBMRI-ERIC. Her previous major position was the Head of Genomics and Biomarkers Unit at the THL (2009-2017) and director of THL Biobank, a large national cohort biobank (2014-2017). Anu Jalanko has a long experience as a research director. She has been participant PI in two consecutive Centre of Excellence programmes of the Academy of Finland and vice-director of Nordic Centre of Excellence in Disease Genetics. She has participated several EU projects and coordinated one FP6 project NCL-MODELS. Currently she participates the H2020 projects ADOPT-BBMRI-ERIC and CORBEL. She has also experience as a chair of organizing major international congresses and participating several committees and evaluation bodies in the area of molecular medicine and infrastructures. The scientific career of Anu Jalanko consists mainly of studies of molecular mechanisms behind rare genetic diseases, with supervision of 13 doctoral students and over 100 publications in peer-reviewed international journals.
Piers leads real world research solution development for IQVIA’s European Data and Evidence Network, with a focus on precision oncology.
Previously, he was Director of International Alliances for a Silicon Valley clinical informatics charity, Cancer Commons, led the launch and commercialisation of ponatinib for ARIAD pharmaceuticals in Boston.
His PhD was in novel statistical methods and proteomics and he has worked across discovery through to commercialisation.
Biobanking for Precision Oncology: the Need for Scale and Speed
Precision Oncology makes every cancer a complex string of rare cancers. IQVIA, the worlds largest contract research organisation, helps researchers tackle the challenges this creates, finding rare patients over many sites and sourcing their clinical data and samples into global research programmes. The complexity of such research requires new large scale collaborative approaches. Piers will explain the challenges of translational precision oncology research, introduce some of the novel technology solutions and champion a new collaboration with European clinical biobanks to help them accelerate patient benefit. The focus of the talk will be on new forms of late stage, clinical research where over 40% of late stage observational studies now need sample. Piers will illustrate this with current research opportunities in immune-oncology and ultra-orphan cancers.
Dr. Oliver Karch is a Medical Informatician by training. He is heading the Clinical Biomarker Informatics and Biobanking group at Merck, Darmstadt. The group manages globally clinical biomarker data as well as the samples collected in Merck’s multi-centric clinical studies. He joined Merck in 1998 as Bioinformatician to walk all the way from early drug discovery to clinical biomarker and companion diagnostics development. Before joining Merck, he pursued his PhD at the German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg. He was cofounder of a few startup companies in the healthcare sector. He is actively involved in several IMI (Innovative Medicines Initiative) Projects and ESBB / ISBER / EFPIA interest groups to foster cross-talk and harmonization among academic and pharma Biobanks.
Olli Kallioniemi, M.D., Ph.D., Director of Science for Life Laboratory (www.SciLifeLab.se), a national infrastructure for life sciences in Sweden and professor in Molecular Precision Medicine at the Karolinska Institutet. He was previously the founding director of FIMM – the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland at the University of Helsinki, as part of the Nordic EMBL partnership in Molecular Medicine (with ongoing adjunct affiliation). Olli Kallioniemi has a broad experience in launching and leading research organizations, promoting careers of young scientists, working with research infrastructures and attractive research environments. He has collaborated broadly within the Nordics, in the EU and globally.
Olli Kallioniemi received his M.D. in 1984, Ph.D. in 1988 and specialty training in laboratory medicine at the University of Tampere in Finland. He undertook a postdoc at UC San Francisco 1990-1992 and was nominated as faculty at the National Human Genome Research Institute (1995-2001). Prof. Kallioniemi’s research group is currently active in individualized systems medicine of cancer, with a focus on improving the diagnostics and therapy of leukemia, prostate and ovarian cancer. Olli Kallioniemi has facilitated launch of grand challenge initiatives in personalized medicine in Finland and Sweden, involving close collaborations with hospitals, health care organizations and industry.
Olli Kallioniemi is an author of 384 publications in PubMed and 575 in Web Of Science (with 44,359 citations, H-index of 104). He is a member of the editorial board of six journals and invited lecturer in over 100 meetings during the past 5 years. He has supervised 27 doctoral theses.
Dr. Kallioniemi has been a director and a member of Centers of Excellence (Academy of Finland and Marie Curie Center grant) four times, a co-PI in 11 EU framework grants and in one IMI grant, and participated in four ESFRI/ERIC infrastructure networks. Kallioniemi has also served in the board of the Nordic EMBL Molecular Medicine Partnership (https://www.nordicemblpartnership.org/) and in the EU Life organization (https://www.eu-life.eu/).
Olli Kallioniemi is an inventor and co-inventor of 21 issued patents, with a focus on diagnostic technology development, including FISH, CGH, tissue microarrays, cell microarrays and bioinformatic methods.
Prof. Kallioniemi is a recipient of the Anders Jahre (Young Scientist) Prize, NIH Director’s lecture, Harold G. Pritzker Memorial Lecture (Toronto), AACR team science award and the IFCC-Abbot Award for Molecular Diagnostics and the main annual medical prize in Finland.
Olli Kallioniemi is a member of European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), the National Academy of Science and Letters (Finland), European Academy of Cancer Sciences as well as the Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institutet.
Hugh Pritchard is Head of Comparative Seed Biology research at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK. He has a PhD in plant cryobiology and >30 years’ experience in genetic resources preservation, including on the senior management team delivering the Millennium Seed Bank Project through to 2014. His research focusses on seed cryopreservation, germination modelling and stress biology. He has (co-)authored 205 scientific publications, 72% of which have appeared in international peer-reviewed journals. His Google Scholar h-index is 46. He is Executive Editor of the low temperature science journal CryoLetters, and is a former Chairman and currently a Trustee of the Society for Low Temperature Biology. He holds honorary professorships from the University of Sussex, UK and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, is a fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and the Linnean Society, and is an elected member of the Academy of Sciences of South Africa.
Characterisation of Storage Stability Using Thermal Methods
The storage stability of plant propagules (e.g. seeds and pollen) varies greatly due to differences in stress tolerance (drying and cooling) and longevity (storability). Beyond any inherent, genetic differences between species, this variability depends on the physical status of the material at different combinations of humidity, temperature and time. Measuring such structural properties is possible with thermal methods, opening up the prospect of being able to predict (some at least) at-risk accessions in biobanks and / or improve biobank design.
Timo studied Molecular Life Science at the University of Lübeck and then moved to Sweden to perform his PhD at the Karolinksa Institutet (Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophaysics, MBB) with the title “Genomic (in)stability in eptithelial cancers”. In 2015, he became a Professor at the University of Lübeck for “Oncological proteomics”. Timo’s research focus is the detection of biomarkers on the proteomics level by mass spectrometry, 2-dimensional gel electrophoresis and protein chips.
Johann Eder is full professor for Information and Communication Systems in the Department of Informatics-Systems of the Alpen-Adria Universität Klagenfurt, Austria. From 2005-2013 he served as Vice President of the Austrian Science Funds (FWF). He held positions at the Universities of Linz, Hamburg and Vienna and was visiting scholar at AT&T Shannon Labs, NJ, USA, the University of California Santa Barbara, CA, USA, and the New Jersey Institute of Technology, NJ, USA.
The research interests of Johann Eder are databases, information systems and data management for medical research. A particular focus of his work is the evolution of information systems and the modelling and management of temporal information and temporal constraints. Another focus is the application of information technology for medical research in particular information systems for biobanking.
He successfully directed numerous competitively funded research projects on workflow management systems, temporal data warehousing, process modelling with temporal constraints, application interoperability and evolution, information systems modelling, information systems for medical research, etc. He was active in the BBMRI endeavour since its beginning contributing to the design of data management systems for federations of biobanks and he is leading the data management projects at BBMRI.AT.
Johann Eder published more than 190 papers in peer reviewed international journals, conference proceedings, and edited books. He chaired resp. served in numerous program committees for international conferences and as editor and referee for international journals.
Managing Data Quality for Biobanks
Data Quality is an essential asset for the data stored in and provided by biobanks to support and enable trustworthy and reproducable medical studies. We discuss the particular requirements and challenges of data quality for biobanks as the future uses of the data are by the very nature and purpose of the collections unknown. We present useful data quality dimensions and propose concepts for managing data quality.
Fruzsina Molnár-Gábor (Dr. iur.) is group leader at the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities/BioQuant Centre and is lecturer at the Faculty of Law, University of Heidelberg. Her professional expertise focuses on the regulation of biomedicine and particularly data sharing, including Public International Law; European Union law; comparative public law, bioethics and medical ethics. She is member of several national and international committees: the Ethics and Governance Committee of the International Cancer Genome Consortium, the drafting group of the BBMRI Code of Conduct for Health Research, the Ethics Working Group of the Human Cell Atlas, the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health and the Junge Akademie of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and German Academy of Natural Scientists Leopoldina. She is spokesperson of the working group of the Junge Akademie on Artificial Intelligence.
International Scientific Data Sharing: Free Data Flow or Back to Ground Zero?
The GDPR set out to foster the free flow of data, in particular through specific rules on data processing for scientific research purposes. It has also, in comparison to the Data Protection Directive, extended permissibility grounds for international data transfers, which are useful for international biomedical research collaborations. However, on an international level, permissibility grounds for international data transfers established prior to the GDPR or which – according to critics – do not fulfill its criteria for adequate data protection are currently subject to review by the Court of Justice of the EU. Standard contractual clauses and the EU-US Privacy Shield are the latest of these grounds to face trial. This talk will highlight the legal issues around both instruments, provide a prognosis on possible outcomes of the court proceedings and finally draw up potential solutions for maintaining the viability of international transfers depending on each outcome.
Rita T. Lawlor is a Computer Science graduate with a doctorate in Oncological Pathology. She is co-founder of the ARC-Net applied cancer research centre and is director of the ARC-Net biobank, coordinating research activities. She is a member of the steering committee of BC-NET (Biobank Cohort Network of Low Middle Income Countries) of IARC (International Association for Research on Cancer). She is a former director of ISBER, International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories and is past president of ESBB, the European, Middle Eastern and African Society for Biopreservation and Biobanking. She is IAPP (International Association of Privacy Professionals) CIPP/E and CIPM certifications for European data protection and is chair of the ISBER GDPR Task Force. Her current research interests are in molecular diagnostic markers and therapeutic targets and the role of cancer heterogeneity and molecular characterization of samples in the application of individualized medicine.
The Long Arm of GDPR: Extra Territorial Scope, Third Country Transfers and International Organizations; the Challenges and Possible Solutions for Biobanks Involved in Big Science and Big Data
The GDPR applies to the processing of personal data of all European citizens regardless of where this takes place thus extending the extraterritorial “reach” of the regulation beyond the EU. It is having a major impact outside of the EU, where biobanks support multinational studies. Furthermore, the regulation warrants that personal data may be transferred to a third country outside the EU only if deemed to have an adequate level of protection and this is not the case for many countries including the U.S.A. and Africa. For countries without this adequacy decision, additional legal bases are required for transfer of personal data from the EU. This presentation will look at the long arm of GDPR and the potential mechanisms provided to ensure the continuation of international biobanking, research collaborations and Big Data sharing.
Marcel Bruinenberg completed his study at the University for Applied Sciences (Laboratory and Process Technologies) in 1993. Throughout his career Marcel has been involved in starting new laboratory facilities, ranging from small diagnostic labs to bigger genetic service laboratories.
Since 2006 he has been a consultant for Lifelines, a large longitudinal population based cohort study among 167.000 volunteers in the Northern part of The Netherlands. Marcel accepted a full position at Lifelines in 2008. He started a new highly automated Biobanking laboratory. After that he headed the full genome analysis of the Lifelines study, served as project leader of several add-on studies within Lifelines and was a pioneer in services for researchers that wanted to use Lifelines data, samples or facilities. He combined this with being project manager of LifeStore. This facility holds one of the largest automated -80 freezer stores worldwide (> 8 million samples) combined with 170 Ultra low temperature freezers. Currently Marcel is manager at Lifelines heading Collection, Laboratory, Storage, IT and HRM.
Anja Kiesow is a Researcher at the German Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt) in Berlin, Germany. Since May 2019, she is part of the HBM4EU coordination team. HBM4EU is a joint effort of 28 countries with the goal to generate knowledge for policy makers in order to improve policy, chemical risk management, and communication for a healthier society.
Academically, Anja had the unique chance to conduct research for her international Master’s program in three countries: Germany, the USA, and the UK, and received a German-American double degree in Arid Land Studies from Humboldt University Berlin and Texas Tech University. Before that, she completed a BA in Environmental Engineering at Technical University Berlin.
Anja is excited to bring her skillset to the topic of human biomonitoring, and she looks forward to contributing to the HBM4EU project.
Since 2015, Dr. Philip Lawrence is an Associate Professor of Virology at the Catholic University of Lyon (UCLy), France, and research scientist at the University of Lyon, UMRS 449, UCLy – EPHE/PSL. He received his Ph.D. in molecular and cellular biology and virology from the University of Lyon in 2009. He is currently course coordinator for the Master’s program in “Biobank Management” at UCLy. Between 2009 and 2018 he also carried out research at the International Centre for Research in Infectiology (CIRI), INSERM U1111 – CNRS UMR5308 Université Lyon 1, ENS de Lyon, France, notably working on understanding the molecular basis of pathogenicity for several emerging, highly pathogenic viruses. He has 15 years of experience in working with viruses including HIV, Measles and HBV as well as Nipah and Ebola viruses and in particular in using techniques in molecular virology to investigate the virus replication cycle and interactions between viral and host cell proteins at the molecular level. He is currently working on HBV and the links between viral infection and liver cancer in West African patients.
Rosita Kammler is Head of Translational Research Coordination for the International Breast Cancer Study Group (IBCSG) and the European Thoracic Oncology Platform (ETOP). Her work has revolved around clinical trial biobanking, translational research coordination and project management for the past 17 years. She has provided leadership for designing, building and conducting the translational research programs and biobanks for IBCSG and ETOP, enabling state-of-the-art oncology research. She is responsible that the trial biosamples meet the objectives for quality, quantity, ethical use, to ensure the integrity of research data and analysis. These biobanks have been a critical resource for the more than 40 translational research studies conducted by IBCSG/ETOP, or collaborators. She is responsible for the management and oversight of all translational research activities and biobanking activities conducted by IBCSG and ETOP in the course of prospective clinical trials and retrospective biomarker analyses, including the ETOP Lungscape and Mesoscape iBiobanks.
Rosita Kammler trained in international business management. Her biobank management expertise includes knowledge of international regulatory implications for sample use and transfer, development of patient informed consent forms allowing future research use, systems requirements for biobank information systems, and the conduct of quality assessments for biomarker studies.
Rosita Kammler is President-elect of the European, Middle East, & African Society for Biopreservation and Biobanking (ESBB).
Tanja K. Froehlich, PhD, is the Manager of the Liquid Biobank Bern at the Inselspital Bern University Hospital, Switzerland. She is a trained business data processing specialist with experience in the field of software engineering. Additionally, she obtained a MSc in biology and graduated with a PhD in biomedical sciences at the University of Bern. She performs business analyses and process design for the hospital-integrated automated liquid biobank at the Inselspital, and coordinates the research services of the Center for Laboratory Medicine at the Inselspital.
Since 2012 Deputy Chief of Hannover Unified Biobank and Head of Lab, Medical School Hannover
2011-2012 Head of the group Molecular Epidemiology – Complex Diseases, Unit of Molecular Epidemiology, Helmholtz Zentrum München
2001-2010 PostDoc and Scientist at the Institute of Epidemiology, Helmholtz Zentrum München
2000 Doctoral Degree, Technical University, Munich (Germany).
1997-2001 PhD student and PostDoc at the Institute of Mammalian Genetics, Helmholtz Zentrum München
1996 Diploma Biology (Master of Science in Biology), University of Bielefeld (Germany)
1990-1996 Studies of Biology at the University, Bielefeld (Germany)
Björn Kroll mainly develops software components used in networks such as BBMRI-ERIC (http://www.bbmri-eric.eu) and German Biobank Node (http://www.bbmri.de).
Irina Banzola is a graduate of the University of Bologna (MSc in Biology), Italy. After being awarded her PhD degree in “Biotechnologies of the Development and Reproduction”, she worked as a postdoc researcher at the Urology Department (University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland) investigating the effect of inflammation on the development of prostate cancer. In May 2013 she became the biobank manager for the Swiss Pediatric Hemathology and Oncology Biobank Network at the University Children’s Hospital Zurich, under the direction of Prof Jean-Pierre Bourquin. The biobank was recently granted the label Vita by the Swiss Biobanking Platform, and was awarded the Biolink grant by Swiss National Fund to develop a metabank connecting the Swiss Childhood Cancer Registry and the BISKIDS Biobank in Geneva.
Argentina. PHD in Bioethic – El Bosque University; Magister in Social Sciences: Sociology y Political Science (FLACSO). Bioethic Specialist (Flacso); Public Health and Social Medicine (UBA); Governance and prospective scenarios (FLACSO), Geopolitic and National Defense (CEMIDA), Social Psychology (Pichón Riviere School). Degree in social development with specialization in community development (UBA). Coordinator Bioethic Committee and Ethical Research Committee (OSPLAD). Member Sub-Commission about Biobanks, (National Commission Ethical Research) Ministry of National Health of Argentina. Member of the Ad Hoc Commission on Biobanks for research with human biological samples from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation of Argentina. Professor and researcher. She has served as parliamentary advisor in the Chamber of Deputies (2004- 2007) and the Chamber of Senate in Argentina (From 2008-2012). Professor and researcher on Bioethics and Law at the University of Argentine Social Museum and FLACSO, Valencia University, Spain.
Author of books:
“Perspective ethical- political of biobanks for research with human biological samples from Argentina. Case study in El Bosque University, Colombia (Book in publication process – 2018)
“Reproductive health and right to decide. Experiences tubal ligation in the Buenos Aires Province (December 2012)
“The birth of a hospital”
“Eva Peron Hospital, a Health experience”
“Arguing Bioethics Interdisciplinary Contributions to a New Ethics in Health”
And wrote articles on bioethics and human rights, among others.
Dr. Sabine Mueller is Manager of the group “Biomedical Data Science” at the Fraunhofer Project Centre for Stem Cell Process Engineering in Würzburg, Germany. She studied Bioinformatics at Saarland University. Since October 2015, she is working for Fraunhofer IBMT, where she is responsible for automation, biobanking and data integration in stem cell technology. Until now, she is author of 17 publications on data analysis. At Fraunhofer IBMT, she is involved in several projects, especially the IMI funded projects EBiSC (European Bank of induced pluripotent Stem Cells) and EBiSC2.
Dr. Eero Punkka is currently Director (acting) of Helsinki Biobank. Professionally, he has worked in leadership roles of R&D and business development both on the public and private side. He has 20 years of experience in industry ranging from sensor technology to wellness, health and medical products and services. He has originally a research scientist (physics) background from Helsinki University of Technology, VTT Technical Research Center of Finland and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His passion lies in the digitalization of healthcare and the utilization of health data for the benefit of patients and health professionals.
Monika Höfer is the curator of the fruit gene bank of the Julius Kühn Institute, Institute for Breeding Research on Fruit Crops and coordinator of the decentralized network of the German Fruit Gene Bank. Thus she is responsible for the conservation of more than 3,000 accessions of fruit genetic resources in Dresden-Pillnitz. These include both varieties and wild species accessions of the Central European fruit species.
The focus of the Working group for fruit-genetic resources is the collection, conservation, characterization and documentation of the diversity of fruit varieties and their wild species. Of particular interest are old German varieties and varieties with a socio-cultural, local or historical connection to Germany. The conservation of fruit genetic resources is usually carried out as an active collection in the field. In order to preserve these from biotic and abiotic damaging factors, duplicate collections are necessary. Monika has extensive experience in biotechnology and use this experience to establish and implement cryopreservation at the institute. Depending on the fruit species, different methods of cryopreservation are used: PVS2 vitrification and storage of dormant bud.
Peter founded Carelliance in 2000. Carelliance is specialized in long term data curation for healthcare and life sciences. As its name suggests it’s an alliance/network company that links organizations and is driven by trust in medical communications. Recent activities have been with iMMovator to develop the Dutch Health Hub and Erasmus MC to develop a data driven Genetic Lab service organization. Carelliance stops data/vendor lock-in by creating trusted data service organizations and platforms based on open/standard interfaces. This enables co-operatives to share their data assets with their clients and allows secondary use of data for benchmarking, big data analysis and discoveries.
In March 2014, Sirpa Soini is Director of THL Biobank, part of the Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare. Soini has legal background and she is specialized on regulatory and ethical aspects of biomedical research, genetics, and public health. THL Biobank is a partner in FinnGen-project and manages its sample logistics for genotyping. Soini is involved in the biobank field since 2006, and in various projects in genetics, public health and privacy issues. She coordinates the preparatory phase to establish a Genome Centre in Finland. Previously Soini worked as corporate lawyer and attorney-at-law in law firms with pharmaceutical companies as clients, which enables also understanding of business interests. She has longstanding networks locally and internationally in the biomedical field, and has published articles. She is currently working to finalize her dissertation for the Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki on the regulatory pluralism of biomedicine and genetics.
In March 2014, Tanja Heimberger joined The Heidelberg CardioBiobank (HCB) and the Scientific Management and Coordination Unit (SMCU) at the Department of Internal Medicine III/Cardiology of the University Hospital Heidelberg, Germany. The HCB operates as core Biobank for several national and international clinical studies as well as an integrated hospital Biobank. As Scientific Project Manager she takes care of large scale international projects. Tanja is mainly responsible for the development of SOPs for preanalytical sample processing, sample logistics and the QM analyses. She also assists with the preparation of research project proposals and their administrative operations.
Tanja studied Biology at the University of Heidelberg with the focus on biomedical research. She performed her Diploma Thesis at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg in the section of Tumor Virology. During her PhD thesis, carried out at the Institute of Translational Oncology at the University Hospital Würzburg, she investigated potential new therapeutic targets for Multiple Myeloma.
Lara Mouttham is the Laboratory Coordinator for the Cornell Veterinary Biobank (CVB) in Ithaca, NY, USA. She obtained a PhD in Zoology and Wildlife Conservation from Cornell University in collaboration with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI), Washington, DC, USA, in 2016 for her work primordial follicle activation and ovarian tissue cryopreservation in cattle and domestic cats. In addition to her graduate research and subsequent postdoctoral fellowship, she maintained the SCBI Genome Resource Bank which stores gametes and genetic materials from wildlife species. She joined the CVB in 2018, where she oversees the laboratory operations for nucleic acid processing and banking. She is part of the quality assurance team that developed the CVB quality management system and prepared the biobank for accreditation to ISO 20387 by A2LA in April 2019. She is currently training to become an A2LA assessor for ISO 20387 and 17025.
Developing the Cornell Veterinary Biobank Quality Management System for ISO 20387 Accreditation by A2LA
This presentation will detail the approach taken by the Cornell Veterinary Biobank to meet ISO 20387 requirements and become the first biobank to achieve international accreditation under a global standard through the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA).
Gesine Richter is a Senior Research Assistant at the Institute of Epidemiology at the University of Kiel and at the Institute of History and Ethics at the Technical University of Munich. She has studied political sciences and holds an additional MBA in scientific management. After the war on the Balkans she was engaged for nearly a decade in the reorganization of the medical education in Macedonia, Kosovo, Croatia and Serbia financed by World Bank and European Commission Funds. Currently her work explores the social, regulatory and ethical dimensions of biomedicine focusing on biobanking, broad consent, consent for pediatric biobanking, healthcare-embedded biobanking and the GDPR with several studies in empirical ethics concerning motivation, attitudes and understanding of participants in biobank research. Current
Sebastian Diecke is currently a Head of the Stem Cell Core Facility at the Berlin Institute of Health / Max Delbrück Center in Berlin focusing on reprogramming technics and iPS cell mediated disease modeling of various diseases like cardiomyopathies and neuronal disorders. Further we are working on the derivation of GMP grade HLA haplotype matched iPSCs and the usage of animal iPSCs to rescue endangered species. My Postdoctoral training was mainly on modeling cardiovascular diseases caused by mutations of the Lamin A/C Gene. During his PhD Sebastian analyzed various aspects of spontaneous differentiation of hESC as well as reprogramming related questions. Therefore he was able to acquire a profound spectrum of stem cell and reprogramming and differentiation expertise. During his time at the Max Delbrueck Center in Berlin and at Stanford Sebastian Diecke was (and still is) involved in teaching classes as well as leading and teaching research technicians.
Dalibor Valik is the Head of the Department of Laboratory Medicine at Masaryk Memorial Cancer Institute (MMCI) in Brno, CZ. Since 2010, he has been the executive director of the newly established Regional Centre of Applied Molecular Oncology MMCI (RECAMO), as well as the national coordinator of BBMRI-CZ. He has been responsible for the construction and design of the National network of research biobanks for cancer research BBMRI-CZ. In 2011, he became the head of the Advanced Cell Immunotherapy Unit of the Department of Pharmacology of Masaryk University. In 2017, he was elected the chairman of the BBMRI-ERIC Financial Committee of BBMRI-ERIC.
In 1994 – 1996, he worked at the Department of Clinical Chemistry and Immunology at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, USA. At that time he was interested in metabolic disorders and biochemical genetics. He became an associate professor in oncology in 2009.
Dr. Elke Berneel is Biobank quality engineer of the Bioresource center Ghent. She obtained her Master degree in Biomedical Sciences in 2006, with a specialization in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. From 2008 -2015 she worked as an assisting academic staff member at Ghent University and in 2015 she received her PhD in cartilage and meniscus tissue engineering. Since 2017 she works as a quality engineer in the Bioresource center Ghent, the central biobank facility of Ghent University Hospital. She is an expert in biobank quality management systems (national and international biobank guidelines, CEN/TS and ISO standards), biobank project management and ethical legal aspects of biobanking.
Dr Quinlan is the Director of the UKCRC Tissue Directory and Coordination Centre and the national Node Director for BBMRI.uk. His main responsibilities are to oversee the strategic direction of the project and to ensure we are delivering on our exciting goals and objectives. These help ensure that UK biobanks are visible for the research community. The field is quite complex, with a wide range of stakeholders, and part of his role is to ensure that we understand the various needs, concerns and opportunities around. His background is in application development and data analytics with a PhD in AI and health informatics. Therefore, the focus of the work in the UK is around the data systems and data integration to assist biobanks connecting to the wider world.
Head of the Laboratory of Translational Medicine and of the Neuromed Biobanking Center, Department of Epidemiology and Prevention, IRCCS Neuromed, Pozzilli, Isernia, Italy.
MD Degree with the Highest distinction (1968, Catholic University, Rome) Specialisation in Clinical and Laboratory Haemotology (1971 same University), Ph.D. in Haemostasis Physiopathology (1973, University of Leuven, Belgium), Honoris Causa Medical Degree from two foreign Universities (Byalistok, Poland and Debrecen, Hungary), Special Mention “For Women in Science” (UNESCO-L’Oreal, Paris 2002), “100 Women Scientists“ (Fondazione Bracco, Milano 2016); “Top Italian Women Scientists”, ONDA, Milano 2016.
She has devoted her scientific research to the investigation of thrombosis, the process which leads to the obstruction of blood vessels and may cause major disorders such as myocardial infarction and stroke; in particular during the first part of her scientific activity at Mario Negri Institute in Milan and subsequently in Consorzio Mario Negri Sud in the Abruzzo Region, she has pioneered studies on cancer and thrombosis and on the treatment of some tumor types with anticoagulant drugs; in 1993 she launched the First International Group devoted to “Haemostasis and Malignancy” (within the International Society for Haemostasis and Thrombosis). More recently she studied the interaction between genetic and environmental factors as determinants of Cardiovascular Risk, and discovered, together with Licia Iacoviello, the presence of a genetic variant of a clotting factor which protects 20% of the Italian population from myocardial infarction.
Since 2005 she is one of the founders and coordinators of the Moli-sani study, an epidemiological prospective project on nearly 25,000 adults living in the Molise Region, which evaluates the beneficial effects of the Mediterranean Diet on cardiovascular health and quality of life. In association with this study a population biobank (Moli-bank) has been established 13 years ago and is presently storing over 1 million samples of biological fluids from the study participants. Moli-bank is accredited at BBRMI.it, the Italian node of BBRMI-ERIC MB Donati is presently responsible for the Working Group on Population Biobanks of BBRMI.it and of the Biobank Working Group of the National network of Cardiological research Institutes
More than 64,000 citations, H. Index: 93. She is included in the top 4% of the 1,649 most cited Italian biomedical investigators.
Mikko works as a Data Scientist at Auria Biobank, a hospital integrated clinical biobank in Turku, Finland. In addition to performing statistical analyses for biobank studies, Mikko excellences in developing computer vision and machine learning solutions. These artificial intelligence tools are primarily aimed for automatic segmentation and classification of cells and tissues in scanned & digitized histopathological tissue slide images. Mikko holds a PhD in Theoretical Physics.
Engaged in establishing a Pediatric Biobank Model and an Expert Centre within Polish Biobanking Network (BBMRI.pl). PhD degree in bone tissue engineering at Medical University of Warsaw, Poland. Author and co-author of research articles (tissue engineering/pediatrics) in peer-review journals and a patent granted.
Manuela Nagel studied agricultural sciences at the University of Gottingen, Germany. During her PhD she discovered her passion for seed science and long-term survival of plant genetic resources. At IPK Gatersleben (Germany) and the Millennium Seedbank of KEW Gardens (UK) she studied seed survival and combined her knowledge of quantitative genetics with biochemical perspectives. Since 2016, as head of the cryo- and stress biology group at IPK Gatersleben, she has managed the cryobank which preserves around 1,800 genotypes of potato, garlic and mint in cryo. Further, her research projects involve long-term storage of vegetatively-propagated crops, stress response and mechanisms during cryopreservation, the effect of endophytes and seed and pollen viability.
Using Neural Networks to Predict Seed Longevity
Long-term storage of orthodox, desiccation-tolerant seeds is important to conserve plant genetic resources for research, breeding and future applications. The federal ex situ genebank for agricultural and horticultural plants in Gatersleben, Germany, preserves more than 150,000 accessions of about 3,000 different species. To assess the viability status of the different collections and the necessity of seed regeneration, more than 405,000 germination tests have been conducted since 1976. The current study aims to use the results of the germination tests to predict seed longevity and to support the genebank management. Therefore, results of two statistical approaches, the probit analysis and neural networks, were compared for important crop species such as barley (Hordeum vulgare), oilseed rape (Brassica napus) and sugar beet (Beta vulgaris). Most germination tests revealed between 60 and 100 %. Therefore, the prediction error increased when germination was estimated below 60 %. The best and accurate predictions were achieved for neural networks using high data quantity and additional historic data. When only germination data were used, the results of the probit analysis were comparable with the predictions of the neural networks. In conclusion, when a high data quantity and quality is available, the application of neural networks on genebank data may elucidate indicators of seed longevity and support genebank management in future.
Liis Leitsalu is a Researcher and a Genetic Counselor at the Estonian Genome Center of the University of Tartu since 2010. Her work at the genome center focuses on behavioral research in genomics and the ethical, legal and societal issues related to the use of genomic information generated by the genome center. She holds a PhD in Gene Technology from the University of Tartu with her thesis on “Communicating genomic research results to population-based biobank participants”, and a MSc in Human Genetics from Sarah Lawrence College. Liis is a member of the Research Ethics Committee of the University of Tartu and a member of the ELSI working group at the European research infrastructure for biobanking, BBMRI-ERIC.
Return of Results to Biobank Participants
Philipp Ciba is biologist and expert in cell technology. He leads the work group for cell based species conservation at the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Marine Biotechnology and Cell Technology and is manager of the German Cell Bank for Wildlife “Cryo-Brehm”. Coming from human adult stem cell research his work now focuses on cryopreservation and biobanking of cultured cells from various species aiming at improved methods and technologies for cryopreservation and storage of life cell material and the assessment of cellular changes resulting from these processes. Moreover, he is focusing on the development of cell based in vitro systems for veterinary diagnostics and vaccine development.
Preserving Biodiversity and Promoting Technological Innovation through Zoo Biobanking
The German Cell Bank for Wildlife collects cell cultures from zoo animals to preserve biological information in the long term and enable research and innovation. It is led by the Fraunhofer EMB, which has a strong research focus on human and animal cell technologies. For example, bioreactor technologies, cell culture systems for virus propagation and methods and devices for cryopreservation and long-term storage of biological samples are developed. Therefore, the German Cell Bank for Wildlife possesses profound methodological expertise and a strong scientific network. The zoo animal samples are housed in a modern biobank facility, which is part of the Luebeck central biobank, a collaboration of several institutes and clinics on the campus. Since the establishment in 2008, the German Cell Bank for Wildlife has collected a stock of more than 7000 samples from 175 species and breeds and contributed proliferative cell culture samples to several research projects. Examples for this have been the development of a trout cell based cardiac test system for pharmacological research and a production system for Koi Herpes Virus (KHV) used for diagnostics and vaccine production, proofing the usefulness of preserving biodiversity on the cell level and demonstrating the large scientific value of wildlife and zoo cell culture collections.
Christina Hvilsom is the Senior Geneticist at Copenhagen Zoo, leading the zoo’s genetics lab with particular interest in conservation genetics and population genomics. In this, she employs advanced analyses and statistical frameworks to analyse small to large scale datasets. Her research focus has been aimed at evolution, demography, adaptation, selection and conservation of the great apes. Christina is the chair of the Biobank Working group, directing a biobanking initiative established under the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA), which services more than 400 zoos and aquaria in Europe and the Middle East. The core focus of the EAZA Biobank is on population management and conservation research, with the collection empowering the use of molecular genetic data for use in guiding management, health and welfare practices for collections and species conservation.
Bank on It! How Zoos are Banking for Species Conservation
For an increasing number of species, drastic reductions in population sizes can lead to rapid loss of genetic diversity and thus threat of extinction. The crux of modern zoo and aquarium work is species conservation. One of the ways to achieve this is through the joint species management programmes. In Europe, Members of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) work together to manage the EAZA Ex-situ Programmes (EEPs) for populations representing more than 400 species. To attain healthy self-sustaining populations, the EEPs rely on intensive demographic and genetic management for their success. In recent years, technological advances, along with decreased costs, have made molecular tools more readily available to zoo and conservation communities alike, creating additional research and management opportunities, if samples are available.
The EAZA Biobank, serving over 400 zoos and aquaria has established a standardized, accessible, optimally maintained repository for comprehensive, long-term storage of biological material from hundreds of species. Banking of DNA, as well as cryopreservation of reproductive material like germplasm or gonadal tissue, has enormous potential to not only preserve, but also restore lost genetic diversity, thus requiring fewer individuals to maintain healthier populations for more species, making it much more sustainable over time and potentially saving more species from extinction. This biobank can greatly benefit conservation efforts and strengthen the quality of the research produced, for population management as well as more fundamental research questions. Despite the prospects of this, there still exist areas for continued development, including species appropriate methods and protocols, research on wildlife cryopreservation, resources and partnerships with researchers and institutions.
Blazej Marciniak has graduated the Lodz University of Technology, worked in the SME sector and the “Start Ups” environment, from 2009 associated with the University of Lodz and from 2014 with the Biobank Laboratory. Manages Biobank’s IT resources and data (including genomics data derived from human). Currently managing digitalization Project “Digital sharing of biomolecular and descriptive resources of Biobank and Department of Anthropology, University of Lodz – characteristics of populations living in present-day Poland through the ages. Information platform e-Czlowiek.pl (e-Human.pl)”[more about project: https://bit.ly/2VCx0Q2], member of general assembly of BBMRI.pl on behalf of the University of Lodz, co-chair of ESBB Working Group Data Standardization & Harmonization, organizer of “BioNinja Challenge” a bioinformatics hackathon.
One Thousand Years of Human History Written in DNA
Department of Anthropology of University of Lodz has one of the biggest osteological collection in Poland, consisting of c.a. 3000 human skeletons, gathered during archaeological works in 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Now the Department of Antropology and Biobank Lab from University of Lodz joined their forces to digitalize theirs biological resources. Process covers 200 skeletons dated from XI to XIX century CE. All specimens where collected from single location in central Poland, nearby Brześć Kujawski with continuous habitat from Neolithic period. Biobank Lab deliver 1000 samples of saliva collected from modern Polish population, analyzed on DNA microarrays (c.a. 550 000 SNPs for each Donor). For each skeleton is performed 3D scan of skeleton remains and DNA sequencing – full genomes in low coverage. Therefore huge data gap will be closed when publishing this repository. In the field of aDNA there are mainly data obtained from neolithic and ancient samples, there are not many data from more modern samples like middle ages. What makes this collection unique in the world scale the most is that samples are obtained from the same region. This allows to track microevolutional and genomic changes in society among one thousand years. Although we have only past half the project, first analysis are leading us to very interesting conclusions… Founding: POPC.02.03.01-00-0012/17: „Digital sharing of biomolecular and descriptive resources of Biobank and Department of Anthropology, University of Lodz – characteristics of populations living in present-day Poland through the ages. Information platform e-Czlowiek.pl” (Operational Programme Digital Poland for 2014-2020).
Dr Bartels qualified as a veterinarian and went on to complete a Master’s degree in Zoology. Paul started the Wildlife Biological Resource Centre (wBRC) as a working group of the Endangered Wildlife Trust and which was later transferred to the National Research Foundation. The wBRC later became known as the NZG Biobank. Dr Bartels has extensive experience in wildlife management, including game capture and translocation of wildlife. He is the recipient of the following awards: Mazda Wildlife Fund top South African conservationist of the decade; Wildlife and Environment Society of SA (WESSA) lifetime achievement Award; National Science and Technology Forum’s Science Engineering & Technology Award. Dr Bartels is a Board Member of the Magaliesberg Biosphere Reserve and a past board member of ISBER, ESBB and WESSA. In 2014, Paul joined the Department of Nature Conservation of the Tshwane University of Technology where he teaches undergraduate courses and supervises post-graduate students. In 2017, Paul was the recipient of the African Entrepreneurship Award.
Wildlife Biomaterial Collection and Banking – Sometimes Dangerous, Always Necessary
Wildlife sample collection and biobanking has become a part of mainstream conservation activities in South Africa, where many wildlife managers recognize the necessity for the opportunistic collection and banking of wildlife biomaterials, for both current and future purposes. In a number of cases, the prospective collection of biomaterial samples has become mandatory, such as with the collection of DNA from some TOPS registered species, including the cheetah and blue cranes. In such cases, the collected samples are used to construct genetic identification profiles of individual animals. Such DNA profiles may be used as evidence in the prosecution of individuals caught participating in the illegal trade in wildlife. Banked wildlife biomaterials are being used to manage some isolated wildlife populations. There is even a somewhat futuristic species recovery plan of an extinct species, the Northern white rhino (2 live females as of July 2019), where developing technology may one day see the Northern white rhino roaming the plains of Africa. Collecting biomaterial samples from wildlife species has become routine, however, as with domestic species, where people may be attacked under certain conditions, certainly being attacked by some wildlife species can present a somewhat more severe outcome for the sample collector. Having a thorough knowledge of animal behavior and an actionable Plan B will go a long way in keeping biobank personnel in one piece. When the opportunity presents itself, always bank down wildlife biomaterials. Excess or obsolete samples can always be destroyed, but one can never recover samples that were never collected in the first place.
Blazej Marciniak has graduated from the Lodz University of Technology, and he worked in the SME sector and the “Start Ups” environment, from 2009 associated with the University of Lodz and from 2014 with the Biobank Laboratory. Blazej manages the Biobank’s IT resources and data (including genomics data derived from human), and currently managing digitalization Project “Digital sharing of biomolecular and descriptive resources of Biobank and Department of Anthropology, University of Lodz – characteristics of populations living in present-day Poland through the ages.
Information platform e-Czlowiek.pl (e-Human.pl) – more about project: https://bit.ly/2VCx0Q2].
He is member of general assembly of BBMRI.pl on behalf of the University of Lodz
Maurizio Lambardi is Senior Researcher of the CNR of Italy at the IBE (Institute for BioEconomy) of Florence. He has the National Scientific Qualification as ‘Full-Professor’ in the sector Arboriculture and Forest Systems. In the ISHS, he is the Vice-Chair of the Division ‘Plant Genetic Resources and Biotechnology’, and country representative for Italy. He is the former Director of the CNR-IVALSA (Trees and Timber Institute), and Chairman of the Society for Low Temperature Biology. He is presently General Secretary of the SOI (Italian Society of Horticulture), Coordinator of the Italian Working Group on “Micropropagation and In Vitro Techniques”, and Corresponding Academic of the ‘Accademia dei Georgofili’. Dr. Lambardi has wide-ranging expertise in plant biotechnology and in vitro culture systems. He has been invited speaker at many national and international congresses and post-degree courses, and is author or co-author of more than 170 scientific papers, reviews, books and book chapters on plant tissue culture, micropropagation, in vitro conservation and cryopreservation. He is presently member of the Editorial Board of several ISI Journals, such as Acta Physiologiae Plantarum, Plant Cell Tissue and Organ Culture, and CryoLetters.
The Dormant-Bud Technique for the Conservation of Apple Genetic Resources: Can the Procedure Be Applied to Apple Germplasm Preserved in Screen-House under Mild Winter Conditions?
The Station for Nursery Activities (CAV, www.cavtebano.it) in Faenza preserves in screen-houses germplasm from 20 different fruit species, for a total of over 1200 accessions and over 3000 potted plants. A collaboration with the CNR-IBE of Florence has been established with the aim to explore the possibility to duplicate in cryo-bank this valuable germplasm. The dormant-bud technique has been considered the most suitable, as it allows to avoid the high costs and time required by the application of micropropagation-based cryo-techniques. A programme was then initiated with apple germplasm. However, one main question arised: can an effective procedure be developed for apple polyclonal varieties maintained in screen-house, i.e., in conditions of low natural winter cold hardening? Four cultivars from the screen-house, and 2 from the field, some of them with medium-high tendency to mutation of fruit characteristics, have been tested. Uni-nodal microcuttings were obtained from scions collected in January 2018, in field and in screen-house, the latter from plants that were never subjected to a temperature below 0°C. Chip-budding on selected rootstocks, using buds from cryopreservation, was performed in Spring. Maximum percentages of grafted plant development ranged between 100% and 83% for microcuttings collected from plants in screen-house. These preliminary results demonstrate the high effectiveness of the technique, even when applied to material from plants in screen-house and subjected to mild winter.
Dr. rer. nat. Carsten Pilger is a graduate chemist specialized in inorganic and analytical chemistry with extensive experience in the production, application and approval of medicinal gases.
After studying and obtaining his doctorate in analytical chemistry, he has gained experience in vari-ous applications of gases in various activities as application chemist. As part of his subsequent work at Messer Griesheim GmbH (now Air Liquide Medical GmbH) as project manager for the drug ap-proval of xenon as anesthetic gas, he initiated basic developments for the microbiological analysis of gases and their primary packaging. Consequently, he validated and established them as a routine method.
As part of his work at Air Liquide Medical GmbH, he was responsible for the authorization of me-dicinal gases as a drug. One part of the authorization process is the proof of their microbiological safety. This has been reviewed by the Authorities as part of the drug approval process.
Nitrogen for Cryobanking – What`s Important to be Cool and Always Safe
The presentation describes the complete process for the production of liquefied nitrogen which is used for cryobanking. Included are the relevant aspects which are influenced due to the production process of cryogenic rectification. These are for example: Microbiological status of the product, specification of the product in terms of purity (explanation of the difference between medical and technical specifications of gases) and the regulatory status of the product. The key question for the customer is and will be for the future: Is this product of additional value for the customer with regard to liquefied nitrogen as medical device?
Anna Chróścicka PhD, is a biotechnologist, specialist in cell culture and biobanking and quality manager in a tissue and cell bank. She is author and co-author of over 40 conference presentations (e.g. TERMIS, Biomaterials Congress, and Europe Biobank Week) and attended as speaker at several international conferences (e.g. European Conference on Biomaterials). Member of AoM BBMRI-ERIC.
Dr. Melanie Goisauf is a social scientist and serves as Research Officer at the European research infrastructure for biobanking BBMRI-ERIC. She is Visiting Researcher within the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology at Newcastle University and Lecturer at the Department of Science and Technology Studies at the University of Vienna. She studied Sociology at the University of Vienna and at Royal Holloway University of London, and completed the post-graduate programme „Sociology of Social Practice“ at the Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS) in Vienna. Melanie Goisauf holds a doctoral degree from the University of Vienna. Her dissertation was awarded the prize for best thesis in 2017 by the research network “Gender and Agency” of the University of Vienna. Her current research focuses on the ethical, legal and societal implications (ELSI) of biobanking and related questions of governance and data sharing. Her recent research activities include the implementation of public engagement events within the Austrian national node of BBMRI and of a Europe-wide survey to identify challenges arising from ethical and legal developments in the field of biobanking.
Dr. Zivile Gudleviciene was educated in Vilnius University, Faculty of Medicine (1988-1994 Diploma of Medical Doctor, 1994-1997 Specialization in Oncology). From 1998, she started her job at National Cancer Institute (NCI, Vilnius Lithuania) as scientist where she defended her PhD thesis on the HPV prevalence in cervical cancer of Lithuanian women in 2004. The main research areas were oncogenetics, investigation of HPV and cancer biomarkers.
Under the initiative of Z. Gudleviciene, the Biobank at NCI was established in 2012, which is member of ESBB since 2014. Z. Gudleviciene is the Chief of Biobank at NCI. She was a group member in Lithuanian Ministry of Health who focused on the preparation of Cervical cancer screening program (started in Lithuania since 2004) and worked on the negotiation of the biobanking Law in Lithuania (approved by the Government in 2015). Also she is the author of many articles and monographs in Lithuania, supervisor for bachelors, master and PhD students jobs.
Jenny Åkerblom is a certified IT engineer with significant experience developing computer systems for healthcare laboratory environments. In her current role as Head of Department at Biobanken norr in northern Sweden, she has been given the opportunity to run an innovation project that has opened up a whole new dimension – the one connecting computers to our reality. Through the use of holograms, the employees at Biobanken norr receive guidance in their daily work handling valuable research samples. Jenny’s hope is that we will see more of this technology in the healthcare sector in the future, as well as embrace it as a natural feature of our everyday lives.
In the 1980s, after working as a Registered Nurse, Lovice Sutherland completed a Bachelor of Applied Science: Midwifery Major, at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. After working for 7 years as a midwife she got married, moved to The Netherlands and made a carrier change. In 2012, when the Radboud Biobank was established Lovice joined the team. Since then she has become a member of the biobank management team and she is responsible for the Quality Management System.
Dr. Jennifer E. Lutomski currently serves on the management team of the Radboud Biobank as ICT Coordinator. Her primary role is to synergize IT and research spheres to promote high quality data storage and handling. She also monitors the use of residual biomaterial in the Radboudumc. Jennifer has keen interest in spearheading data sharing initiatives and promoting transparency in scientific research.
Prior to her work at the Radboud Biobank, Jennifer attained her MSc in epidemiology (SUNYA School of Public Health, USA) before relocating to Cork, Ireland. After two years as a research assistant in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College Cork, she accepted a promotion as the unit epidemiologist in the newly established National Perinatal Epidemiology Centre (NPEC, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology). She was required to help build the NPEC infrastructure across Ireland. In 2013, she relocated to the Netherlands and conducted her pre-doctoral work with the Department of Geriatric Medicine, Radboudumc (Nijmegen). There she played in instrumental role in developing The Older Persons and Informal Caregivers Minimum DataSet (TOPICS-MDS, www.topics-mds.eu), a large national data sharing initiative between 60 independent research projects across the Netherlands.
Jose Antonio Carrillo Ávila obtained the PhD in Molecular Biology in 2003, studying genetic mobile elements and repetitive satellite sequences in genomes. During these years, he has taught genetics classes at the university and in different doctoral programs. He has participated in several national and European research projects. His research work has been carried out in the fields of genetics, microbiology and samples quality in biobanks. He has worked for 7 years in private companies in the development of diagnostic tests for infectious diseases, as manager of the Department of Molecular Diagnosis (2005-2011). As of 2011 to the present, he works in the molecular Biology department of the Andalusian Public Health System Biobank (Spain), focused on the development of molecular techniques and biomarkers analysis.
Heidi Wagner is the Program Manager for the GU Biobank at Princess Margaret Cancer Center, Toronto, Canada. She has over 15 years of experience working at large cancer care centers. Previously, Heidi has worked at MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX and Roswell Park Cancer Center, Buffalo, NY. Heidi obtained her BSc in Anatomic Pathology from Wayne State University, Detroit, MI and she is Board Certified by the American Society of Clinical Pathology.
Through her education and experience in surgical pathology and biobank management, she has gained a working knowledge of processes and workflow improvements, accreditations and standards, operational challenges, contingency and financial planning. Heidi is actively involved in global biobanking organizations and is currently serving on multiple committees and working group of International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER). Heidi continues to publish in scientific journals and present at national and international conferences.
Dr. Nahla Maher Afifi earned her MBBCh with honors from Ain Shams University, Egypt. She received her Diploma of Gynecology and Obstetrics from the same University and obtained her Master& Ph.D. of Anatomy & Embryology in 1996 from Ain Shams University under a joint supervision with University of Medicine and Dentistry, New Jersey, USA, in which she started her academic career as a Medical Researcher in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology. She then served as Assistant Professor of Anatomy and Embryology at Ain Shams University, and Dubai Medical College for Girls, UAE. Dr. Afifi joined Qatar University’s in 1999 and was promoted to Full Professor in 2007. In November 2013 she joined Qatar Foundation as Scientific and Education Manager and currently she is the Director of Qatar Biobank. Dr. Nahla Afifi has numerous published researches in her field of expertise. She is a member in several International societies AAA, ASIP, ISBER & ESBB.
QATAR BIOBANK Milestones in Building a Successful Biobank
Qatar Biobank (QBB), the first very large scale, long-term public biorepository in Qatar, is designed to build a powerful research infrastructure for future investigations of the lifestyle, metabolic and genetic risk factors by collecting comprehensive phenotypic baseline data among healthy volunteers, including ECG, blood pressure, anthropometry, spirometry, retinal imaging, carotid 3D ultrasound, arterial stiffness, total body iDXA, and MRI with cognitive test battery. QBB aims to recruit 60,000 participants, men and women, adult (age ≥ 18 years) Qataris or long-term residents (≥ 15 years living in Qatar) and follow up with them every 5 years. Currently, QBB has reached the 38% (n=23000) of the targeted population and more than 2 million biological samples, and more than 200 participants attended the 5 years follow up visit.
QBB is a multinational cohort including 33 different nationalities with a relatively young population (mean age, 40.5 years), highly educated (50% university-educated) with high monthly incomes. The four main non-communicable diseases found among QBB population are Dyslipidemia, Diabetes, Hypertension and Asthma with a 30%, 17.3%, 16.7% and 9% prevalence, respectively. QBB repository can provide data and biological samples sufficient to demonstrate valid associations between the genetic and/or environmental exposure and disease development to the scientists worldwide.
Merike Leego is currently Innovation Manager in EIT Health Scandinavia (https://www.eithealth.eu/) and project leader of EIT Health strategic activity “Registries and Biobanks in Transition “, which main aim is accelerating use of big data, biobanks and quality registers in development of new healthcare solutions by academia and industry. She has been working previously 15 years in Estonian national biobank in Tartu University, been actively involved in BBMRI-ERIC activities in Estonia (www.bbmri-eric.eu/) and was project manager in Estonia for EC funded project BBMRI-LPC (http://www.bbmri-lpc-biobanks.eu/), where one of the responsibilities was organising trainings for starting biobanks and composition of electronical handbook for the beginners.
Radka Kaneva, PhD is Professor of biochemisty at Medical University of Sofia and executive manager of the Molecular Medicine Center since 2006. She is a founder and member of the administrative board of the Bulgarian Association for Personalized Medicine (BAPEMED). Since Bulgaria joined BBMRI-ERIC in 2018, she is the national node director for BBMRI.bg. Her major research is in the filed of human genetics and genomics. National PI and participant in the international consortium for genome research in prostate cancer (PRACTICAL) and a number of international projects in neuropsychiatric genetics, funded by EC and NIDA. Recipient of several national awards, including the “Pythagoras”Award of Ministry of Education and Science in 2015 for established researcher in the biomedical field. She has devoted her efforts to develop DNA and tissue biobanks in neuropsychiatry, oncology and rare genetic disorders at Medical University of Sofia. Her current goal is the establishment of the Bulgarian national node and promoting the role of biobanks in translational research and precision medicine.
Manuela Nagel studied agricultural sciences at the University of Gottingen, Germany. During her PhD she discovered her passion for seed science and long-term survival of plant genetic resources. At IPK Gatersleben (Germany) and the Millennium Seedbank of KEW Gardens (UK) she studied seed survival and combined her knowledge of quantitative genetics with biochemical perspectives. Since 2016, as head of the cryo- and stress biology group at IPK Gatersleben, she has managed the cryobank which preserves around 1,800 genotypes of potato, garlic and mint in cryo. Further, her research projects involve long-term storage of vegetatively-propagated crops, stress response and mechanisms during cryopreservation, the effect of endophytes and seed and pollen viability.
Dr. Sandra Schläfle works as a Research Consultant at Nightingale Health, a Finnish company providing metabolic profiling for studies ranging from clinical trials to large-scale population cohorts. She holds a PhD in biotechnology from University of Hohenheim in Germany. At Nightingale she develops projects together with scientists from all over the globe, ensuring that high-quality metabolomics is becoming the standard for any blood sample collection and by that driving clinical translation and personalized medicine.
Improved Survival Prognostication of Cancer Patients Combining Proteomics – Histopathological Characterization and Clinical Data Studies within the European Cancer Moonshot Center
Maligant Melanoma is one of the most common deadly cancers, and robust biomarkers are still needed, e.g. to predict survival and treatment efficiency.
The European Cancer Moonshot Lund Center has undertaken a metastasis tumor tissue study together with the South Swedish healthcare region, comprising 10 hospitals with a population of 2 Mill.
The Melanoma study undertakes protein expression analysis of one hundred eleven melanoma lymph node metastases that were surgically isolated, following strict guidelines, using high resolution mass spectrometry is coupled with in-depth histopathology analysis, clinical data and genomics profiles. This wide-ranging view of protein expression allowed to identify novel candidate protein markers that improved prediction of survival in melanoma patients. We were able to distinguish long survivors from the short survivor patient group. Some of these prognostic proteins have not been reported in the context of melanoma before, and few of them exhibit unexpected relationship to survival, which likely reflects the limitations of current knowledge on melanoma and shows the potential of Proteomics being integrated within clinical cancer research.
Elke Smits earned her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Leuven, a Master of Science in Biotechnology and a PhD in Veterinary Sciences in 1998 from the University of Gent in Belgium.
Elke Smits joined Devgen Inc, a spin-off company in Gent, as manager molecular cell biology for target discovery and drug development projects. In 2004, she became senior scientist at the Flemish Science Policy Council, the advisory body for the Flemish regional government concerning science and innovation policy. She has published over 20 peer-reviewed articles, holds several patents, wrote many policy advices and recommendations and authored the study series Technology and Innovation in Flanders: Priorities.
Prof. Dr. Elke Smits currently heads the Science & Innovation department of the Antwerp University Hospital in Belgium and has gained extensive experience in merging translational research and biobanking within a clinical setting. She holds a visiting professorship position at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Antwerp and is liaison officer for the Clinical Research Center Antwerp.
As ESBB Ambassador, prof. Elke Smits promotes the European, Middle East and Africa Society for Biopreservation and Biobanking. She served for a term as councilor, president-elect, president, and past-president. She also started ESBBTranslate working group with Christina Schroeder from Fraunhofer Institute in Germany and Eoin Gaffney, Pathologist and founder of the Biobank Ireland trust. The goal is to bring together a forum to enable and enhance public-private biobank related partnerships within the European framework and foster biobank-based R&D and innovation within the pharmaceutical, biotech and ICT industry.
Margalida Esteva-Socias (Palma, Spain, 1993) obtained his bachelor of Genetics at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and master’s degree in Translational Biomedical Research at Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research, Barcelona. Her initial research projects, performed at the Hospital Universitari Son Espases (Palma) and Health Research Institute of the Balearic Islands (IdISBa) were focused on the evaluation of the clinical utility of EGFR as a biomarker in liquid biopsy of non-small cell lung cancer. She currently holds a grant from the Government of the Balearic Islands to work on her Ph.D. at the Pulmonary Biobank Consortium in the field of Biospecimen Science, focused specially on the optimization of tissue samples for the development and validation of disease biomarkers. Within this project she is collaborating with the Biospecimen Research Working Group of the Spanish Biobank Network.
Sabrina Schmitt graduated in biology from Heidelberg University and received her PhD in T-cell immunology which was followed by a postdoc position on wound healing mechanisms at the Heidelberg University Hospital.
Since 2013, Sabrina Schmitt is involved in biobanking, starting as a quality manager, and since 2017 as the scientific-administrative head of the BioMaterialBank in Heidelberg (BMBH).
She is full member in the quality management core team of the German Biobank Alliance (bbmri.de), involved in the QM activities of BBMRI-ERIC, a member of ESBB and an expert in the working group of the national standardization body DIN, responsible for the development of the biobanking standard ISO 20387.
Sabrina is actively involved in the implementation of the standard into the German accreditation system as a full member of the working group biobanking of the DAkkS (German Accreditation body).
Luigi PALMIERI, PhD, is a Senior Researcher in the Department of Cardiovascular, Endocrine-metabolic Diseases and Aging of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS).
Since 1998, he is involved in epidemiology and prevention of Chronic Diseases, in particular Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD) in Public Health; in particular, in survival analysis from population-based registers of coronary and cerebrovascular events data; estimation and projection of incidence and prevalence of major fatal and non-fatal CVD events from longitudinal studies data; settlement, coordination, standardization, and analysis of data from surveillance systems, in particular National Health Examination Survey for assessment of cardiovascular risk factors in the general population, and population-based registers of coronary and cerebrovascular events; analysis of data for the estimation of CVD prediction models for the assessment of CVD absolute risk in primary prevention in adult population. He has also experience in training of health professional and GPs as trainer at the European Union Marie Curie Conferences and Training Courses EURO-CVD model (MSCF-2006-046134) and trainer in the Training National Plan for GPs on the ‘Use and implementation of the cardiovascular risk assessment’ of the Progetto CUORE; he has also experience as teacher in national and international training courses.
Responsible of the Italian National Register of Major Coronary and Cerebrovascular Events; Coordination Group of the EU Commission Projects EUROCISS I and II (Cardiovascular Indicators Surveillance Set); PI of the Progetto CUORE-ISS-Epidemiology and prevention of ischaemic heart disease; PI of CUORE Italian cohorts in ERFC-Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration; PI of Italian cohort ROMA in ‘multinational collaborative study MORGAM-Monica Risk Genetics Archiving and Monograph’; Coordinator of WP-3 ‘Evaluation of the joint action’ of the EU Commission Project ‘European Health Examination Survey (EHES)-Joint Action’; Coordination Group of WP-8 ‘Platform of population-based registers’ of the EU Commission Project ‘BRIDGE-Health, Bridging Information and Data Generation for Evidence-based Health Policy and Research’. Member of the Nucleus ‘Population Epidemiology and Prevention-PEP’ of the European Association of Cardiovascular Epidemiology and Prevention–EACPR of the European Society of Cardiology-ESC. Responsible of the Italian cohorts of the Progetto CUORE of the ISS and of the related biological bank of stored biological specimens.
He participated as oral speaker or poster presenter to more than 200 congresses; out of them, more than 40 oral presentations were at international congresses (some of them as invited speaker); the remaining presentations included oral speaking in Italian congresses and poster presentations at international or Italian congresses. He also participated as chair in some international and Italian congresses.
Since May 2016, Regina Maushagen is part of the biobank management team of the Interdisciplinary Center for Biobanking-Lübeck (ICB-L) at the University of Lübeck and the University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Lübeck, Germany.
Regina studied Biology at the Technical University Darmstadt and the Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg i.Br. (Diploma) and obtained her PhD at the University of Lübeck & University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Lübeck in the area of oncology.
Abeer Alzawqari graduated in 2011 from College of North Atlantic- Qatar with a diploma in Medical Radiography Technology with Honor Society (G.P.A 4.0). From 2012 until 2017, she worked at Hamad Medical Corporation (Women’s Hospital) as an Ultrasound Technician in OB/GYN. She has worked in research project funded by Qatar Foundation under the Undergraduate Research Experience Program (UREP). Currently, she is working in Qatar Biobank as a Radiographer, capturing research data through iDEXA and ultrasound. Also she is receiving training in technical MRI to support QBB in the introduction of the MRI and cognitive function visit.
Iynas Elamin graduated in 2011 from the College of the North Atlantic (Canada) Doha-Qatar Campus, with a High Diploma in Medical Radiography. She started working in Hamad Medical Corporation, Qatar as a Radiographer in National Center for Cancer Care and Research, Heart Hospital and Rumailah Hospital, using deferent modalities such as like X-ray, CT scan, IDEXA and Fluoroscopy. In 2017, Iynas joined Qatar Biobank (QBB) a member of Qatar Foundation as a radiographer, working to collect research data for the QBB cohort study through IDEXA and ultrasound imaging. Iynas is currently undergoing training in technical MRI to support the advancements of the QBB cohort study with the introduction of an MRI and Cognitive Assessment visit. Iynas is passionate about learning and is interested to gain maximum knowledge in different modalities used in research to capture the best quality data.
Judita Kinkorová is currently the Manager of International Research Cooperation and Affairs at University Hospital in Pilsen and Charles University, Faculty of Medicine in Pilsen. She is the Manager of European project from FP7 (Framework programme 7) focused on biobanking infrastructures, BBMRI-ERIC in Pilsen, and she is a Manager of the Hospital Integrated Biobank at University Hospital in Pilsen.
Her main areas of interest are personalized medicine, biobanking and biomarkers. Currently she is involved in BRoTHER project (Biobank Research on Telemedical Approaches for Human Biobanks in a European Region), cross border bilateral project supported by a grant of the Bavarian-Czech Agency (BTHA), 2017-2019.
Dr. Kinkorová is a member of editorial board EMPA Journal (European Association for Preventive, Predictive and Personalized Medicine) for biobanks and repositories.
Dr. Kinkorová is a member of EPMA, European Association for Preventive, Predictive and Personalized Medicine, ISOBM, International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers, and EGTM, European Group for Tumour Markers. Since 2019, she is a Regional Ambassador of ISBER (International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories) for Europe and at the same time member of Relations committee ISBER, and also a member of programme committee of ISBER Regional Meeting, Minneapolis, USA, 2019, and a member of ISBER Special Interest Group – Hospital Integrated Biorepositories.
Dr. Kinkorová is the author of 40 publications.
Ann-Kristin Kock-Schoppenhauer started her studies in computer science in 2006 at the Universität zu Lübeck, Germany. She finished with a Master Degree in 2012 with the focus on Medical Informatics for Computer-Aided Medicine and Healthcare. Her master thesis has been rewarded by the GMDS e.V. Förderpreis and the ConhIT Nachwuchspreis. After a three-year period of academic research at the Institute of Medical Informatics at the Universität zu Lübeck, she switched to the clinical area to provide her knowledge to the IT Center for Clinical Research, Lübeck (ITCR-L).
Since February 2019, Friedemann Flügge is part of the biobank management team of the Interdisciplinary Center for Biobanking-Lübeck (ICB-L) at the University of Lübeck and the University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Lübeck, Germany.
Friedemann studied Molecular Life Science at the University of Lübeck and graduated with a Master’s Degree in 2014. After that, he worked in the field of nuclear magnetic resonance in the Institute of Chemistry and Metabolomics at the University of Lübeck and obtained his PhD in 2018.
JH di Donato is involved in the development of Biological Resource Centres and biobanks since 25 years. She works on:
JH di Donato have been involved in establishing and managing the Eurobiobank network since 2001. This Network is now a member of RD-Connect, scientific partner of BBMRI-ERIC.
In other hand, 3C-R is an ESBB member since its creation in 2011 and JH di Donato has been a member of Executive Comity between 2013 and 2016 and Secretary General (2017-2020).
Since 2018, Project Manager for quality management and Coordinator of the biomarker evaluation study on behalf of the German Biobank Alliance (GBA) at the integrated biobank in Jena (IBBJ).
2011-2018, PhD student at the MPI for Chemical Ecology in the group of Prof. Dr. Ian T. Baldwin, working on molecular and genetic characterization of 17-Hydroxygeranyllinallool diterpene glycosides in N. attenuata using metabolomics.
2010, Diploma thesis at the MPI for Chemical Ecology in the group of Prof. Dr. Ian T. Baldwin on “Jasmonate and ppHsystemin regulate key malonylation steps of 17-Hydroxygeranyllinalool diterpene glycosides, the most abundant and effective direct defense against herbivores in Nicotiana attenuata”.
2005 – 2010, Studies of Biology at the University of Jena.
Sophia Turner has a background in biomedical sciences and 18 years of experience in designing, developing and delivering large-scale data and analytics solutions to drive efficiencies and growth for a large number of industries, services and technologies. Since her own cancer diagnosis, Sophia has specialised in the healthcare sector, leveraging a Business Intelligence and Epidemiological perspective on data combined with the scientific knowledge she gained in molecular biology wet-lab research.
Is a Good Biobank an Empty Biobank?
When should we be precious about tissue access? We have constructs to ensure that confidentiality is kept (GDPR), that commercial research directly benefits patients (Office of Life Science), that ethics align with AI (Oxford University’s AI Ethics Institute), that research studies are published (Health Research Authority – ‘make it public’). Yes, it is true that tissue is a depletable resource but when patients are over-supplying biobanks (EthicalTissue) and when researchers have questions to answer, what future are we safeguarding it for?
Some expensive resources have understandably rigorous protection of their assets, for example, the ‘UK Biobank‘. This prospective healthy cohort of 500K people sequenced to the same standards, with questionnaires, routine health records, microbiology, imaging, follow-up and tissue blood, saliva, stool and even potential extension to the children of participants has strict rules around giving tissue to research. But not all biobanks are born equal.
New Cryostorage Approach for the German National Cohort (GNC)
The German National Cohort (GNC), or NAKO Gesundheitsstudie (in German), is the largest health study ever conducted in Germany. 200.000 men and women in the age from 20 to 69 are invited to 18 study centers all over Germany to participate in this study. Medical examinations, medical questionnaires and life style questionnaires are part of each visit of a study participant in the study centers. Finally, the participants are asked to give biosamples, including blood, urine, saliva, nasal swaps, and stool. In the laboratory of the study centers the blood fractions serum, plasma, erythrocytes, and buffy coat are isolated from the whole blood samples and aliquoted into 250µl and 500µl samples using a Hamilton pipetting robot. Urine samples are also aliquoted by the Hamilton pipetting robots. Saliva, nasal swaps are filled into storage vials manually. All biosamples are frozen at -80°C in the study center labs. Together, up to 117 samples are generated per study participant. 32 of these samples remain at local storage facilities close by the 18 study centers. The rest of the frozen samples are transported from all the study centers to the central biorepository at the Helmholtz Zentrum München (HMGU) on dry ice. Proper transport conditions are monitored using temperature loggers. At the central Biorepository blood fraction and urine samples in 250µl and 500µl vials are stored in vapor over liquid nitrogen. Nasal swaps, saliva and stool samples are stored in a large -80°C storage unit called SAB (for semiautomated biorepository). Robotic systems have been developed allowing to retrieve samples fully automated incl. single tube picking from the storage in vapor over liquid nitrogen (-180°C). The -80°C are handled with the semiautomated system, which means that samples and 96well racks are handled manually. So far 14.5 Million samples have been stored in the biorepository, 1 Million at -80°C and 13.5 Million at -180°C. At the end of the second recruitment phase of the GNC 21.5 Million samples will be stored at the central Biorepository. Fully automated retrieval of samples will be established in 2020.
Ayat Salman is a doctoral student at McGill University in the Department of Family Medicine and a consultant in biobanking sciences. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Anatomy and Cell Biology and her Masters Degree in Experimental Surgery from McGill. Her experience includes 10 years of clinical research experience, as a clinical research associate and 6 years of managerial experience with the HPB/Transplant Clinical Research Group at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). She has been a lead expert at the MUHC in Biobanking since 2011. She has established multiple biobanks within the MUHC since 2011. She is currently the Chair of the ISO 276 (Biobanking and Biotechnology) Mirror Committee within the Standards Council of Canada. She is also a member as well as ex-officio member of the ESBB Council since 2013 and now A Councilor since Spetember 2018. She is also co-chair of the Communications Committee at ISBER and Chair of the Social Media Working Group of ESBB. Her area of expertise focuses on the evaluation of biobanks in primary care within Quebec.
James Thompson is Head of Laboratory of Karolinska Institutet Biobank, in Stockholm, Sweden, where he has implemented and optimized large-scale biobanking. Since 2008 he has been Operations Manager for several technologically advanced and internationally recognized core facilities including the SciLifeLab High Throughput Center, Sweden and the High Throughput Screening Facility, Institute of Molecular Medicine Finland. In addition, he has vast experience of biobanking through appointments at the Karolinska University Hospital and Karolinska Institutet Biobank. He has a PhD in molecular biology and played an essential role in the development of the STHLM3 prostate cancer diagnostic test, which is now being globally implemented.
His current work interest is in the visibility and mobility of biobanked samples through the use of Laboratory Information Management Systems and automated freezers.
Since February 2015, Lena Figge is part of the biobank management team of the Interdisciplinary Center for Biobanking-Lübeck (ICB-L) at the University of Lübeck and the University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Lübeck, Germany.
Lena studied Chemistry at the Technical University Dresden and earned her diploma in Biochemistry. After this she obtained her PhD at the Humboldt-Universität Berlin and the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin in the area of Molecular Imaging.
After completing her diploma in physics at Christian Albrechts University (CAU), Petra Duhm-Harbeck worked as a Research Assistant at the Institute for Pure and Applied Nuclear Physics at CAU and in the Department of Pediatric Cardiology and Biomedical Engineering at CAU. She gained further profound professional experience, e.g. in the areas of IT processes, business administration and project management, among others in the financial administration of the state of Schleswig-Holstein. From 2001 to 2010 she was Head of System Administration for the Clinics of Internal Medicine and the Central Laboratory at the University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein (UKSH), Campus Kiel. She then switched to IT project management at UKSH Gesellschaft für IT Service mbH (UKSH ITSG). In close cooperation with the Interdisciplinary Center for Biobanking-Lübeck (ICB-L) and in cooperation with the UKSH ITSG, she has been coordinating the development and operation of a clinical research IT infrastructure since 2013 as the managing director of the central facility “IT Center for Clinical Research, Lübeck (ITCR-L)” of the University of Lübeck (UzL). Petra Duhm-Harbeck actively participates in national and international projects such as the BMBF projects GBA (German Biobank Alliance) and iD:Sem-EPP, the EU project ADOPT (BBMRI-ERIC Biobanking and BioMolecular resources Research Infrastructure – European Research Infrastructure Consortium) as well as in working groups such as the “AG Consent” of the national steering committee of the BMBF Medical Informatics Initiative, the “AG Datenschutz” of TMF (Technology and Methods Platform for Networked Medical Research, Berlin) or the AG “ESBBperanto” of the ESBB (Europian, Middle Eastern &African Society for Biopreservation and Biobanking).
Sara Y. Nussbeck is Head of the Central Core Facility UMG Biobank at the University Medical Center in Göttingen (UMG), Germany. Her background is in molecular biology and medical informatics. She was member of the ISBER and ESBB working groups Education and Training. Within the project „German Biobank Alliance“ funded by the German Federeal Ministry of Education and Research, she leads the work package on education and training.
Hélène Blanché is the CEPH Biobank Manager (since 2007). The CEPH Biobank is compliant, since March 2017 (Certificate # 170375/1366F), with the international quality standard ISO9001:2015, and the French Biological Resource Center quality standard NF S96-900 for the following biobanking services: reception, processing, storage shipment of human biological samples.
She was previously in charge of the sequencing/ genotyping lab at CEPH. She is currently member of the GENMED Labex steering committee.
She has authored more than 90 peer reviewed international publications. She holds a PhD in Molecular & Cellular Biology from Paris VI University. She has an extensive experience in the establishment of collections of biological samples for genomic studies.
Pasquale De Blasio, is an international manager with more than 40 years experience in industrial and academic positions. He is a recognised International expert in the Biobanking field, being: Founding President of ESBB (European, Middle East and African Society for Biopreservation and Biobanking – www.esbb.org); member of the Marble Arch International Experts Biobanking Group; and Member of ISBER (International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories – www.isber.org); Member of the GET Consortium (Global Emerging Pathogens Treatment Consortium – http://www.getafrica.org/), Member of the Qatar Biobanking for Medical Research Committee (https://www.qatarbiobank.org.qa/).
Karin Müller is a staff scientist in the department Reproduction Biology of the Leibniz-Institute for Zoo- and Wildlife Research (IZW). She studied biology/ biophysics in Berlin, performed her PhD in 1996 on the functional significance of lipid asymmetry in mammalian sperm cell membranes. After working on (cryo)preservation and in vitro fertilization in domastic farm animals at the Institute for Reproduction of Farm Animals Schönow e.V. she changed 2007 to the IZW. Here she is responsible for the conservation of male gametes in the IZW cryobank and related research on spermatogenesis and sperm biology.
Her scientific interests are the cryopreservation and reproduction biology of male gametes on their way to the oocyte, and particularly the physiological role of sperm lipids and seminal fluid in fertilization. In particular she is focusing on feline species.
Felid Gamete Rescue for Species Conservation – Sperm Competences at Risk
Cryobanking of gametes in combination with assisted reproductive techniques such as, artificial insemination, in vitro fertilisation and embryo transfer is an essential option to support conservation programs for endangered and threatened species. Since about two-thirds of the felid species are classified as “near threatened”, “vulnerable” or “endangered” (www.cites.org), the Leibniz-Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research runs the Felid-Gamete-Rescue-Project. From euthanized or castrated male felids provided by European zoos, epididymal sperm are collected and cryopreserved. However, epididymal compared to ejaculated as well as cryopreserved compared to fresh sperm have a limited potential to fertilize if vaginal non-surgical insemination is applied. In epididymal sperm, seminal fluid is missing which might result in a disturbed ability of sperm to pass through the female genital tract. Besides a limited longevity of cryopreserved feline sperm, their capability to interact with the different parts of the female genital tract might be impaired by additional factors and also hamper a proper sperm transit. Therefore, we aim (i) to identify and investigate individual beneficial components in seminal fluid as well as detrimental components cryoextenders which might adversely alter sperm properties, and (ii) to deduce options for improving the process of cryopreservation in felids, particularly if only epididymal sperm are available.
Patrick Semanda has an experience of 4 years with the National Bio repository which is attached to Central Public Health Laboratories/UNHLS, a government facility that oversees all laboratories at all government health facilities around the Country. The National Bio repository is mandated to store all remnants of clinical samples, surveillance and outbreak samples plus for different research groups. Samples in storage include HIV Viral load (DBS and Plasma), Hepatitis B viral load (Plasma), Sickle cell positives and Variants, Early Infant Diagnosis, Malaria samples and patient data for all HIV, Hepatitis B, EID, Sickle cell samples.
He has also been part of the team that saw Central Public Health Laboratories/ UNHLS being accredited by SANAS (M0589) for “ISO 15189:2012 Medical laboratories — Requirements for quality and competence”. Patrick has presented his research project entitled ’The effect of plasma dilution on HIV-1 RNA quantitation in Uganda’ at different scientific conferences.
Patrick has has various trainings in sample handling, bio risk and biosafety, medical records management and archival, laboratory equipment calibration as per ISO 17025:2017, CAPA, GCLP and LQMS
Sahar completed her Master’s Degree at Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences and Pasteur Institute of Iran where she gained her first biobanking experience. She then joined the Liu Lab Biobank as Biobank Coordinator in 2012. She brought seven years of experience in Biobanking to the team at CReATe in early 2017. She currently leads the CReATe Biobank and is responsible for the planning and execution of the activities required to achieve the goals, objectives, and outcomes of the Biobank. While working closely with CReATe researchers, she also conducts research on optimizing standard procedures in isolation and purification of Biobank samples.
Teodora Lalova is PhD Researcher at the KU Leuven, Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy Unit (Leuven, Belgium) and Legal Fellow at the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC). Her doctoral project focuses on the legal frameworks for conducting clinical trials in the era of precision medicine, with a focus on the interplay with data protection legislation. She works under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Isabelle Huys (KU Leuven, Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy), Prof. Dr. Peggy Valcke (KU Leuven, Centre for IT&IP Law), Anastassia Negrouk (EORTC) and Rosane Stas de Richelle (EORTC).
Teodora holds a Master of Laws degree from Sofia University (Bulgaria) and LL.M. in International and European Business Law (Magna cum laude) from KU Leuven (Belgium).
Mark Divers is Director of Karolinska Institutet Biobank, in Stockholm, Sweden, where he has led the implementation of large-scale biobanking for almost 10 years.
He has a background of 25 years in the pharmaceutical industry most of which has been involved in building, leading and developing R&D infrastructure to serve medical research.
He has a PhD in the molecular biology of antibiotic resistance in hospital bacteria, and has also researched on the molecular biology of antibiotic production.
His current interest is in the impact and value of biobanking in human health.
Christiane Hartfeldt is the Coordinator for Quality Management at the German Biobank Node (GBN) since 2017. She is a member of the QM core team at the German Biobank Node. The team is working amongst others on harmonisation and improvement of national biobank processes by various ring trials and on a concept for cross-biobank audits.
She is involved in several QM activities of BBMRI-ERIC and an expert in the working group for the national standardisation body DIN.
She has a Master of Science degree in biotechnology from the Technical University Berlin. She wrote her master thesis at the Central Biomaterial Bank Charité (ZeBanC) and worked there in the field of quality management until they obtained the certification DIN EN ISO 9001:2015.
Dr. Oliver Karch is a Medical Informatician by training. He is heading the Clinical Biomarker Informatics and Biobanking group at Merck, Darmstadt. The group manages globally clinical biomarker data as well as the samples collected in Merck’s multi-centric clinical studies. He joined Merck in 1998 as Bioinformatician to walk all the way from early drug discovery to clinical biomarker and companion diagnostics development. Before joining Merck, he pursued his PhD at the German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg. He was cofounder of a few startup companies in the healthcare sector. He is actively involved in several IMI (Innovative Medicines Initiative) Projects and ESBB/ ISBER/ EFPIA interest groups to foster cross-talk and harmonization among academic and pharma Biobanks.
Luca Sangiorgi holds a Medical Degree from the Bologna University, a Clinical Genetics PhD at “La Sapienza” Rome University and a Master Degree in Research Promotion and Governance in Hospital Trusts and Local Health Units at the Modena and Reggio Emilia University. He is Head of the Medical Genetics and Rare Orthopaedic Diseases Department of the Rizzoli Orthopedic Institute in Bologna. He is Coordinator of the Rizzoli Rare Disease Center and the Regional Hub and Spoke Network on Rare Bone Disorders. He coordinates four Rare Disease (RD) National Registers and BIOGEN biobank, and, since 2018, he took over the coordination of the Telethon Network of Genetic Biobanks. He is also the current Coordinator of the BBMRI-ERIC RD Interest Group and of the BBMRI.it RD working group. Finally, he is the ERN BOND Coordinator. He has been appointed President of Connective Tissue Oncology Society and International Skeletal Dysplasia Society.
Rolf Morselt – Sales Manager Europe & Africa Life Sciences for Worthington Industries.
Worthington Industries is a leading manufacturer of secure cold chain sample storage, transportation and data management for the Life Science & Animal Husbandry markets. Their liquid nitrogen storage freezers, refrigerators, dewars and accessories are shipped with care to customers through their global distribution network from Theodore, Alabama, USA. WorthingtonIndustries.com/LifeSciences
Helmuth Haslacher MD PhD MSc BA is a resident physician for medical and chemical diagnostics at the Medical University of Vienna and trained in human medicine, molecular biology, and political science. He is deputy coordinator of the hospital-based MedUni Wien Biobank (biobank.at) and leads the work-package “Quality Management” within the Austrian biobanking consortium BBMRI.at, where he implemented a nation-wide cross-audit process between the collaborating biobanks.
His main research interests lie in the field of biomarker identification in non-communicable diseases as well as in the evaluation of different pre-analytical procedures. In this context, he so far (co-authored ~70 scientific publications (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=haslacher+h).
Begoña Otero Alén obtained her Doctorate in 2016 with the project “Fundamental structural and biochemical features for the obestatin/ GPR39 system mitogenic action”, focusing on gastric cancer. During this period she has specialized on and developed cell culture techniques, molecular biology, immunocytochemistry, immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence, as well as microscopy techniques and analysis of structural techniques. Since 2017, Begoña has been part of the Therapeutic Target area of the Anatomical Pathology service of the HUAC as a postdoctoral researcher, focusing research on molecular biology studies (qPCR and NGS mainly) in diverse types of neoplasias. Furthermore, she has worked as a Collaborator with specialized teacher training (2011-2014) and Co-Director of MsC projects in Master in Advanced Biotechnology (University of La Coruña). During her career she has participated in 3 research projects.
Prof. dr. P. Pauwels obtained his MD certificate at the Catholic University of Leuven in 1985. After a two years fellowship in Internal Medicine, he started a residency in Pathology at the University of Leuven. He then worked as a staff pathologist in Eindhoven till 2002. He went to the Maastricht University Medical Center till 2005. From 2005 till 2009 he was pathologist at the Ghent University Hospital. Since 2009 he works at the Antwerp University Medical Center. He obtained his PhD at the University of Leiden in 2004 in the field of molecular pathology (“Bridging the gap between cytogenetics and pathology of soft tissue tumors”).
He is Head of the laboratory of molecular pathology and Co-Director of the Center of Oncology Research (CORE) of the Antwerp University.
He became Professor in Molecular Oncopathology at the Antwerp University in 2012 and is Scientific Advisor of the Luxemburg National Health Service since 2013.
His principal interest is biomarker research in oncology, with a particular focus on liquid biopsy in cancer.
Lei Tian is a Tehnician of Pancreas Biobank of the First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University. During her Master’s Degree, her major focused on pancreatic cancer and tumor microenvironment, and multiple journals about pancreatic stellate cells were published. After graduation, Lei worked for the Pancreas Biobank and she presented several abstracts during a multitude of biobank meetings.
Isabel Novoa helps biomedical researchers get the best work in the biomarker discovery field to improve healthcare within her role as Director of a Biobank Facility that provides expert processing services of patient-derived samples.
Isabel owns a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology by the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain. Since 2010 she joined the biomedical research center Vall d’Hebron Research Institute as a Biobank Facility Coordinator, and since 2013 she is the Biobank Director. The University Hospital Vall d’Hebron Biobank is member of the Spanish Biobank Network since 2010.
Dr. Vincent von Walcke-Wulffen studied at the University of Hamburg Business Administration with a minor field of study in chemistry. In 2004 he became a research assistant and doctoral candidate at the Fraunhofer Institute of biomedical engineering (IBMT) in the working group “Cryobank”, responsible for legal and administrative aspects of the Fraunhofer Biobank “Eurocryo”. Later he became responsible for all technical and transport aspects of the biobank.
He represented Fraunhofer-Society at the European infrastructure project for Biobanks BBMRI and completed a study for the economic aspects of implementing biobanks.
In 2010 he reached his PhD with the topic “Controlling in einem Institut der Vertragsforschung”. This Phd-Work was also supported by another Scholarship of the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation.
Since 2010 he is founder and managing director of BioKryo GmbH. BioKryo is a commercial GMP-biobank for the storage for cryopreserved samples for later diagnostic and therapeutic use.
Since 2005 he is the director of the alliance of German Cryobanks e.V., an academic group of cryobanks and since 2013 member of the German ISO-Committee for Biobanking.
Since 2019 BioKryo GmbH is part of the Air Liquide Biobanking Network.
Sue is head of the Bristol Bioresource Laboratories (BBL) (http://www.bristol.ac.uk/population-health-sciences/research/groups/bblabs/) and Executive Director (Bioresource) of the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) (http://www.bristol.ac.uk/alspac/). She has over 22 years of experience of biobanking and managing sample resources for epidemiological studies. She established the DNA and lymphoblastoid cell line banks for the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) and 1958 birth cohort studies which have been widely used by the research community across the world.
BBL activities include biobanking, high throughput DNA banking and cell culture, biochemical analysis, and genotyping and the University facilities for NMR metabolomics and Illumina array analysis.
BBL supports a large proportion of research in ALSPAC and the MRC Integrated Epidemiology Unit and has links with researchers across the world. The laboratories are custodians of over 2 million samples from several cohort studies including ALSPAC, the 1946, 1958 1970, Millennium and Born in Bradford birth cohorts and clinical collections such as the Cleft Collective and Head and Neck 5000.
Sue is a member of the ALSPAC Executive Committee which provides scientific direction to the study and oversees access to the resource. She has developed policy for governing release of samples to researchers and is a technical advisor to METADAC (Managing Ethico-social, Technical issues and Administration Data Access Committee).
She has been a designated individual for a Human Tissue Authority licence for over 13 years and is currently chair of the University of Bristol’s Human Tissue Working Group.
Ms. Henderson is Senior Advisor for Division Resources, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics and Senior Advisor on Biobanking, Center for Global Health of the U.S. NCI. She supports large program and contract management; and infrastructure planning for molecular epidemiology. She is active in the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) (ISBER President 2011-12 and current Chair of the OAC). She was a member of the NIH AllofUS Program – Biospecimens/Phys Meas. working group; and is currently a SC member and E&T Chair of the IARC-led LMIC Biobank and Cohort Building Network (BCNet); She sits on several editorial and scientific advisory boards, including Biopreservation and Biobanking, and the Victoria Cancer Biobank Business Panel. Ms. Henderson is actively involved in large-scale biospecimen process improvements in operations, technology transfer, sustainability and repository automation.
Julia Schlicht has been Chairwoman of the Executive Board of the Foundation Human Tissue and Cell Research (“HTCR”) since 2016. HTCR promotes in vitro research with Human Biospecimens as an independent trustee and agent of patients` tissue donations within the scope of a regulated application and usage procedural framework. At the same time, Julia Schlicht is pursuing her doctoral thesis as a research associate of Prof. Dr. Andreas Spickhoff at the Chair of Civil Law and Medical Law at the LMU Munich. (During EBW 2019, she will be co-chairing the session “Environment, Biodiversity and Human Health”.)
Elena Popova is a Senior Scientist and Head of National Plant Cell Collection at the Institute of Plant Physiology of Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, Russia. For two decades, her research career has been devoted to biobanking genetic diversity of crops and endangered plant species with particular interest in cryobiotechnology and in vitro cultures. Elena has worked as a Genebank Program Scientist at the international organization Global Crop Diversity Trust (Germany), as a researcher at the University of Guelph (Canada), National Agrobiodiversity Center, Korea Forest Research Institute and Chungbuk National University (Korea) building cryobanks and adapting in vitro and cryopreservation technologies to different plant species. Elena studied biotechnology and engineering in Moscow and has Ph.D. in Plant Physiology and Biochemistry.
Quality over Time: Pros and Cons of Different Conservation Methods for In Vitro Plant Materials Conserved for over 40 Years
National, international and industrial collections of plant material safely conserve and promote the use of genetic resources that are of key importance for current and future development of science and biotechnological industry as well as for food security. High quality of samples in the collections varying from seeds, field and in vitro plants to cell cultures and cryopreserved tissues is maintained by following international standards, developing and putting into action standard operations procedures (SOPs) and applying conservation methods that are adequate for the specific material type. Optimization of conservation methods is crucial to maintain sample quality, however, in almost every collection there are cultivars or cell lines for which standard conservation methodology do not work or leads to a limited success. This is particularly the case for cell and plant tissue cultures that respond to occasionally shifted culture conditions by notable changes in viability, growth and key biosynthetic characteristics. The presentation discusses the differences between various types of collections of in vitro materials and demonstrates how the combined use of different conservation methods ensures high material quality during the long-term storage based on data for plant cell culture collection at the Institute of Plant Physiology of Russian Academy of Sciences recorded for 40 years.
Prof. Dr. Johannes Schenkel, Biologist, specialist on Laboratory Animal Science. Since 1989 specialized on Mouse Genetics, Generation of new transgenic Models and archiving of stablished GM mouse lines at Heidelberg University, Karlsruhe University and the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg. Since 2003 Head of the Cryopreservation Unit at DKFZ, responsible Course Organizer of the FELASA accredited course on Laboratory Animal Science. Venia legendi in Physiology; Chairman of the Alliance of German Cryobanks (GDK) since 2013; Head of the Genetics Committee of the Society of Laboratory Animal Science (GV-SOLAS). Member of the National Committee for Laboratory Animal Science in Berlin and of the Ethics Committee (§15 TierSchG) in Tübingen FR Germany.
Cryobiology – What Biobankers Should Know (Gemeinschaft Deutscher Kryobanken e.V.)
The cryo-conservation of biological samples for new procedures in the regenerative medicine and biology
Long-term, safe storage of living cells or tissues in small volumes is already possible with modern cryo-technology. There is a fast growing need for cryo-banks. In exist-ing facilities, there are large differences in technical equipment and expertise in freezing and thawing procedures. A cryo-conserved sample is little use without iden-tity and characterisation data and documentation of the freezing and thawing proce-dure. There needs to be evaluation and registration of existing cryo-banks; harmoni-sation of equipment and standardisation of processes. At national level, this will be done by the existing cryobanks under the direction of the “Gemeinschaft Deutscher Kryobanken e.V.”
Cryo-banks preserve the fundamental national bio-resources for the future
Samples are stored inside a cryo-tank and temperature (including that of the inser-tion / extraction apparatus should be below -140 °C. Future cryo-banks also need laboratories for preparing and analysing samples and a databases for documenta-tion and administration. As samples and data have to endure for a human life life-time, the organisation and the handling needs to be controlled by an independent body, which can also ensure that the latest research results are used. Also non-living samples have to be stored under clean, standard, modern conditions, as in the Environmental specimen bank of Germany. Bio-samples of different origin and composition are a unique and irreplaceable treasure for future research. Bio-samples for reference or use improve our life standards and those of following gen-erations.
Cryo-conservation opens new perspectives for life- and environmental sciences
Cryo-technology is needed in applications of medical and pharmaceutical science, biotechnology, environment protection and to improve food for humans and ani-mals. Cryo-physical research opens new perspectives in all these areas and the ba-sis for further research is the storage of functional living cells reference materials. Cryo-technology research needs public funding.
The Gemeinschaft Deutscher Kryobanken e.V. provides a platform enabling the con-struction of a virtual cryobank
In 2005, some research, clinical and industrial cryo-banks formed a voluntary net-work, the Alliance of German Cryobanks (Gemeinschaft Deutscher Kryobanken (GDK)). The common aim is it to enhance transparency to the customer through reg-istering cryo-banks and presenting their individual key aspects of activity. The de-velopment of common safety measures, standardised procedures and the dissemi-nation of knowledge should ensure the highest standards of science, technology and therapeutic use. Existing collections are scientific goldmines and, today, each exists in isolation. The Alliance of German Cryobanks (GDK) is necessary to safe-guard these national resources, as existing cryobanks can only guard against a dis-aster by using a network like the GDK. In case of a disaster, time-limited outsourcing of samples at a safe cryobank partner is possible. The GDK is an association, which can stimulate scientific, technical and organisational cooperation and build up a vir-tual cryo-bank in Germany.
Cryopreservation of Mutant Mice
In biomedical research, experiments using model organisms are indispensable. Due to the availability of many genetically modified (GM) lines, mice are the most important laboratory animals used in basic research. Producing and characterizing of such GM mouse lines involves tremendous effort. Still, the number of GM mouse lines is increasing rapidly. Several limitations have to be considered if working with these animals: small colonies, the continued danger of loss, often a limited breeding-success, interchanges between facilities, the need to keep those mutant lines in stock, and also a major (scientific) value of these mutants. The cryopreservation of pre-implantation embryos or of spermatozoa is a common approach to keep GM mouse lines available at any time while avoiding or at least dramatically reducing the need of living animals, also due to the “3R”-postulates. The breeding of a line can be discontinued if a sufficient number of samples have been cryopreserved. Subsequently a strict quality-assessment is mandatory as well as taking care of safe long-term storage conditions to keep the capacity to recover a line. The target of those approaches is to keep the secure capacity to recover a GM line after years under stable conditions.
Cryopreservation of pre-implantation embryos consumes many embryo-donors but leads to an easy and secure recovery. Therefore, the yield of embryos should be optimized; factors negatively influencing these yields must be determined and eliminated. We have already published several studies on assessment strategies and on parameters influencing superovulation and embryo yields, e.g. the role of the genetic background, the age of donors, the housing conditions (Wayss et al., 2005, Ramin et al., 2017); the influence of pheromones, mating frequency, hygienic conditions, or annual rhythms (Schwab and Schenkel, 2008a and 2008b); the influence of environmental factors as humidity or noise (Diercks et al., 2010); or the role of the composition of the animal-diet, or the housing temperature. Furthermore, we investigated the genetic stability, the revitalization rate and the sex ratio of frozen/thawed preimplantation embryos depending on their developmental stage (Ramin et al., 2015) and the storage-period in liquid nitrogen (up to 15 years). Investigations of the hygienic state of the cryopreserved samples and the equipment never showed microbiological contaminations of a sample within a cryo-tube (Ramin et al., 2014). Current studies show that the cryopreservation and revitalization process does not influence the apoptotic behavior of frozen/thawed embryos. Simulating the exposition to cosmic and scanning radiation during an air shipment, preliminary data give no reason for negative influences.
Spermatozoa are prepared from the vasa deferentia and the epididymides of the male donors, high amounts of spermatozoa can be obtained. In contrast to the relatively simple technique of sampling and cryopreservation an in vitro-fertlisation (IVF) is required following the revitalization of spermatozoa. This technique exhibits varying success and is not available for all genetic backgrounds. IVF needs a high number of oocyte donors. Following an overnight culture 2-cell-embryos will be obtained and are subsequently subjected to an embryo transfer. In case of a general failure of the IVF alternative technologies are available. However, these techniques are very complex and cannot be applied -at least to date- as standard procedures. To examine the quality of a frozen sample one of the parallel straws will be revitalized and subjected to IVF. Alternatively, the mobility and motility of the thawed spermatozoa will be examined using fluorescence microscopy (Diercks et al., 2012) or a simpler scoring (Ramin et al., 2017). Those approaches are contributing to the reduction of animals used for crypopreservation. Spermatozoa are probably affected by air-shipments (reduced motility).
To keep the information about the cryopreserved samples upright, a powerful data management including data bases and meeting the international nomenclature rules is mandatory (Staudt et al., 2012).
Dr. Fiona R. Hay is a seed physiologist from Aarhus University in Denmark. Prior to moving to Denmark, she was deputy head of the T.T. Chang Genetic Resources Center at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines (IRRI) and before that, she was based at the UK’s Millennium Seed Bank. Her research has focused on improving genebank operations, through understanding of how to improve the quality of seeds before storage and modelling of the behaviour of seeds during storage.
A particular focus at IRRI, was the introduction of automation for operations such as seed sorting and viability monitoring. She also works with other international genebanks and the Crop Trust on optimizing procedures and increasing efficiency. She is the Chief Editor of Seed Science and Technology, the scientific journal of the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA), and is a member of ISTA’s moisture technical committee and seed science advisory group.
Seed Quality Management: Improving Operations at the International Genebanks
The genebanks of the CGIAR research institutes together conserve and make available more than 750,000 accessions of crops and trees under the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Over recent years, there has been an emphasis on improving the efficiency of genebank operations, in part by the introduction of automation. Notably, at the genebank of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), improvements have been made in the characterisation of seeds and in the seed sorting and viability monitoring processes, primarily through the use of image analysis. The introduction of these automated systems were more feasible at IRRI compared with other genebanks, since it is a single-crop genebank. Nonetheless, such technologies are likely to become common place at other genebanks in future.
This presentation will give an overview of genebank activities and where attempts have been made to introduce new technologies, and suggest areas for future developments.
Thorsten Buzug was born in Lübeck, Germany. He received his Ph.D. in 1993 in Applied Physics from the Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Germany, where he worked in the field of signal processing applied to chaotic systems. From 1993 to 1994 he had a postdoctoral position at the German Federal Armed Forces Underwater Acoustics and Marine Geophysics Research Institute, where he worked on image acquisition and processing techniques for SONAR applications. In the end of 1994 he joined the Philips Research Laboratories Hamburg, Germany. He was the leader of the Philips Research Cluster Medical Image Processing. In October 1998 he has been appointed as professor of Physics and Medical Engineering at the RheinAhrCampus Remagen. In December 2006 he became Director of the Institute of Medical Engeneering at the University of Luebeck. 2011 – 2016 he served as Vice-President of the University of Luebeck. He is member of the National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech).
Magnetic Particle Imaging
Magnetic Particle Imaging (MPI) is a three-dimensional imaging method that quantitatively measures the spatial distribution of a tracer based on magnetic nanoparticles. The modality promises a high sensitivity and high spatial as well as temporal resolution. MPI makes use of the non-linear magnetization characteristics of the magnetic nanoparticles. For this purpose, two magnetic fields are created and superimposed, a static selection field and an oscillatory drive field. If superparamagnetic iron-oxide nanoparticles (SPIOs) are subjected to the oscillatory magnetic field, the particles will react with a non-linear magnetization response, which can be measured with an appropriate pick-up coil arrangement. Due to the non-linearity of the particle magnetization, the received signal consists of the fundamental excitation frequency as well as of harmonics. The spatial coding is realized with the static selection field that produces a field-free point, which is moved through the field of view by the drive fields.
Vita Rovite is head of Genome Database of Latvian population within the national biobank of Latvia since 2016. She is also involved in BBMRI.LV activities ensuring communication of National Node of Latvia with biobanking institutions in Latvia, organizing local conferences and seminars and introducing BBMRI-ERIC activities on national level. She has been actively participating in the working group for the development of Biobanking Law in Latvia whilst also being a member of BBMRI-ERIC Quality Management working group. Beside biobanking activities, Vita Rovite is molecular biologist with experience in functional genomic studies in fields of endocrinologic disorders, like obesity, diabetes, pituitary adenoma and autoimmune parathyroidism. She is currently the leader of several research projects in this field.
Hildebrandt studied veterinary medicine at the Humboldt-University from 1986 -1992. His doctoral thesis (1987-1993) had the topic “Heterogenic ovarian transplantation in mouse, hamster and goat model” which was co-mentored by the academy institute “Forschungsstelle für Wirbeltierforschung” the predecessor of the Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW). 1992 Hildebrandt was employed at the IZW and in 1997 became head of the department Reproduction Management. In 2012 nomination as Honorary Professorial Fellow of Melbourne University and re-nominated in 2017 for additional five years. 2015 Hildebrandt became a full professor for Wildlife Reproduction Medicine at the Freie Universitaet Berlin. He has written 156 peer reviewed publications, 23 book chapters and six patents. Hildebrandt is founding Diplomate European College Zoological Medicine, received numerous awards such as the Conservation Legacy Award, USA (2015), is honorary member of the British Society Reproduction Fertility (2018) and received the Honorary Fellowship Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (2012).
Professor Ryder oversees a highly productive laboratory group that includes activities in the areas of molecular genetics, genomic studies, and stem cell biology, benefiting from his long involvement with the Frozen Zoo® project, a unique resource of cell cultures that has made notable scientific contributions in the field of conservation and other biological disciplines. His professional career has been devoted to developing and applying genetic research methods in support of endangered species conservation efforts for species held in the Zoo and wild populations.
Education: Bachelor of Arts degree in biology from the University of California, Riverside; Ph.D. in biology from the University of California, San Diego.
Dr. Lukasz Kozera (PhD, CSc Fellow) graduated from the department of biotechnology and medical diagnostics in Poland. Between 2005 and 2008, he finished his doctoral studies at the Institute of Cardiovascular Research, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Leeds, UK. After completing his two post-docs at the Molecular Rheumatology Unit (Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine), where he was managing tissue bank and a research program for the development of soluble biomarkers in rheumatoid arthritis, he decided to return to his home country. He established one of the first population-based and specialized biobanks in Poland (based at Polish Centre for Technology Development, PORT), dedicated to cardiovascular research and public health. The PORT Biobank became National Biobanking Node in 2016 and together with other biobanking units from Poland received a grant for the creation of Polish Biobanking Network BBMRI.pl. On the top of his scientific activity, Dr. Kozera is also a practicing clinical scientist at the Wroclaw University Hospital with a main interest in clinical biochemistry.
Medical studies at the University of Würzburg (1984-1991), thesis 1991 (summa cum laude), licence to practice medicine 1992.
Postdoc (1993-94), CEA-Fellowship at the University of Nice/Sophia Antipolis, France and DFG-Fellowship at the Institute of Pharmacology & Toxicology, University of Würzburg.
Cardiology Fellow, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Würzburg (1995-2000); Specialist in Internal Medicine 2000, Specialist in Cardiology 2002. Research group leader at the Rudolf-Virchow-Centre for Experimental Biomedicine (2006-today)
2008 Nomination Professor of Internal Medicine, University of Würzburg.
Since 2011 Head of the faculty-wide centralized biobank at the University & University Hospital Würzburg, 2013 appointment Full Professor for Translational Medicine and Director of the Interdisciplinary Bank of Biomaterials and Data of the Medical Faculty Würzburg.
Since 2006 member, since 2011 Vice Chair of the Ethics Committee of the University of Würzburg; appointed member of the Biobank Task-Force of the Working Party of the German Medical Ethics Committees; since 2013 German Representative in the BBMRI-ERIC Common Service ELSI.
Carlo R. Largiadèr (CRL), PhD, is an associate Professor of Pharmacogenetics at the Institute of Clinical Chemistry (UKC) and the Center of Laboratory Medicine (ZLM) in Bern. He received his habilitation from the University of Bern in the field of population genetics. He is Deputy Director of the UKC and the ZLM at the Inselspital and the Head of the Liquid Biobank Bern (LBB; http://www.biobankbern.ch/). Carlo is also a member of the Executive Board of the Bern Center for Precision Medicine (http://www.bcpm.unibe.ch) and heads a research group in pharmacogenomics and drug metabolism at the UKC (http://tinyurl.com/ycvlyg6o). His research focuses on genetic and non-genetic factors/ mechanisms underlying inter-individual variability in drug response with a strong interest in translational aspects.
Dr. Ronny Baber works in the Institute of Laboratory Medicine, Clinical Chemistry, and Molecular Diagnostics at the University Hospital Leipzig. He is the head of the Leipzig Medical Biobank and the LIFE-Preanalytical laboratory in the Leipzig Research Center for Civilisation Diseases (LIFE). Dr. Baber is a member of the working group in the German Institute for Standardization (DIN) which supports the ISO TC 276 responsible for the ISO norm 20387 on biobanking and BBMRI-ERIC workgroups for the evaluation of CEN standards. He is also part of the Steering Committee and different working groups in the “German Biobank Alliance” (GBA) initiated and coordinated by BBMRI.de trying to link GBA biobanks to the BBMRI-ERIC infrastructure. Since September 2017 he is designated as Treasurer of the ESBB.
(i) The Interdisciplinary Center for Biobanking-Lübeck (ICB-L) is a central biobank serving more than 40 clinical disciplines at the University of Lübeck and the University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein (UKSH; www.uksh.de), Campus Lübeck. ICB-L has a strong focus on hospital-integrated clinical biobanking while also addressing therapeutical-, environmental-, and population-based biobanking. ICB-L particularly supports clinical trials and molecular tumor boards. ICB-L focuses on nitrogen-based automated cryo-conservation allowing for a fully closed cooling chain from sample reception through processing and sample retrieval. Since 2015, ICB-L has a campus-wide three-stage broad consent (IC) procedure being part of its GDPR-conform data protection concept. ICB-L’s consent is broad, generic, and allows sharing of samples and data in national and international research projects both with academic and industry partners.
Since 2011, ICB-L’s biobank quality management (QM) system is certified according to DIN EN ISO 9001. ICB-L not only serves multiple national and international research projects, it furthermore actively performs biobanking consulting for other academic and industry institutions, is test-side for novel medical technology (R&D contracts with Askion®, Sysmex®, Brooks®, and Kairos®), and has thorough experience with testing and applying different IT solutions for interconnecting biobanks globally and engages in biospecimen research for improved sample quality, e.g. within the projects EU-BoneBank and AKELOP. ICB-L is part of the German Government-funded German Biobank Alliance (GBA) to interconnect with BBMRI-ERIC through the German Biobank Node (GBN), participates actively in the working groups of the TMF, the German Institute for Standardisation (DIN), the Society of German Cryobanks, the German Society for Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology (GMDS), and the European, Middle Eastern & African Society for Biopreservation & Biobanking (ESBB).
In summary, ICB-L comprises outstanding expertise in core disciplines of biobanking such as medical computer science and information technology (IT), quality management, data protection, medical technology and automated cryo-technology, cellular biotechnology, and interconnects through its biobank members with various clinical disciplines, ethics, medical epidemiology and biometry/statistics. As such, ICB-L serves UzL/UKSH and its national and international collaborators by enabling and promoting biomedical research for the patients’ benefit. The campus tour will comprise a visit to ICB-L’s laboratory and short- and long-term storage facilities.
(ii) The University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein (UKSH) is the second-largest university hospital in Germany. It covers the entire spectrum of modern medical and health care for the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein, on both its campuses in Kiel and Lübeck. The close connection between medical research and health care is a major benefit for patients and contributes to the constant high standard of health care provided by the center’s 2,000 physicians, scientists and researchers, and 3,600 health staff in 80 clinics and institutes, guaranteeing excellent, highly individualized, multi-disciplinary clinical diagnostics and medical treatment. The Campus tour will comprise a visit to the yet to be opened new central building of the USKH – a state-of-the-art model for future healthcare infrastructure in an academic setting built upon the latest IT integration and most synergistic and efficient workflows.
(iii) Fraunhofer Institution for Marine Biotechnology and Cell Technology (EMB)
Fraunhofer is Europe’s largest application-oriented research organization. The Fraunhofer EMB combines scientific know-how with industry-related research in the field of life sciences. Innovative cell technologies are being developed here that are used in diagnostics, medicine, cosmetics as well as in bioeconomy and food technology. During the Campus tour, we will provide insights into the Cell Engineering Laboratory: For the utilization of cells in the medical and biotechnological field, the EMB develops procedures and devices for cell handling, cell transport as well as for therapy and diagnostics. In particular for the production of large quantities of cells the EMB designs bioreactors for adherently growing cells. In collaboration with Lübecks university the EMB develops also monitoring methods for cell cultures by using AI-based algorithms to enable automatized quality controls. We will further guide you through the EMB’s central lab device development, which benefits from modern equipment and innovative production methods. Especially, through 3D printing technology prototypes can be built within a very short time. The special manufacturing process makes it possible to produce extremely complex geometries that conventional mechanical or molding technology processes would not allow.
Prof. Deltas studied Pharmacy at the University of Athens and he received his PhD in Biochemistry at Rutgers University, NJ, USA. He worked at the Jefferson Institute of Molecular Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, and at the Duke University Medical School, NC, USA. In 1991 he established his lab at the newly-created Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetic and in 2002 he was elected first Professor of Genetics and was instrumental in establishing the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Cyprus.
His interests are in human genetics and biobanking. He established diagnostics and research projects on kidney disorders and he published pioneering work on mapping and cloning new genes and on molecular pathomechanisms. He directs the Molecular Medicine Research Center and teaches molecular and medical genetics. He was the first to start biobanking and established the first Biobank in Cyprus. He has been approved to receive funding of €38m from the EU and Cyprus for creating a Center of Excellence in Biobanking and human genetics research.
Laurent Dollé earned his PhD degree in Cell Biology and Life Sciences from the University of Science and Technologies of Lille (France) in 2003. After several positions at different Universities or Institutions of Belgium, Laurent has over 16 years of experience working in the Life Sciences field. In 2012, Laurent became Assistant Professor at the Free University of Brussels VUB), and developed several skills in stem cells isolation, maintenance and differentiation and was the first to identify liver stem cells from healthy non-manipulated livers by playing with an innovative technique based on Aldehyde dehydrogenase. Laurent Dollé is currently the Operating Director of BWB (Biobanking Wallonia-Brussels; Belgium), which regroups an impressive number of biobanks whose mission is to create and implement a virtual network to unify and make accessible human materials and associated data managed by the biobanks of Wallonia-Brussels’ territory.
Peter Riegman is a molecular biologist.
1982-1986: Biology Leiden University
1986-1992: Ph.D. study: Prostate-Specific Antigen at Erasmus University Rotterdam; Promotor: Prof. Dr. D. Bootsma, Co-promotor: Prof. Dr. J. Trapman
1992-1997: Postdoc: meningioma and neurofibromatosis at Erasmus University Rotterdam; Dr. E. Zwarthoff
1997-2001: Postdoc, neoplastic progression in Barrett’s Esophagus at Erasmus University, Rotterdam; Dr. H van Dekken
2001 – present: Head of the Erasmus MC Tissue Bank Pathology Dept, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, where he became involved in European projects: EurocanPlatform, BIOPOOL, SPIDIA, BBMRI, EuroBoNeT and TuBaFrost coordinator.
Since 2017 active in SPIDIA4P. 2010 ISBER president. ESBB president in 2011 and Section editor of Biopreservation and Biobanking From 2012 Erasmus MCPSI UMC coordinator and NEN commissioner in CEN/TC140WG3 and ISO/TC212WG4. 2018 advisor project team Erasmus MC Central Biobank.
Kirstin Goldring graduated in Physiology and Pharmacology (BSc) and completed her PhD on asthma research at Southampton University.
Kirstin joined AstraZeneca in January 2015 in the role of Principal Scientist: Human Biological Sample Governance and Strategy. Kirstin works with the biobanks globally to ensure that AstraZeneca scientists can access the samples and data that they need in a compliant way.
Kirstin has worked in the Biobanking field for over 17 years in different roles and sectors. Kirstin managed the set up and development of the UK Parkinson’s Disease Society Tissue Bank at Imperial College from 2002 until 2009. From 2009-2012 she was the Biobank facilitator at UCL. The role involved in developing biobank infrastructure and support, and providing advice on protocols, ethics and regulations for use of human samples. From 2012, the role expanded to co-ordinate the UCL BioResource project.
Michael Hisbergues, holds a PhD in Microbiology and Molecular Biology. After a post-doc at the Humboldt University of Berlin on the development of molecular diagnostics tools for microbiological quality of water, he joined the Pasteur Institute on innovative vaccinologie vectors and further worked on inflammation and allergy treatments in pre-clinical models. In 2008, he was appointed Lab manager in a biotech company in Paris for the development of a biotechnological platform and the improvement of microorganisms of industrial interest. Since 2016, he joined the INSERM as project and consortium manager in the national infrastructure of Biobanking for the valorisation of biological samples/data from the french biobanks network in research projects with academics and industry. In 2017, he was appointed director of the french node of BBMRI-ERIC.BioResource project.
Sofie Bekaert is currently Manager Translational Program at the Flemish Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology (VIB), where she coordinates the Grand Challenges Program and healthcare-related programs of the regional and national government.
Prof. Sofie Bekaert was trained as a doctor in Applied Biological Engineering. After 10 y of research, setting up a research platform on biological aging, next generation sequencing and biomarkers, she became valorization and innovation manager at Ghent University. In 2010 she initiated the Clinical Research Center at Ghent University Hospital. As the head of Bimetra, she had the responsibility over a dedicated team in the daily management of the central point of contact for facilitation of different aspects of translational biomedical research (ethico-legal aspects, datamanagement and monitoring of clinical trials, research and innovation management within the hospital, biobanking, big data).
Prof. Bekaert is liaising to strategic translational initiatives concerning biobanking and clinical research and innovation, both at the regional and (inter)national level. In 2017 she was appointed president of the Board of directors of the BBMRI.be, the Belgian node within the European biobank infrastructure network, in addition she is councilor within the European, Middle-eastern and African Society for Biorepositories and Biobanking and is involved in multiple societal valorization projects concerning stakeholder involvement and participation in research (e.g. Eupati, King Baudouin Foundation – multistakeholder dialogue for prioritization of research).
Christine Currat is the Executive Director of Swiss Biobanking Platform. She graduated from Lausanne University in health sciences with a PhD in virology in 2004. In parallel, she obtained a master in health management, and entered the exciting field of biobanks in 2005. Her experience is mainly as a reference in the development of state of the art biobanks, first in oncology in 2007, then as a centralized institutional biobank in a hospital setting in 2013. In the Biobanking field, she implemented the first general consent for research purposes in Switzerland, and was also very active in biobank sustainability. This 11-year experience allows her to finally become the Executive Director of the newly created biobank coordination platform in Switzerland with the vision to promote access and usage of the existing and future banked bio-specimens for research purposes in the human as in the non-human fields. She is very interested in developing this platform in close collaboration with BBMRI-ERIC with the challenge to place Switzerland as an efficient partner in Europe.
Michaela Th. Mayrhofer is a political scientist and historian by training. She was educated in Vienna, Louvain-la-Neuve, Essex and Paris. In 2010, she earned her PhD from both the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales and the University of Vienna, where she was shortlisted by the Austrian Society for Political Science for the ‘best thesis 2010’ young scientist award.
Her academic career led her to various positions and stays at the Centre de Recherche Médecine, Sciences, Santé et Société, the University of Vienna, the Institute of Technology and Society Studies at the Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt/ Vienna/ Graz, the Technical University of Vienna, the Fondation Brocher and the Medical University of Graz. She was involved in the coordination of the BBMRI Preparatory Phase and is experienced in the management of national and international research projects. To date, she retains a Research Fellowship at the Institut für Technik-und Wissenschaftsforschung at the Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt as well as at the University of Newcastle; in addition, she is a former member of the editorial staff of the Austrian Journal of Political Science (2013-2017). Since 2018, she leads the Code of Conduct for Health Research initiative, which aims at developing a code along Article 40 of the EU GDPR, considering the specific features of processing personal data in the area of health. She has been working for BBMRI-ERIC since 2013, recently being promoted to Head of ELSI Services and Research.
Karl-Friedrich Becker is a molecular biologist and heads the Laboratory for Experimental Pathology at the Technical University of Munich. His lab uses unique methods for protein analysis of tissues, e.g. extraction of intact proteins from formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues and Reverse Phase Protein Arrays (RPPA), for which he was awarded with the Novartis Research Prize for Pathology. Dr. Becker is Scientific Director of the Tissue Biobank of the Medical School of the Technical University of Munich.
Dr. Becker is member and project leader of the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) TC140 „In vitro diagnostic medical devices“, WG3 „Quality Management in the Medical Laboratory“ and member and project leader of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) TC212 “Clinical laboratory testing and in vitro diagnostic test systems”.
Barbara Parodi, medical doctor, executive manager of the Biological Resource Centre of the IRCCS Ospedale Policlinico San Martino (CRB-HSM) of Genoa, Italy. I have been deeply involved in biobanking for many years, dealing with scientific, organizational, technical and ethical issues. My expertise is mainly in management, quality assurance and quality control in biobanks and biomolecular resources. I take part in the Steering Committee of BBMRI.it, the Italian National node of BBMRI-ERIC, with the role of project manager, chair of the Biobank evaluation committee and responsible of the common service quality, and I participate in several BBMRI-ERIC working groups on quality. I have participated in the OECD Task Force on BRCs (2001-2007) and I served as ESBB treasurer (2014-2017) and as ESBB liaison to ISO/TC 276 Biotechnology (2016-2017).
Since August 2014 Cornelia Specht is the Executive Director of the German Biobank Node (GBN, bbmri.de) at Charité in Berlin where she coordinates the central office of GBN and all activities within the German Biobank Alliance. Her entry into research infrastructure management started in 2003 as coordinator of the Competence Network Rheumatology and as CSO of the German Society of Rheumatology (DGRh). Her professional career started at Evotec- a biotech company for High Throughput Screening in Hamburg.
Before Cornelia Specht completed her PhD at the Stanford University followed by a postdoc at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London with the focus on immunology and cell adhesion. In March 2019, she finalised the executive master (EMBA) for management of research infrastructures at the University of Bicocca/Milan.
Since January 2012 Prof. Thomas Illig is the head of the Hannover Unified Biobank (HUB), the central biobank of Hannover Medical School (MHH) and he is founding member of the German Biobank Alliance (GBA); in March 2018 he has been appointed deputy coordinator of GBA.
The HUB store more than 2 million samples from more than 700.000 patients associated to 90 independent clinical and research projects.
At the MHH, the biggest university hospital of Lower Saxony and one of the most successful medical universities in Germany, Thomas Illig conducts research in the fields of bio banking, metabolomics, molecular biology, molecular epidemiology, and genetics. His interests are transversal to the fields of basic, clinical and translational research, in total he has published over 600 scientific publications on these topics.
Sabrina Schmitt graduated in biology from Heidelberg University and received her PhD in T-cell immunology which was followed by a postdoc position on wound healing mechanisms at the Heidelberg University Hospital.
Since 2013, Sabrina Schmitt is involved in biobanking, starting as a quality manager, and since 2017 as the scientific-administrative head of the BioMaterialBank in Heidelberg (BMBH).
She is full member in the quality management core team of the German Biobank Alliance (bbmri.de), involved in the QM activities of BBMRI-ERIC, a member of ESBB and an expert in the working group of the national standardization body DIN, responsible for the development of the biobanking standard ISO 20387.
Sabrina is actively involved in the implementation of the standard into the German accreditation system as a full member of the working group biobanking of the DAkkS (German Accreditiation body).
Monique Oomen is a Research Technician for the Erasmus MC Tissue Bank/PARTS and Coördinator Clinical Trials Pathology at The Erasmus MC in Rotterdam. She started in 1992 at the Department of Experimental Urology and was involved in the research of different Prostate cancer projects. Together with Peter Riegman, Monique started the Erasmus MC Tissue Bank in 2001. She was involved in Tubafrost, a European project aiming to unite frozen tumor tissue banks into a network. In 2015 started a new core facility, called Pathology Research and Trial Service (PARTS), since that time the Tissue Bank is an integral part of PARTS. Monique became also Coördinator of the Clinical Trials within the PARTS facility. Monique has trained to be an internal auditor and partly responsible for the accreditation (ISO 15189) of PARTS in June 2019.
Karine Sargsyan, Managing Director of Biobank Graz, Medical University of Graz has contributed to and implemented numerous projects in the field of healthcare. She previously worked at the Division of Medical and Clinical Nutrition, and Metabolic Disorders at the Institute of Child and Adolescent Health and in the department of paediatrics at the Medical University of Graz. Since 2007 she is the managing director of Biobank Graz. Karine Sargsyan is a member of many professional societies, advisory boards of biobanks, author of numerous professional articles, as well as books/book chapters. She is serving as Visiting Professor of genetics at her Alma matter (YSMU) and does active volunteering in several organizations. Her professional career outside of academia includes consulting activities.
Dr. Elzbieta Gocek received her PhD in 2009 at the Faculty of Biotechnology, University of Wroclaw, Poland, defending thesis entitled “The role of vitamin D receptor, C/EBP transcription factors and mutations of acute myeloid leukemia cells during differentiation.” She completed post-doctoral fellowships at the University of Medicine & Dentistry, New Jersey Medical School (USA) and Ben Gurion University of the Negev (Israel). She has published over 20 publications and book chapters in the field of vitamin D-induced differentiation of cancer cells. In 2018 she became Head of Biobanking Laboratory at Lukasiewicz Research Network – PORT Polish Center for Technology Development. Her main scientific interests concern the molecular basis of cancers, their diagnosis and targeted therapy.
Dr. Veronique T’Joen is Biobank Manager of the Bioresource center Ghent. She obtained her Master degree in Biomedical Sciences in 2006, with a specialization in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. She worked two years as a quality and process engineer for the Red Cross tissue banks.
Subsequently, she earned a PhD further specializing herself in cell culture techniques (hESC) and cryopreservation/thawing techniques. Since 2012, she is the biobank manager at Ghent University Hospital. She has set up a central state-of-the-art biobank facility, with a quality and data management system. She is an expert in operational biobank planning (sample flows, collection, storage, distribution, data capture), quality management (national and international biobank guidelines, CEN/TS standards, ISO standards) and ethical-legal issues.
Liam Burke Masterson is a Programme Manager at Genomics Medicine Ireland, GMI is an Irish life sciences company leading large-scale, population-based medical studies, analysing the relationship between genomics, health and disease. GMI hope to glean new insights that researchers may use to help develop new treatments and diagnostics for a spectrum of incurable conditions in Ireland and beyond.
Liam has an extensive background in Biobanks having being part of the Qatar Biobank project from initiation stages right up to the integration of advanced automation. During this time, he gained insight from biobanking experts including many of the leading international figures also becoming introduced to ESBB and ISBER and has continued to participate in the biobanking community. Liam spent over 7 years in the Middle East until returning to his native Ireland last year to take up is current position with the leading population genomics initiative in Ireland.
David van Enckevort is a Project Manager at the Department of Genetics at the UMCG. He is an expert in software development, data harmonization, catalogues, and FAIR, with a strong systems engineering background. From 2010 to 2013 he worked for NBIC as a senior scientific programmer with a project leading role as Technical Project Manager coordinating the NBIC ‘biobanking task force’ and since 2013 co-lead the BBMRI-NL Catalogue. In recent years he has extended this expertise by leading the BBMRI-ERIC Directory, RD-Connect sample catalogue, TraIT studies catalogue, and LifeCycle data item catalogue development. He is involved in the EJP-RD since its inception and is WP lead in the EUCAN-Connect project. David is a member of the IRDiRC Scientific Advisory board and co-chair of the ISBER Repository Locator Working Group.
Dr. Gulcin Gumus is the Research and Policy Project Manager at EURORDIS. Her responsibilities include supporting EURORDIS involvement in EU research projects (e.g. C4C and Solve-RD) as well as contributing to discussions and advocacy topics relevant to rare disease research and policy. She also supports the coordination of the transversal working group of European Patient Advocacy Group (ePAG) on Research and Registries which comprises patient representatives involved in the different European Reference Networks for Rare and Complex Diseases.
Dr. Gumus has a Bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology and Genetics. She also holds a Ph.D. in Fetal and Perinatal Medicine from the University of Barcelona where she worked on research projects aiming to develop pre-clinical therapies for rare prenatal and childhood diseases.
Dr. Gumus is a member of BBMRI-ERIC Stakeholder Forum where she contributes to the 2-way communication between the biobanking community and all stakeholders, ensuring the proper involvement and engagement of patients in all steps of biobank research.
Professor Jens K. Habermann, M.D., PH.D., is Director of the Interdisciplinary Center for Biobanking-Lübeck (ICB-L) at the University of Lübeck and University Clinic Schleswig-Holstein. He obtained his Ph.D. at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, and postdoc training at the NIH, Bethesda, USA. As specialist in human genetics, he combines clinical routine, biobanking, and cancer research to optimize precision medicine through liquid biopsies. Prof. Habermann is Scientific Director of the University Cancer Center Lübeck and President of the European, Middle Eastern and African Society for Biopreservation and Biobanking (ESBB).
Over the last 18 years Remi van Liempt became an expert in the sample storage and preservation market. After his study Industrial Automation with a specialization in International Business Remi joined Micronic as Product Specialist.
Remi focused on the international expansion of Micronics’s activities as well as the adaptation of the novel 2D coded tube system at that time. Nowadays he is responsible for all Micronic sales and marketing activities in the regions EMEA and APAC. Combining his technical background, his valuable market knowledge and his ability to interact internationally, Remi contributes to the continuous growth of the global Micronic business.
Gabriele Anton is head of the biobank group at the Research Unit Molecular Epidemiology, Institute of Epidemiology and of the Core Facility Biobank at Helmholtz Center Munich. The biobank has more than 30 years of experience in the biobanking field and is today a major resource for researchers working in the fields of prevention, diagnosis and therapy of complex diseases.
With her working group Gabi is involved in different register and catalog activities, e.g. in building up the central biosample registry for the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) and has been part of the working group for the MIABIS core components since 2014.
Alison Parry-Jones (BSc, MA, PhD, MRSC) is the Manager of the Wales Cancer Bank (WCB) based in Cardiff. Her PhD is in analytical chemistry, she has an MA in Medical Ethics and Law and she is a PRINCE2 registered practitioner. She is the Designated Individual on the WCB licence issued by the Human Tissue Authority and is therefore responsible for governance and compliance across all WCB sites in Wales.
She is the Director-at-Large for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region for the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) and is part of a working group with ASCP developing a biorepository qualification. She is one of two UK representatives on the common service ELSI team for the BBMRI-ERIC and is a member of the Steering committee for the UKCRC Tissue Directory and Coordination Centre.
Pieter Moons obtained a PhD in Bioscience engineering from the University of Leuven in 2009. He remained in KULeuven as a post-doc with research lines combining genetics and microbiology. Pieter then joined Sanico NV, a pharmaceutical company in 2010 where he worked as a Scientist in the QC department. In 2011, he joined the internationally renowned lab of Medical Microbiology at the University of Antwerp where he managed and was scientifically involved in several academia-industry consortia focused on the development of rapid diagnostics for infectious diseases and participated in a clinical trial network aimed at combatting antimicrobial resistance. Although still part-time affiliated to the UA lab with research lines focusing on infectious disease diagnostics, in 2018, Pieter was appointed the manager of Biobank Antwerpen which was established at that time in response to the new Belgian biobank legislation as a collaboration between the University of Antwerp and the University Hospital Antwerpen. There he and the team currently face the challenge of integrating the existing collections from both institutions, aiming to create a high-quality biobank that serves the needs of both academia and industry.
Health-Care Integrated Biobanking Processes to Support Precision Medicine Clinical Trials
In order to support precision medicine clinical trials, hospital-based biobanks need to develop new efficient strategies to increase availability of a wider variety of biospecimens. In particular, they should be able to acquire biospecimens from donors at variable time points without compromising sample quality or normal hospital processes. The Inselspital (University Hospital Bern) has implemented for its Liquid Biobank Bern a state-of-the-art biobank infrastructure that is highly integrated into the routine processes of the hospital. Clinical information systems, lab management systems, and the biobank information system are interfaced to exchange the sample data. This ensures that every step in the pre-analytical process is monitored electronically and documented avoiding error-prone and time consuming manual data entries. A central biobank information system harbors the individual study protocols and transmits the processing instructions to the various devices and information systems. In this way, a multitude of individual protocols can be processed in parallel without additional resources.
Jon Worth is a political blogger, journalist, editor and a relatively early expert on EU affairs in the Internet who regularly writes about EU policy, Brexit and Germany policy. Since 2015 he is a Visiting Professor at the College of Europe and conduces social media trainings to a wide range of European organisations.
Hélène Blanché is the CEPH biobank manager (since 2007). The CEPH Biobank is compliant, since March 2017 (Certificate # 170375/1366F), with the international quality standard ISO9001:2015, and the French Biological Resource Center quality standard NF S96-900 for the following biobanking services: reception, processing, storage shipment of human biological samples.
She was previously in charge of the sequencing/genotyping lab at CEPH. She is currently member of the GENMED Labex steering committee.
She has authored more than 90 peer reviewed international publications. She holds a PhD in Molecular & Cellular Biology from Paris VI University. She has an extensive experience in the establishment of collections of biological samples for genomic studies.
Dr. Daniel P. Brucker graduated in biology and holds a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Tübingen where he worked in the field of neurooncology at the Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research and the Senckenberg Institute for Neurooncology in Frankfurt am Main (Germany) studying metabolism and regulation of transcription factors in brain tumors.
In 2012 he became coordinator for biobank networks at the University Cancer Center (UCT) Frankfurt where he focused on the implementation of a local IT-infrastructure and the connection to national networks for biobanking. Since 2015 Daniel Brucker is the scientific coordinator of the interdisciplinary Biobank and Database Frankfurt (iBDF) at the University Hospital Frankfurt. He is a member of the steering committee, part of the core team “Education and Training” and involved in various working groups of the German Biobank Alliance (bbmri.de).
Tobias Sjöblom is Professor in Tumor Genetics at Uppsala University, Sweden. His current research interests include the somatic genetic basis of colorectal cancer, phenotypes of cancer mutations, and diagnostic and therapeutic development based on somatic mutations. He is Director of the national research infrastructure for sample based research of Biobank Sweden, Node Director for BBMRI.se, and Program Director for U-CAN, a longitudinal cancer research initiative encompassing >17.000 patients to support academic and corporate cancer biomarker research.
Georg Goebel has been working as a Biostatistician at the Department of Medical Statistics, Informatics and Health Economics of the Medical University of Innsbruck in Austria since 1998. He graduated in Mathematics at the Innsbruck University (M.Sc-1998, PhD-2002) and is working as Deputy-Node-Director in the BBMRI.at project since 2018. Currently he holds an Associate Professorship and is also responsible for the coordination of all biobank activities at the Medical University of Innsbruck.
Mary Wang is a Scientific Partnership Manager at Fondazione Telethon, Italy. At Telethon, she is also the Biobank Program Manager, advocating for rare disease (RD) biobanking awareness, and manages grants to the “Telethon Network of Genetic Biobanks”. Currently, Mary is involved in the European Joint Programme on Rare Diseases as leader for biobank training and surveying RD community on research needs. Between 2004-2018 she worked on RD-Connect, and contributed to the development of flagship biobank tools as a part of global RD research infrastructure. During the same period, she acted as the EuroBioBank network Secretariat. Since 2019, Mary is actively contributing to operations of IRDiRC and planning of global RD roadmap and recommendations. In addition, she represents Telethon in the ICPerMed Executive Committee. Prior to joining Telethon, Mary worked as a postdoctoral researcher in fields of genetics and immunoloy; she received her PhD in Cell Biology from University College London.
Dr. Dominik Lermen currently works at the Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT. He is head of the working group Biomonitoring & Biobanks and Site Manager of the Fraunhofer IBMT Site in Münster (North Rhine-Westphalia). Dominik does research in Human and Environmental Biomonitoring, Toxicology, Cell Biology, Cryo-Biology, Biobanking, Sample Preparation and Standardization of Pre-analytical Processes. On behalf of the German Environment Agency UBA his working groups operates the Federal Biobank for Human Biomonitoring, an integral part of Germany’s tool for monitoring the exposure to chemicals, the German Environmental Specimen Bank (ESB). Processes of this biobank are certified according DIN EN ISO 9001 and accredited according to DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025.