Dr Ahmed Samir Abdelhafiz
Title of Presentation
“Using different tools to introduce biobanking concept for the public in Egypt.”
Date and Place
Dr Ahmed Samir Abdelhafiz is an assistant lecturer of clinical pathology at National Cancer institute (NCI), Egypt and one of the founding members of the Egyptian National Cancer institute biobank.
Dr Ahmed is a graduate of faculty of medicine, Cairo University. Then he joined NCI as a resident then as an assistant lecturer. He has a master degree in clinical pathology and another master degree in business administration. He is now preparing his PhD about the role of microRNA in Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
Dr Abdelhafiz has some publications about different biobanking issues including quality, ethics, education as well as economics. He is a member of the education and training and social media working groups of ESBB and a member of the education and training committee of BCNET. He is interested in sharing in efforts aiming at spreading the concepts of medical research and biobanking to the public in Egypt.
Introduction: Biobanking is a new concept in Egypt. The word “ Biobank” is still unknown for many researchers as well as the general public. The presence of limited resources talking about biobanking in Arabic and about different issues related to medical research represents a challenge. We aim at introducing the concept of biobanking and creating positive attitude towards it to different stakeholders including the public using different tools. Methods and results: Different tools were used to engage the public with the biobanking concept and related issues. We considered using articles in scientific websites. An article about the ethical challenges facing biobanks in the Arab region was published on Scidev MENA. The article has been viewed 4157 times on the website and gained 602 likes on Facebook. Using TED conferences to spread the idea was another approach. A public talk with a TEDx WadiElRayan, a local TED event, was one of the first public talks about biobanking. The event was attended by 350 person, 89% were undergraduate students. 18% were studying medical sciences while the rest came from different backgrounds. The talk received good attention since the audience realized the role of biobanks in personalized medicine. We also work on the establishment of a YouTube channel to explain medical topics, including biobanking, for the public. Conclusion: Raising awareness about medical research and biobanking can be done using simple tools at low cost. Coordination of activities can yield better results for public engagement creating a model which can be applied in LMIC.