Title of Presentation
“How to Navigate the European (and Global) Biobanking Landscape Best?”
Date and Place
Christina Schröder has lead the group Metabiobanks CRIP at the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology, Branch Bioanalytics and Bioprocesses (IZI-BB) in Potsdam, Germany, from 2007 – 2015, and she is still serving Fraunhofer as a consultant. From 2012 – 2015, Dr. Schröder has been a Councillor of the European, Middle Asian and African Society for Biopreservation and Biobanking (ESBB).
While researchers from pharmaceutical and biotech industry asking the simple question “What is in your biobank?” will retrieve nearly infinite and most diverse, yet fragmented, information online, biobank operators are still looking for appropriate web tools and infrastructure to advertise and promote information on data, specimens, and services, which their biobanks can provide. Although multiple catalogs, locators, and registries for research biobanks have been launched during the last couple of years, to date, none of these web-based tools
- is geared towards the specific requirements of industry as a major driver of biomedical and pharmaceutical research, and
- none of them enables stratified, parameterized, though privacy-preserving queries in all connected human biobanks on a case-by-case and sample-by-sample basis.
Hence, ESBB’s Working Group ESBBtranslate has developed a two-level concept for the upcoming ESBB Biobank Directory which will allow users to locate both – biobanks and human biospecimens – by combining “retrieve biobanks” and “drill down” functionalities.
For the first query level (“retrieve biobanks”), the ESBBtranslate Working Group has, in close collaboration with industry representatives, compiled a biobank questionnaire helping researchers to locate biobanks which are compatible and compliant with industrial research settings. Subsequently, the “drill down” functionality will allow researchers – once they have identified fit-for-purpose biobanks – to locate and access specific cases and specimens over a second query level. This will be based on the CRIP metabiobank concept and software portfolio which Fraunhofer has developed for several trans-institutional metabiobanks during the last decade.
Thus the ESBB Directory will help industry-oriented biobanks to simply and efficiently showcase their services and resources, and optimize them for collaboration with industry. Since the Directory will be seamlessly integrated into the evolving puzzle of the global biobank information ecosystem from its very start, it will not provide (another) insulated solution but hopefully turn out to be a “google-like” access point for researchers seeking collaboration with one or more fit-for-purpose biobank(s).
In other words: The ESBB Biobank Directory is meant to answer (nearly) everybody’s question “What is in your biobank?” in the near future.