Pre-Conference Day
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
08:45 - 12:30
Workshop: How to Set Up a Modern Biobank
  • Chairs: Balwir Matharoo-Ball, William Grizzle, Katherine Sexton, and Erik Steinfelder
  • Biobanks or biorepositories are facilities that collect, process, store, and distribute biospecimens and associated data, mainly for biological and medical research. They constitute a crucial resource, supporting cutting-edge investigation in fields such as oncology, genomics, and personalised medicine, and the development of diagnostics and therapeutics. In this workshop we will address the fundamental aspects of what is required to set up a modern biobank going from small scale to scale up with a robust business plan.
  • This workshop will include:
  • Overview of Challenges of Setting Up a Biobank – William Grizzle
  • Practical Interactive Session on What to Include in a Patient Information Sheet and Consent Form – Katherine Sexton
  • Practical Session of What is Required in an IRB Application – Balwir Matharoo-Ball
  • Practical Interactive Session on Minimum Operational Needs for Start-Up – Heimo Muller
  • Interactive Session on Future Up-Scaling and Business Planning – Erik Steinfelder
  • Closing Remarks – William Grizzle
13:30 - 17:00
Workshop: IT for Biobanks
  • Chairs: Erik Bongcam-Rudloff and Kevin Meagher
  • Workshop participants will learn about current issues and ongoing considerations in biobank informatics. The topics for this workshop include: biobanking ontologies; metadata standards; best practices; and guidelines for software selection and tools. As a follow up to the morning session, we will focus on introductory level topics for the new modern biobank.
  • This workshop will include:
  • Best Practices for Informatics in Biobanks – Kevin Meagher
  • Mobile Data Acquisition and Freezer Management: The Great ILRI Solution – Kihara Wangoru
  • Bioresources Management: Open-Source LIMS including BAOBAB LIMS – Alan Christoffels
  • Data Harmonization & Data Interoperability, including MIABIS: Implementation in LIMS, and F2Share: Federation Framework in the Context of B3Africa – Roxana Merino-Martinez
  • Biobank in a Box: BiBBox, including a demo, data integration, and how BIBBOX helps system managers – Heimo Müller
  • How to Select a Software Solution? Including build vs. buy vs. adopt, and a round table discussion – Kevin Meagher
  • Panel Discussion

08:00 - 09:00
09:00 - 09:30
Opening: VIP
09:30 - 10:30
Session 1: Keynote Plenary 1 – Gregory C. Simon, President, Biden Cancer Initiative
  • Chairs: Marianne Henderson and Balwir Matharoo-Ball
  • Keynote Speaker: Gregory C. Simon, President, Biden Cancer Initiative, USA
10:30 - 11:00
Refreshments/Abstract Posters
11:00 - 11:35
Session 2A: Keynote Plenary 2 – Jan-Eric Litton, Professor of Biomedical Computing Technology at Karolinska Institutet, Former Director General BBMRI-ERIC
  • Chair: Erik Steinfelder
  • Keynote Speaker: Jan-Eric Litton, Professor of Biomedical Computing Technology at Karolinska Institutet, Former Director General of BBMRI-ERIC, Sweden
  • The evolution of healthcare, regulatory and medical practice – and lately precision medicine – is not an arbitrary choice of the academic and industrial researchers or policy and decision makers. It is driven by science and availability of new tools and knowledge originating from different sectors.BBMRI-ERIC is proud to announce the availability of new tools that aim at improving quality, findability and accessibility of biobanking resources.
  • Among them, the BBMRI-ERIC Negotiator, which is a brand new service tool that provides an efficient communication platform between biobankers and researchers requesting samples and/or data in the Directory 3.0. The Directory today contains more than 100 million samples, and keeps counting.
  •  That said, BBMRI-ERIC is dedicated to work hard in order to facilitate better quality of samples and data. For this, we have set up 5 different Quality Expert Working Groups to develop a Self-Assessment Survey based on the pre-examination processes (CEN/TS norms, and at a later stage the upcoming ISO norms). These working groups currently involve 106 experts and researchers in 18 different Member States. Life sciences, however, generally suffer from fragmentation, while health research in particular suffers from substantial reproducibility issues. Increasing dependence of research domains on data led to the FAIR data principles: While the FAIR principles are a good starting point, they are not specific enough to deal with the major challenges of the health research, namely reproducibility and privacy protection. Therefore we have suggested the FAIR-Health principles. These principles include: (i) quality and traceability, (ii) incentive schemes, and (iii) privacy regulations compliance.
  •  Especially critical is Europe’s new General Data Protection Regulation, which will enter into force in May 2018 and in which medical research is not addressed in a way it should have been done to allow clarity for transnational research for the benefit of citizens and researchers alike. Therefore, we have started the process for a Code of Conduct, which aims to specify the requirements General Data Protection Regulation in non-legalistic terms to researchers and is supported by more than 80 organisations worldwide. The Commission next year should approve the code.
11:35 - 12:45
Session 2B: Insights and Experiences of Healthcare Integrated Biobanking for Rapid Progress in the Development of New Diagnostic Markers and Tools for Personalised Medicine – A Swedish Perspective
  • Chairs: Mark Diver and Sonja Eaker Fält
  • The primary purpose of biobanking human samples must be to support research that improves health and healthcare. For this reason the interplay with healthcare is crucial. This session will illustrate how biobanking in Sweden is being configured to increase its impact on healthcare. The new emerging national biobank platform in Sweden, Biobank Sweden will be described, as well as an example of a modern prospective cohort designed to address cardiovascular disease and health. Finally, this session will give a clear example of the way biobank-based research can improve clinical practice more quickly than might be anticipated.
  • Speakers:
  • Biobank Sweden: A Joint Biobank Infrastructure for Healthcare Providers and Academic Research – Tobias Sjoblom
  • Scapis: The New Swedish Cohort for Cardiovascular Health and COPD – Margaretha Persson
  • How Biobanking Improved Healthcare for Prostate Cancer Diagnosis – Henrik Gronberg
12:45 - 14:00
12:55 - 14:00
Abstract Poster Presentations 1
13:00 - 14:00
Brooks Life Science Systems Symposium
13:00 - 14:00
Agilent Technologies Symposium

Biobanking Samples and the Need to Raise the Standard: Are Your Samples Fit for Purpose?


  • Dr. Rainer Nitsche, Product Manager TapeStation Systems Agilent Technologies
  • Conny Mathay, Team Leader Biospecimen Processing in the Biobank of Luxembourg
13:00 - 14:00
Illumina Symposium
14:00 - 15:15
Session 3A: The Measure of Success – Metrics Used to Describe the Utilisation of Biobanked Samples
  • Chairs: Zisis Kozlakidis and Dominik Lermen
  • Effective specimen utilisation is considered fundamental to biobanking sustainability. This metric is heavily used as an internal and external measure of success, however it is inherently and heavily depended on a number of other factors, such as specimen demand, biorepository design, access policies and procedures, marketing, ‘customer’ satisfaction, community/stakeholder engagement, etc. This session will attempt to describe the overall approach(es) used to assess the rates of specimen utilisation and their perceived impact.
  • Speakers:
  • Lessons Learned: Challenges Experienced by the NHLS/Stellenbosch University Biobank (NSB), A South African Perspective – Carmen Swanepoel
  • Business Plan Overview of the LPCE Hospital Biobank (Nice, France): Establishment of a Permanent Dynamic Strategy for Sustainability – Mehdi Kara-Borni
  • Current Condition and Issues of Clinical Biobanks in Japan: A Point of View from Laboratory Medicine – Kazuyuki Matsushita
  • Samples and/or Service Requests in Principado de Asturias Biobank – Pablo Isidro Marrón
14:00 - 15:15
Session 3B: Regulating Across the World – Re-Using and Sharing Resources, Data, and Samples
  • Chairs: Jasper Bovenberg and Michaela Th. Mayrhofer
  • The need for large numbers of specimens and data to study complex diseases has given rise to increased specimen and data sharing across national borders and cultural contexts. However, changes in regulations and policies and variation among countries raise considerable challenges for biobanks and users of specimens from biobanks. This session will explore regulations and policies (e.g., EU General Data Protection Regulation, US Common Rule, Code of Conducts, national biobank laws in contrast to set of rules and regulations…) related to specimen and data sharing, the challenges that they pose especially for transnational and global research, and strategies to address them. These strategies and concerns might be raised by researchers, ethics review committees, data protection authorities, patient advocacy groups, or citizens.
  • Speakers:
  • Re-Using & Sharing Resources, Data and Samples: Asian Perspectives – Yali Cong
  • Challenges and Strategies for Biobank Regulation in Transnational and Global Research: An African Perspective – Keymanthri Moodley
  • The EU GDPR and a Code of Conduct in the Area of Health – Irene Schlünder, Deborah Mascalzoni
  • Broad Consent for Future Research: International Perspectives – Mark Rothstein
  • Supporting Responsible Samples and Data Sharing: When Regulation Comes into Play – Gauthier Chassang
14:00 - 15:15
Session 3C: Quality Management for Biobanking
  • Chairs: Jim Vaught and Rongxing Gan
  • This session will discuss current applied quality assurance and quality control practices in biobanking as they apply to precision medicine and next generation biobanking, with applications from basic research and clinical medicine. Quality management is a critical aspect in biobanking, since consistent quality of biospecimens and data is necessary to the production of reliable data for basic and clinical research. This session will aim to provide up to date approaches to developing quality management programs which meet current biobanking needs, and based on state of the art research.
  • Speakers:
  • Biobanking for Next Generation Transcriptome Wide Analysis in Situ – Joakim Lundeberg
  • Raising Quality by the Introduction of a Biobank Certification Program for Australia – Jane Carpenter
  • Working Towards ISO 9001 Quality Standards: Building a Quality Management System (QMS) for a Biobank – Lovice Sutherland
  • Biobanking Quality Control from the Shanghai Clinical Research Center Perspective – Liangliang Ruan
15:15 - 15:45
Refreshments/Abstract Posters
15:45 - 18:30
Welcome Reception and Exhibits w/ The Route
16:00 - 18:00
SciLifeLab/Karolinska Institutet Site Visit


The Science for Life Laboratory is a Swedish national centre for molecular biosciences and collaboration between four universities. This fresh, new, and large scale research centre is located at the Karolinska Institutet Campus providing its users state-of-the-art technologies for high throughput molecular biosciences.


18:00 - 19:00
City Hall Reception


The City of Stockholm and Stockholm County Council have invited Global Biobank Week participants to a cocktail reception at City Hall, one of the most famous buildings in Stockholm, including a guided tour available in both Swedish and English. This invitation-only event will be an occasion to discover the political offices and exhibitions hidden behind the beautiful facade of the building.


08:00 - 09:00
09:00 - 10:30
Session 4C: Academic-Industrial Collaborations and Partnerships
  • Chairs: Berthold Huppertz and David Lewandowski
  • Forming collaborations between academia, industry, government agencies, and private organizations can offer benefits to all parties.
  • Research and development today is about networking, sharing, and partnering. Collaborations between industry and academia are promoted by open innovation programs, which have become a near-universal model for R&D. Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies offer university researchers access to resources and funding. Academic scientists bring in-depth expertise and basic research data to the table. Open innovation has exploded into mega-partnerships of academia, industry, government agencies, and private organisations. These consortia have the potential to solve major medical and public health issues, if they can set terms and goals that reward all parties.
  • Speakers:
  • Creating Innovative Collaborative Relationships Between Industry and Academia – Larson Hicks
  • Survey on the Perception of Academic Biobankers on the Collaboration Between Academic Biobanks and the Biomedical Industry – Daniel Simeon-Dubach
  • ESBB Translate: Providing a Solution for Fostering Partnership and Collaboration with Industry and Pharma – Balwir Matharoo Ball
  • Preparing for Commercialization: Preparing a Historical Clinical Research Biobank for Cooperation with the Pharma Industry – Anne H. Morgenstierne Sundet, Lill Anny Gunnes Grøseth
09:00 - 10:30
Session 4A: Digital Pathology Meets Biobanking
  • Chairs: Giorgio Stanta and William Grizzle
  • Pathologist review of biorepository submissions, particularly tissues as part of quality assurance procedures, helps to ensure that the intended target cells are present and in sufficient quantity in accessioned specimens. This manual procedure can be tedious and subjective. Incorporating digital pathology into biobank quality assurance procedures, using automated pattern recognition morphometric image analysis to quantify tissue feature areas in digital whole slide images of tissue sections, can minimize variability and subjectivity associated with routine pathologic evaluations in biorepositories. Whole-slide images and pathologist-reviewed morphometric analyses can be provided to researchers to guide specimen selection. Harmonization of pathology quality assurance methods that minimize subjectivity and improve reproducibility among collections would facilitate research-relevant specimen selection by investigators and could facilitate information sharing in an integrated network approach to biobanking. It is important to note that PRIA was never intended to replace the role of pathologist.
  • Speakers:
  • Diagnostic Telepathology and Digital Tissue Repositories in Africa: Implications for Teaching, Training, and Research – Dan Milner
  • Helsinki Biobank’s Digital Pathology Solutions in Tissue Sample Pathway – Tiina Vesterinen
  • Comparison of Immunohistochemistry Antibodies Across and Within Tissue Microarrays Using Digital Image Analysis: The Basis for Objective Antibody Validation – Daniel Catchpoole
  • Biobanking Incorporating Digital Pathology to Accomplish Large-Scale Clinicopathological Projects: The PARADIGM Experience – Gwen Dackus
  • Imaging Biomarker Infrastructure – Marcel Koek
09:00 - 10:30
Session 4B: Utilisation & Valuation and Public Trust
  • Chairs: Isabelle Huys and Elena Bravo
  • Biobanks are precariously situated at the intersection of science and society. The utilisation and valuation of samples and data is thus not only a matter of quality management and data curation, but more broadly of good governance and ultimately trust.
  • No biobank can sustain in the long run without the public’s support. What this entails may differ due to differences in geography, social as well as scientific contexts. Some potential contributors fear research collaborations with commercial entities might even see contributions used against their interests. This issue becomes especially salient if there is a lack of trust in public institutions or a loss of trust due to historic experiences of exploitation, power asymmetries or breaches of patient/doctor relationships, and/or other privacy breaches as well as incorrect/controversial/misleading information.
  • Speakers:
  • Biobanking from the Patient Perspective – Derick Mitchell
  • Broad Consent for Healthcare-Embedded Biobanking: Understanding and Reasons to Donate in a Large Patient Sample – Gesine Richter
  • Participants Generating Their Own Data for Biobanks: Utility of Self-Measurements – Lisette Eijdems
  • Your DNA Your Say: An International Multilingual Survey on Public Views of Donating and Sharing Genetic and Medical Data – Heidi Carmen Howard
  • Opt Out for Residual Materials Preferred Over Signed Informed Consent (WMA Declaration of Taipei) – Peter Riegman
10:30 - 11:00
Refreshments/Abstract Posters
11:00 - 12:45
Session 5: International Biobanking Summit VI – Global Biobanking Going Mobile?
  • Chairs: Bartha Maria Knoppers and Mark Rothstein
  • In the last two decades, the international biobanking community has come together to harmonize and create international, large-scale research platforms. Through the development of research collaborations, consortia, and networks, internationalisation of biobanking activities has led to the pooling of samples and data from different countries for more efficient, significant, and precise data. However, current ethical and legal frameworks require that these local/national initiatives be governed by the local/national laws and policies. In particular, the requirements for local REB approval for the data/sample collection, discrepancies in data protection laws, and in data and sample sharing cultures continues to create hurdles to the development of such international resources.
  • The recent emergence of web-based consent and data collection tools, together with the development of self-sampling devices (e.g. spit-kits, finger prick blood tests, etc.), has led to the creation of ‘direct-to-participants’ research activities, in which researchers can now recruit, consent, and collect data and samples from participants located in different countries. Such research activities raise numerous ethical, legal, and scientific questions related to ethics approval(s), and the use of mainly cloud-based and IT consent, data/sample collection, and data access and/or sharing tools.
  • The International Biobanking Summit VI aims to discuss the ethical and legal issues raised by ‘direct-to-participants’ research, and to address its implications for ethics approvals and for the use of IT tools and web-based networks.
  • Session 1: ‘Direct-to-Participants’ Research – An Emerging Research Paradygm
  • Chair: Anne-Marie Tasse
  • Speakers:
  • APP-based Consent and Data Collection – Megan Doer
  • International Data/Sample Collection: An Impossible Dream? – Pascal Borry
  • Session 2: Policy Implications of ‘Direct-to-Participants’ Research
  • Chair: Marianne Henderson
  • Speakers:
  • Ethics Review Equivalency: From Policy to Practice – Edward Dove
  • The Democratization of Citizen Science? – Heidi Howard
12:45 - 14:00
13:00 - 13:45
QIAGEN Symposium

High Quality Blood ccfDNA Specimen: The Key to Reliable Analytical Test Results


  • Dr. Uwe Oelmueller, Vice President MDx Development, Head of Sample Technologies, PreAnalytiX Management Committee Co-Chair
13:00 - 13:45
Medisapiens Symposium

Clinical Data Curation: The Foundation of Discovery


  • Henrik Edgren, Chief Scientific Officer, MediSapiens
  • Olli Carpén, Professor, Research Director, University of Helsinki and Helsinki Biobank
14:00 - 15:15
Abstract Poster Presentations 2
15:15 - 15:45
Refreshments/Abstract Posters
15:45 - 17:45
Session 6C: International Biobanking Harmonisation, Standardisation, and Globalisation
  • Chairs: Marianna Bledsoe and Rita Theresa Lawlor
  • A number of efforts are underway globally to standardise and harmonise the field of biobanking and promote greater quality. These efforts include efforts on ISO TC 276 to develop requirements for biobanking and the validation and verification of biobanking processes, methods, and testing. In addition, national accreditation and certification programs have been implemented, such as accreditation of biobanks by the College of American Pathologists in the US, and certification by CTRNet in Canada. Finally, a number of projects or research infrastructures, such as BBMRI or the BioSHaRE-EU consortia, have used various harmonization approaches to optimise specimen and data sharing and ensure quality across projects.
  • During this session, presenters will provide updates of these efforts and/or their experience with implementing programs or projects involving harmonization. In a discussion session following the presentations, the presenters and audience will discuss the inter-relationships of these programs, their potential for improvements in biobanking, and how they can best be integrated to move the field forward to promote high quality biobanking in an efficient and effective manner.
  • Speakers:
  • The College of American Pathologists Biorepository Accreditation Program – Nilsa Ramirez
  • International Standards for Biobanking – George Dagher
  • Standardising Data for Biobanking: ISO Standards Defined by ISO/TC 276/WG5 – Martin Golebiewski
  • Results of an ISBER/AABB Survey to Assess Biorepository Community Readiness for Standards and an Accreditation Program for Biorepositories/Biobanks – Brent Schacter
  • Panel Discussion
15:45 - 17:45
Session 6A: Sustainability in Biobanking – Past, Present, and Future?
  • Chairs: Kirstin Goldring and Marianne Henderson
  • As a consequence of increased professionalism in modern biobanking, sustainability has become one of the central themes for biobanks in the last few years. Sustainability can be divided according to three different dimensions: financial, operational, or social. Much has been said and written about these different dimensions, but also about sustainability of large research infrastructures like biobanks. This session will highlight and evaluate what has been achieved thus far and identify and discuss missing data and information. The session will also encourage speculation on the possible paths for sustainable biobanking, in all three dimensions, in the future.
  • Speakers:
  • Introduction – Kirstin Goldring, Marianne Henderson
  • Biobank Sustainability: Considering New Dimensions – Peter Watson
  • Business Planning as Basis for Biobank Sustainability and Professionalism – Daniel Simeon-Dubach
  • Financial Sustainability of Biobanks – Georges Dagher
  • Bimetra Biobank: Achieving Sustainability Through Rationalised Change of Service at Our 5-Year Anniversary – Sofie Bekaert
  • Calculation of Biobank Total Cost and Setting Up of a Fee for Service Scheme – Joerg Geiger
  • Biobanking for the Public, by the Public: Reducing Costs and Increasing Participation – Alison Parry-Jones
  • Panel Discussion
15:45 - 17:45
Session 6B: Biobanks and Electronic Health Records
  • Chairs: Eng Boon Chon and Robert Hewitt
  • In a disease-based biobank the specimens collected are often from the patients in the hospital. The aim of this session is to look into how electronic health records can be used for biobank operation.
  • Speakers:
  • TBC – Olli Carpen
  • Curation of Large Scale EHR Data for Use with Biobank Samples – Henrik Edgren
  • Health-RI: Empowering Personalised Medicine and Health Research in the Netherlands – Gerrit Meijer
  • Secondary Use of Clinical Routine Data for Enhanced Phenotyping of Biobank Sample Data – Markus Kreuzthaler
  • Cohort Study of the Genomes of Catalonia – Anna Carreras Nolla
  • Panel Discussion
17:45 - 19:00
Innovative Technology and Its Contribution to Biobanking
  • Chairs: Jan-Eric Litton, Brent Schacter, and Elke Smits
  • Disruptive innovations can be related to a diversity of technological developments and structural changes in biobank operations. In times of fast moving business models and new technologies, it’s even more crucial to source and manage innovative ideas effectively and sustainably. This session will highlight ground-breaking innovations and best practice examples along the biobank’s value chain.
  • Speakers:
  • Innovative Technology and its Contribution to Biobanking – Kurt Zatloukal
  • The Netherlands Donor Feces Bank: It Takes Stool to Get Better – Hein W. Verspaget
  • Biomarker Profiling by NMR Metabolomics: Using Biobank Partnerships to Build the Evidence-Base for Clinical Use – Peter Würtz
  • Exploring Novel Ways to Promote the Interaction Between Biobanks and Innovative Product Development for Active and Healthy Ageing: Introducing the Pointlab Program – Bart Scheerder
  • Building Isaacus: One Stop Shop for Finnish Data Reserves – Jaana Sinipuro
  • Enabling Novel Clinical Trial & Biobanking Workflows: Advances in Cell Free Nucleic Acid Collection & Processing – Andrew Brooks
  • Personalizing Surgical Options for Advanced Heart Failure: Reliance on Cardiac Biorepositories – Dawn Bowles
  • Guiding Principles for Dynamic Consent – Jane Kaye
  • The iSpecimen Marketplace: Instantly Connecting Your Biobank to Thousands of Researchers – Christopher Lanelli
  • To Automate or Not to Automate: That is the Question…..or is It? – Paul Lomax
  • Standardised Quality Control of Nucleic Acids: The New Agilent 4200 Tape Station as Ideal Tool for the Analysis of Biobanked RNA and DNA Samples – Rainer Nitsche
19:30 - 00:00
Networking Dinner

The Brewery, Conference Centre Stockholm

The official Congress dinner will take place at the Brewery, one of the most characteristic elements in the Stockholm skyline situated in the center of the city. The networking dinner is an opportunity for guests to mingle with a large panel of experts, network, dance, and enjoy a beautiful view. Each Congress delegate is welcome to invite an additional two companions to enjoy the evening. Registration for this event is included within the meeting registration form for an additional fee.


08:00 - 09:00
09:00 - 10:30
Session 7: Ethics Cafe – “Are Donor Rights Valuable?”
  • Moderators: Marianna Bledsoe and Michaela Th. Mayrhofer
  • Discussants: Jane Kaye and Evert-Ben van Veen
  • Careful protection of personal information is a key concern in our society. In biomedical research and the biobank context, which rights do donors/research participants have? How varied are these rights across countries and what is presumed to be a right? Should donors have the right to decide for each research endeavor if they (dis)agree with the usage of their samples/data? What intermediate level of control does exist between “agreement for each use” and “unspecified broad agreement”? Should they be enabled to access and administer their own data? What would be the consequences? Is it empowerment for citizens or an overload of the technological society? Are rights the priority or is it the capability of the system to adapt to different levels of engagement, willingness, wishes of the participants? Do the institutions welcome the initiatives, ideas, implications of participants or do they paternalistically administrate their “rights”? Is there a hierarchy in rights and who is deciding on it? Ultimately, what is a right worth if it cannot be protected?
  • The format of this session aims to foster a more informal atmosphere where the audience is encouraged to participate in an engaging discussion after provocative opening statements by the discussants.
10:30 - 11:00
Refreshments/Abstract Posters
11:00 - 12:45
Session 8C: Reproducibility of Data from Specimens – Quality and Heterogeneity from Original Pathology to Derived Source
  • Chairs: Eng Boon Chon and Peter Riegman
  • The aim of the session is to focus on the problem of reproducibility by examining where in modern biobanking, particularly model and derivative banking, variability occurs. The session will also taken into account the basic problems of heterogeneity within pathology that have not yet been addressed including different molecules, new developments in banking derivatives such as circulating cancer stem cells, organoids, and new technologies for disease monitoring such as liquid biopsies.
  • Speakers:
  • Circulatory miRNA Biomarkers as “Liquid Biopsy” in Diseases: Hope or Hype? – Too Heng Phon
  • IPGB: Biobank for Development of Personalised Medicine in Incontinentia Pigmenti – Francesca Fusco
  • With Well Characterised Biobank Samples the Secret of Aggressive Prostate Cancer is Unlocked – Heather Thorne
  • Heterogeneity of Cancer and its Effects on Xenografts as Corresponding Tissue Models – Rita Theresa Lawlor
  • Panel Discussion
11:00 - 12:45
Session 8B: Big Data and Large Population Research – From Cohorts to Healthcare
  • Chairs: Gert-Jan Van Ommen and Jan-Eric Litton
  • The success for large clinical data in translational research depends on strategically designed large cohorts. The amount of data we collect, produce and store is growing in a rapid phase on large sample size protocols, and research using large medical databases has made important contributions to a range of domains such as epidemiology, genetics, treatment effectiveness, and quality of care. With this session, we aim to highlight the importance of large cohort designs, clinical records in population studies, and their impact on health care. Translational research aspects will also be considered.
  • Speakers:
  • Building a 1 Million Cohort: All of Us Research Program Precision Medicine Initiative – Mine Cicek
  • Taiwan Biobank for the Health of Future Generations – Chen-Yang Shen
  • The Kaiser Permanente Research Bank: A Resource for Precision Medicine Research – Nazneen Aziz
  • The Generation and Sharing of Omics Data Sets Augmenting Scientific Collaboration – Marian Beekman
  • Pipeline Inspection and Monitoring – Thomas Kroes
  • Connecting Northern Finland Birth Cohorts with Borealis and THL Biobanks (CoCoBi) – Kaisa Silander
11:00 - 12:45
Session 8A: Establishing Hospital-Based Biobanks as a Foundation for Clinical Trials and Precision Medicine
  • Chairs: Jens K. Habermann and Daniel Catchpoole
  • Hospital-based biobanks are collections of biological material of healthy and diseased people and associated data. Implementing biobanks into clinical routine is challenging due to many different requirements but offers tremendous possibilities for clinical trials and precision medicine.
  • Speakers:
  • The Precision Pathology Center at MSKCC: Theranostics, Clinical Trials, and Beyond – Michael H. Roehrl
  • Hospital-Based Biobanking as Basis for High-Quality Validation of New Biomarkers in Clinical Trials and Precision Medicine – Stefan Holdenrieder
  • Surfing the Electronic Medical Records: A Biobank Challenge – Núria Somoza
  • How Can Hospital Integrated Biobanks Support Clinical Trials and Precision Medicine? Experiences of the Interdisciplinary Center for Biobanking-Lübeck (ICB-L) – Martina Oberländer
  • Tansfer Management of Health Care Archive Samples for Oncological Clinical Trial by the Biobank Platform – Beatriz Martínez Gálvez
  • Challenges of Biobanking in Primary Care: Policies and Harmonisation – Ayat Salman
12:45 - 14:00
13:00 - 13:45
BC Plateforms Symposium

BC|RQUEST: A Modern Technology-Based Marketplace for Collaboration Between Biobanks and Biotech Industry


  • Tero Silvola, Chief Executive Officer, BC Platforms

    Niko Hurskainen, Chief Operating Officer, BC Platforms


    Samu Kurki, PhD, Lead Data Scientist, BC Platforms


    Daniel Simeon-Dubach, MD, MHA

13:00 - 14:00
Perkin Elmer Symposium
13:00 - 14:00
Ask Health Symposium

Established Ukraine Association Biobank: Development and Progress of Ukraine’s Biobank Network

14:00 - 15:30
Session 9A: Biobank Catalogues – Technical Operations
  • Chairs: Roxana Martinez and Kevin Meagher
  • Biobank catalogues are being developed and established by institutions, networks, and consortium to document and make visible their biological resources that could be available for research.
  • The technical and scientific components of the catalogues depend on the scope, function, and purpose for which they are developed. The main aim of establishing catalogues is to provide easy access to relevant information, searchable from data items in order to facilitate sharing and collaboration between biobanks and potential users. It is not clear whether the increase in the number of catalogues world-wide has effectively addressed the need for resource sharing between biobanks. The questions that need to be addressed are: a) are catalogues providing relevant information? b) is the data collected interoperable? c) what are the constraints in obtaining information and data from existing catalogues for initial enquiries? d) how can we improve the design, implementation, etc. of catalogues to make them fit-for-purpose?
  • In this session, experiences from catalogues established in different geographical regions, networks, and consortium, and their utility will be presented. The discussions will include how the catalogues are (are not) operating to provide visibility and for facilitating utility of available samples and data for research.
  • Speakers:
  • Directories: Build Them and They Will Come?  – Philip Quinlan
  • Harmonizing Biobanks within Regional and National Level Directories: Lessons Learned – Horst Pichler
  • Key Factors in Developing The National Cancer Institute’s Specimen Resource Locator – Joanne Demchok
  • Satellite Group on Biobanks: EBE-EFPIA Personalised Medicine Working Group – Oliver Karch
  • Lessons Learned from the BCNet Catalogue Pilot Phase – Ny Haingo Andrianarisoa
  • Panel Discussion
14:00 - 15:30
Session 9C: Biospecimen Evidence-Based Practices for Collecting and Utilizing FFPE Tissues
  • Chairs: Kathi Shea and Heather Thorne
  • Formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues can be valuable resources in research but concerns remain about FFPE suitability for advanced molecular analysis. New research results from the U.S. National Cancer Institute and other groups are helping to inform best practices for 1) collecting and processing FFPE tissues, 2) utilising such tissues in different analytical platforms, and 3) mitigating pre-analytical effects on next-generation genomic sequencing data. This session will outline progress in this important area.
  • Speakers:
  • Incorporating Biospecimen Science Data into Biospecimen Evidence-Based Practices – Helen Moore
  • RNA and miRNA Expression Profiles in FFPE Tissues Subjected to Extended Ischemic and Formalin-Fixation Times – Fay Betsou
  • Development of a Correction Index to Estimate the Necessary Tissue Block Sections for Nucleic Acids in Isolation – Rocío Aguilar Quesada
  • A Collaborative Academic Research Network’s View on the Implementation of the Next-Generation of TMA Technology in Biomarkers Discovery and Validation – Laurent Dollé
  • Panel Discussion
14:00 - 15:30
Session 9B: Linking Human Biomonitoring and Population-Based Health Studies
  • Chairs: Dominik Lermen and Ronny Baber
  • Human biomonitoring, the detection and monitoring of human exposure to chemicals, and population based health studies on lifestyle diseases highly depend on high quality samples of human body fluids. Although many studies in these scientific fields were already conducted, are currently ongoing, and are planned for the next decades, harmonization and standardization on a national, EU-wide, and global level to reach comparable results is still a relevant topic. In both cases biobanks have been established that hold the same sample types required for both areas of research. Hence, the aim of this session is to highlight the general value of biobanks for human biomonitoring and population based studies on lifestyle diseases by providing insights into latest research results and initiating a joint discussion on how established and international distributed biobanks can work together, how samples can be shared, and how to create the greatest possible knowledge by collaborating for the monitoring of chemicals and lifestyle diseases.
  • Speakers:
  • Biomonitoring and the United States National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) – Antonia M. Calafat
  • Science and Policy for a Healthy Future: HBM4EU, the European Human Biomonitoring Initiative – Marike Kolossa-Gehring
  • Diabetes-Specific Biobanking Requires Interdisciplinary Alliances – Nadine Volk
  • Breaking New Ground in Human Biomonitoring Research: Considerations in Triangulation of Methods for the Review of Existing Evidence – Ana Virgolino
  • The Norwegian Human Environmental Biobank: MoBa Etox – Liv Paltiel
  • Panel Discussion
15:15 - 15:45
Refreshments/Abstract Posters
16:00 - 17:45
Session 10B: The Power of Connections – New Biobanking Networks
  • Chairs: Kathy Sexton and Erik Steinfelder
  • “If you want to travel fast, do it alone; if you want to travel far, do it accompanied” is an age-old saying that is still very valid in some cases. In several parts of the globe there have been networking initiatives around biobanking in the last 5-10 years which have been very successful in bringing all stakeholders together to learn and share experience. However, in other regions new initiatives for networking and building a regional community have just started.  During this session you can learn about the new initiatives that are currently starting and discuss with representatives from existing networks which challenges and successes they have had. The overall goal is to further expand the global community where there is still room for regional differences based on strong and open connections.
  • Speakers:
  • Mexico’s Biobank Laboratory: Consolidation and Expansion into a National Network – Hugo Alberto Barrera Saldana
  • Malignant Melanoma Biobanking: A Cancer Moonshot Lund Program – György Marko-Varga
  • Building a Biobank Network in Indonesia – Jajah Fachiroh
  • US NCI’S Center for Global Health Regional Center’s for Research Excellence Program to Support Research Infrastructure on Non-Communicable Diseases, Mental Health and Injuries (NCDS) – Shannon Silkensen
  • The Partnership for Research on Ebola VACcination (PREVAC): A Phase II Clinical Trial that is Creating the Opportunity for a Sustainable Biobank Model in Guinea Conakry – Daniela Fusco
  • Establishing a Pediatric Biobank Model and Expert Centre Within the Polish Biobanking Network ( – Joanna Wójtowicz
  • ELP Consortium Biobank: A New Strategic Model for Harmony to Bank Research Resources for Cohort Study – Charles W. Wang
  • Panel Discussion
16:00 - 17:45
Session 10C: Quality Assessment – A Key Factor for Successful Biobanks and Reproducible Science
  • Chairs: Karl-Friedrich Becker and Andrea Wutte
  • Quality of diagnostic samples is of key importance to reproducibility of results. Since it is required that validation of new methods and devices need to be done on the existing diagnostic samples and procedures, the standards in that field need to be adapted first. Medical research should make use of samples with compatible sample quality and documentation to get the needed grip on sample variation. Implementation of the newly published CEN technical specifications, (under development for ISO publication on the pre-analytics of diagnostic sample collection) describing requirements of standardization and documentation is a crucial step toward better reproducibility of results.
  • The speakers will present: 1) Biomedical research findings based on biological materials; 2) Experience with quality management implementation of applicable standards, ex. CEN technical specifications, ISO standards, Best Practice Guidelines; 3) Practical examples and experience of improved pre-examination processes in biobanks.
  • Speakers:
  • SPIDIA4P – New International and European Standards for Biobanking in the Making – Lena Krieger
  • Quality Assessment and Successful Biobanking in Japan – Tohru Masui
  • German Biobank Alliance: Quality Management for Biobanks – Sabrina Schmitt
  • Technical Specifications for Collecting Diagnostic Samples: The Tool to Increase the Reproducibility of Results – Peter Riegman
  • Implementation of Self-Assessment Surveys Based on the CEN/TS for Pre-Examination Processes – Sabrina Neururer
  • Tissue Preservation, Aliquoting Methods and Quality Controls in Biobanking – Vincenzo Canzonieri
  • Panel Discussion
16:00 - 17:45
Session 10A: Biobank Catalogues – Metrics and Quality
  • Chairs: Maimuna Mendy and Joe Galbraith
  • Speakers:
  • BBMRI-ERIC Directory: 2 Years of Experiences with Running the Large International Catalogue and Visions for Its Future – Petr Holub
  • The Quest of Digging into the Past Using Present Technologies to Answer Questions of the Future – Karina Sørensen
  • The Belgian Virtual Tumourbank (BVT) Project: Data Quality Control on Primary Breast Tumour Tissue Samples – Kim Vande Loock
  • King’s Health Partners Prostate Cancer Biobank (KHP PCaBB): A Unique Biobank Capturing the Ethnic Diversity of London – Aida Santaolalla
  • Panel Discussion
17:45 - 19:00
Global Biobank Week Closing Ceremony

Chair: Marianne Henderson

Select date to see events.