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Developing Global Quality Controls and Standards 

Realistic and Cost-Effective Strategies to Extend ‘Next-Tech Assays’ to Tissue Samples 

Clinical Focus Tech Guide
Clinical Focus Technical Guide
A Troubleshooting Guide: Experts Share Their
Advice on FFPE, qpcr, and Multivariate Biomarkers

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Random DNA Fragmentation Whitepaper
Random DNA fragmentation
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Transitioning a Biobanking Effort with Scientific and Fiscal Responsibility 

2009 Presentation Highlights 

Scientific & Technical Considerations for Developing & Managing Biobanking Protocols Short Course 

BioBanking Congress - Day 2

Conference Proceeding CD Now Available
  • Speaker Presentations
  • Poster Abstracts
  • and More!


Tuesday, November 8

7:30 am Breakfast Presentation (Sponsorship Opportunity Available) 

8:15 Biobanking Brainstorming Breakout Discussion Groups

Grab a cup of coffee and join a table discussion. These focused groups are designed for conference participants to discuss important and interesting topics related to biospecimens from procurement, preservation, biomolecular extraction, and biomarkers. These are moderated discussions with brainstorming and interactive problem solving, allowing conference attendees from diverse areas to exchange ideas, experiences, and develop future collaborations around a focused discussion topic.

Table 1: Longevity in Biobanks 

Pedro Rondot Radío, M.D., Executive Director, Public National Oncologic Serum Biobank, University of Buenos Aires 

  • Can biobanks last indefinitely? 
  • How can we assure the high quality of a sample stored for many years? 
  • Do we need to use the sample in a relatively short time, especially for proteomic study? 

Table 2: How to Provide High-Quality Human Tissue to Support Cancer Research?

Angen Liu, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Tissue Biorepository, Hollings Cancer Center, Medical University of South Carolina 

  • What are the requirements for high-quality tissue biobanks? 
  • How can we improve the quality of tissue? 


Table 3: Challenges of Maintaining Sample Integrity in Biobanks

Ellis Gitlin, Director of Sales, Hamilton Storage Technologies  

  • How is sample integrity maintained in your biobank? 
  • Are freeze-thaw cycles affecting outcomes of studies? 
  • How are these issues being resolved? 

Table 4: Utilization Assessment and Strategies for Large Biorepositories

Elizabeth Wagner, Scientific Program Coordinator, Transfusion Medicine & Cellular Therapeutics, NIH NHLBI 

  • For historical collections, how should utilization be assessed? 
  • What strategies have been found to be effective in increasing utilization? 
  • Should there be utilization thresholds? 

Table 5: Current Best Practices - Standardization of Hospital Workflows to Collect High Quality Biospecimens

Rao Mulpuri, Director, Center for Translational Research, CIRI, Catholic Health Initiatives 

  • Who are the major stakeholders? 
  • What are the critical data points? 
  • What is being done or can be done to routinely collect important timestamp points - warm and cold ischemic times, resection times, etc.? 

Table 6: Opportunities for Collaboration in Tissue and Fluids through Virtual Biobanks Model

Alexander Sherman, Director, System, Institute for NeuroTherapeutic Investigational Trials, Massachusetts General Hospital 

  • Competition vs. Collaboration: what prevents researchers from sharing biospecimens? 
  • Virtual biobanks - are they mature enough for implementation? 
  • Disease-specific standardization in biobanking: clear-cut and feasible options and opportunities?  

Table 7: The Use of Banked Samples for Whole Genome/Exome Sequencing Studies

Sandra A. McDonald, M.D., Associate Director, Laboratory for Translational Pathology, Washington University School of Medicine 

  • What are the ethical and consent challenges? 
  • What are the difficulties in using previously-banked samples for this type of analysis? 
  • What about using samples from deceased patients? 

Topic 8: Defining The Role of a Biobank in the Stem Cell Community

Michael Sheldon, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor & Assistant Managing Director, RUDCR, Rutgers 

  • What is the most likely client base? 
  • What services will they require? 
  • What types of cells should be distributed from a central resource? 



The BUSINESS of Biobanking 


9:45 Chairperson’s Remarks

Pedro Rondot Radío, Executive Director, Public National Oncologic Serum Biobank, University of Buenos Aires

9:50 DNA Sequencing and Non-Anonymous Donation: Navigating Informed Consent Issues and Unforeseen Consequences 

Lisa Dinhofer, Consultant, Koden Consulting Services, LLC 

Balancing the needs of medical research with utility, patient autonomy, confidentiality and informed consent, with respect to the advances of DNA sequencing and the desire for non-anonymous donation, is becoming increasingly challenging. This presentation will address the current standards for informed consent and the potential risks of unforeseen consequences associated with non-anonymous donation, giving particular emphasis to pediatric cases.  

10:20 Networking Coffee Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

Population and Specialized Biobanks 

11:00 The UF DBS-Brain Tissue Network

Vinata Vedam-Mai, Ph.D., Researcher, Neurosurgery, McKnight Brain Institute, University of Florida

The University of Florida Brain Tissue Network for DBS tissue was created with the idea to make available to researchers well collected, and catalogued samples for a variety of research purposes. We are striving to improve sample collection to include complete clinical data and include frozen tissue samples for molecular research purposes.

11:30 The Rewards and Perils of Biobanking in the Stem Cell Era: A Brave New World

Michael Sheldon, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor & Assistant Managing Director, RUDCR, Rutgers

The emergence of stem cell technologies, in particular methods to “reprogram” differentiated adult cells to a pluripotent state, has opened up important new vistas for basic as well as translational research. The biobanking community will play a central role in both of these, facilitating the widest possible dissemination of resources to researchers and the assurance of sample quality. This talk will focus on the key challenges of stem cell biobanking, including consent, tissue processing, reprogramming source cells to stem cells, and all-important quality control. We will also consider the business opportunities presented, such as the types of services that are offered and the diversity of clients.

12:00 pm Networking Lunch in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing


The SCIENCE of Biobanking 


9:45 Chairperson’s Remarks

Angen Liu, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Tissue Biorepository, Hollings Cancer Center, Medical University of South Carolina


9:50 Systematic Development of Cryopreservation Strategies for Natural and Artificial Tissues

Athanassios Sambanis, Ph.D., Professor, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology

Development of rigorous protocols for cryopreservation is critical, especially for three-dimensional tissues and ice-free cryopreservation (vitrification). We present guidelines on how one can measure important properties of the cells and tissues, including cryoprotectant (CPA) permeability through cell membranes, diffusivity through tissue matrix, and cytotoxicity towards cells. The development of protocols using these parameter values is then addressed. Examples discuss the application of conventional freezing and vitrification on natural and artificial tissues and their evaluation post-preservation in vitro and in vivo.

10:20 Networking Coffee Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

Enabling Technologies 

11:00 Integrating Laser Capture Microdissection and Tissue Biorepository for Cancer Research

Angen Liu, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Tissue Biorepository, Hollings Cancer Center, Medical University of South Carolina

An important need of many cancer research projects is the availability of high-quality, appropriately selected tissue. Tissue biorepositories provide investigators with an invaluable resource of appropriately examined and characterized tissue specimens and linked patient information for further use in fundamental and translational cancer research. Laser capture microdissection (LCM) is a state-of-the-art technology that provides the scientific community with a rapid and reliable method to isolate a homogeneous population of cells from heterogeneous tissue specimens. The combination of LCM and a tissue biorepository offers a comprehensive means by which researchers can utilize valuable human biospecimens and cutting-edge technology to facilitate basic, translational, and clinical research.

NuGen11:30 Timeless Treasures: Preserving the Present and Future Value of Biological Samples

Joe Don Heath, Ph.D., Vice President Global Technical Services, NuGEN Technologies

Conversion of valuable RNA samples to cDNA assures their long term stability for future molecular profiling studies in drug discovery and clinical research. We will describe an efficient and flexible archiving solution requiring low nanogram amounts of total RNA that preserves and extends RNA samples for future genomic analysis on a variety of platforms and applications.

12:00 pm Networking Lunch in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing



Closing Plenary Session 

1:30 Biopreservation Protocols Panel

All agree that biopreservation protocols can affect the biomarker (DNA, RNA, protein) of interest. However, there is no consensus. The Biopreservation Protocols Panel provides a forum to determine these effects and provide recommendations on the best protocols to preserve and store these precious biosamples. Join research scientists and managers of biobanks to start this critical dialogue.


Andrew Brooks, Ph.D., COO, RUCDR; Associate Professor, Genetics, Rutgers University 


Pedro Rondot Radío, Executive Director, Public National Oncologic Serum Biobank, University of Buenos Aires
Rao Mulpuri, Director, Center for Translational Research, CIRI, Catholic Health Initiatives
Zackery Riley, Manager, Tissue Procurement and Process Development, Allen Institute for Brain Science
Belynda D. Hicks, Director, Quality Management, Genetics and Genomics, Advanced Technology Program, SAIC-Frederick, Inc., National Cancer Institute at Frederick

Joe Don Heath, Ph.D., Vice President Global Technical Services, NuGEN Technologies



2:30 Networking Refreshment Break, Last Chance for Exhibit and Poster Viewing


Case Study: Biobanker/Biouser Partnerships 

This session brings together scientists who use biospecimens for research (“biousers”) with operation managers who collect, process, store, and distribute the biospecimens (“biobankers”). During a co-presentation, biobankers and biousers elaborate on the characteristics of their working partnership as they address the following issues:

  • How does the partnership work?
  • What are the bottlenecks?
  • What does each bring to the table?
  • What are the needs?
  • Ultimately, what are the scientific results?


Sponsored by
Perkins + Will
3:00 Case Study Co-Presentation

Martin Frey, Ph.D., Senior Product Manager Storage Technologies, HAMILTON Bonaduz AG

Mohammed Ali Al Jumah, Ph.D., Executive Director, King Abdullah International Medical Research Center National Guard Health Affairs, Saudi Arabia
Mark Rahe, AIA, CDT, LEED AP, Associate Principal, Science + Technology, Perkins+Will
Our architects will discuss advances in the design of biobank facilities relative to advances in equipment automation. The presentation will explore in depth their latest biobank facilities in Saudi Arabia. We will examine how facility design can better support a variety of research opportunities.

3:45 Case Study Co-Presentation: Future of Virtual Biobanking - Past isn't Prologue

David Carpentieri, M.D., Senior Principal Scientist, Pathology, Phoenix Children’s Hospital
Jungdae Kokotov, Delivery Manager, Biospecimen Practice, 5AM Solutions

5AM will describe how the state of Arizona designed a statewide virtual biospecimen repository, how we were able to evolve the solution to other arenas, and what we believe the future to be. David Carpentieri of Phoenix Children's will discuss the need for virtual biobanking, how Phoenix Children's plans to participate and discuss how this need is acutely felt in the rare disease world. The discussion is ideal for organizations interested in using the web to find and share tissue, creating biospecimen collaborations, and recovering the cost of tissue acquisition, storage and management

4:30 Case Study Co-Presentation: Selection and Characterization of Genomic DNA Reference Materials for Pharmacogenetic Testing

Victoria M. Pratt, Ph.D., Chief Director, Molecular Genetics, Quest Diagnostics Nichols Institute
Steven J. Madore, Ph.D., Director, Molecular Biology Laboratory, Coriell Institute for Medical Research

The Coriell Biobank contains one of the world’s most diverse collections of biospecimens and has provided genomic DNA for the Human Genome Project and the International HapMap Project. The Biobank houses several well-characterized DNA reference sets used by standard genetic testing laboratories. To meet the growth in pharmacogenetic testing the CDC-based Genetic Testing Reference Materials Coordination Program (GeT-RM), in association with the Association of Molecular Pathology (AMP) and Coriell, have partnered to generate a panel of genomic DNAs that can be used as reference materials in a variety of assay platforms used in pharmacogenetic testing laboratories.  These samples are publicly available and will be useful for quality assurance, proficiency testing, test development and research.

5:15 Conference Wrap-Up

5:30 Close of Conference


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