2015 Archived Content

Speaker Biographies

Sylvia L. Asa, M.D., Ph.D., Laboratory Medicine Program, University Health Network; Senior Scientist, Ontario Cancer Institute; Professor, Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology, University of Toronto

Dr. Sylvia Asa is Professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto and recently completed 15 years as the Pathologist-in-Chief and Medical Director of the Laboratory Medicine Program at the University Health Network. A Clinician-Scientist with a focus on Endocrine Pathology, her research aims to identify the basis for development of endocrine tumors, to improve diagnostic tests and to identify targets for therapy of those diseases. She has published more than 400 scientific articles, written four books, co-edited five books and written more than 100 book chapters. As head of the largest academic pathology department in Canada, Dr. Asa made innovative changes to the practice of the discipline, with emphasis on subspecialization, automation, biobanking, electronic initiatives and digital pathology.

Sassan M. Azad, Project Manager, Clinical, Translational & Biobanking Research Office, Toronto Lung Transplant Program, Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network

For the past 10 years, Sassan has been working as acting manager and Clinical Research Associate (CRA) in the division of Thoracic Surgery & Lung Transplantation at University Health Network (Toronto, Canada). Sassan’s duties and responsibilities include clinical trial management, database management and biobanking management all within the Toronto Lung Transplant Program. Sassan’s job as liaison/bridge is to act as a hub transitioning basic research (bench) to clinical applications (bedside) by providing the high-quality and accurate data and biospecimens to support current and future research proposals.

Amit Bar-Or, M.D., FRCPC, Professor, Neurology & Neurosurgery; Director, Experimental Therapeutics Program and Scientific Director, Clinical Research Unit, Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University

A neurologist and neuroimmunologist at the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI), McGill University, Dr. Bar-Or’s laboratory studies basic principles of immune-regulation, immune-neural interaction and neural-glial interaction, and roles in physiologic processes, inflammatory injury and repair in the human central nervous system. His clinical focus is MS and he is currently the President of the Canadian Consortium of MS Clinics. He also serves as Director, Experimental Therapeutics Program and Scientific Director, Clinical Research Unit at the MNI. Dr. Bar-Or coordinates a number of multicenter national and international translational research initiatives. An overarching theme is translation of basic lab discoveries towards development and understanding of novel experimental therapies and biomarkers for patients with autoimmune and neurological diseases. Dr. Bar-Or serves on the several journal editorial boards and serves on the scientific/advisory boards of the Guthy-Jackson Greater-Good Foundation (NMO research); the Accelerated Cure Project; the ACTRIMS, ISNI and FOCIS organizations; and as Speaker of the Scientific Advisory, German National MS/Neuroimmunology Kompetenz Network.  Following undergraduate work in biopsychology at McMaster University, Dr. Bar-Or received his medical degree cum laude from McGill University, then pursued Neurology residency and Fellowship training in Neuroimmunology at Harvard University where he also completed the Harvard/MIT Clinical Investigator Training Program (CITP).

Mary Kay Belota, MA, MT(ASCP)SBB, CQA(ASQ), Consultant, Consulting Services Division, AABB

Mary Kay Belota, Consultant, brings over 25 years’ experience in cellular therapy, blood center operations and transfusion medicine to AABB’s Consulting Services Division. With such diverse experience, she is well versed in accreditation and licensure requirements, to include FDA’s cGMP and cGTP. Building organizational capacity, Mary Kay integrates standards and regulations with workplace protocols to achieve patient-centered, quality-driven operations. Prior to joining AABB, Mary Kay was the technical supervisor with the St. Louis Cord Blood Bank in St. Louis, MO, serving as the manufacturing subject matter expert during their successful application for FDA licensure. As the laboratory director of the GMP Facility at Washington University in St. Louis, Mary Kay focused on the development of quality systems for this translational research program. She gained Director-level experience in blood center operations with the American Red Cross Missouri-Illinois Region, responsible for collections, manufacturing, donor testing and blood product inventory management. Mary Kay managed the transfusion service at St. Louis University Hospital, a tertiary care teaching facility. Mary Kay received her Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Technology from West Virginia University and is certified as a Specialist in Blood Banking by the American Society for Clinical Pathology. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a Master of Arts in Human Resources Management.

Marianna J. Bledsoe, MA, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Clinical Research and Leadership, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences; Co-Chair, Science Policy Committee, ISBER

Marianna is a science policy consultant and Adjunct Assistant Professor in both the Department of Pathology and the Department of Clinical Research and Leadership at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. She is also Deputy Editor for Biopreservation and Biobanking. Involved in biobanking for nearly 20 years, Marianna managed numerous biobanks at the National Cancer Institute and the Department of Veterans Affairs. As Deputy Associate Director of the Clinical Research Policy Analysis and Coordination Program in the Office of Science Policy, Office the Director, NIH, she helped develop biobanking policies nationally and internationally. These included the HHS Secretary’s Advisory Committee for Human Research Protections recommendations on specimen research, the Council of Europe Recommendations on Human Biological Materials(2006), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Guidelines on Human Biobanks and Genetic Research Databases, the NCI Best Practices for Human Specimen Resources and International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) 2012 Best Practices for Repositories. Marianna was ISBER President 2007. She serves on their Board of Directors and co-chairs the ISBER Science Policy Committee. She received the 2012 ISBER Distinguished Leadership and Service Award, and the 2013 ISBER Special Act or Service Award.

Dawn E. Bowles, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery, Division of Surgical Sciences and Co-Director, Duke Human Heart Repository

Dawn E. Bowles, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery, Division of Surgical Sciences, and Co-Director of the Duke Human Heart Repository. Her research is focused on discovery, testing and translation of novel therapeutic modalities for cardiac injury and end-stage heart failure. With Dr. Carmelo Milano, M.D., Dr. Bowles has developed a cardiac transplantation biorepository that is heavily integrated into their research on improving cardiac transplant outcomes.

Beth Bradford, Client Support Project Manager, BioProcessing Solutions Alliance (BSA)

As Client Support Project Manager of the BioProcessing Solutions Alliance, Beth Bradford serves as a lead manager of client projects and is responsible for ensuring client requirements, on-time deliverables and customer satisfaction. After years of client relationship management, she is recognized as a subject matter expert in establishing a client governance structure while utilizing project management tools and best practices to ensure overall success of client programs. With a strong background in the FDA-regulated biopharmaceutical industries, Bradford has developed a deep appreciation for high ethical standards, product integrity and process compliance. She possesses extensive experience with project execution in fast-paced, contracted services environments through identification of key performance metrics and process improvement initiatives. Bradford earned an MBA from Washington University, St. Louis, and has a BA in Chemistry from Indiana University, Bloomington.

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

Dr. Brooks is the Chief Operating Officer of RUCDR Infinite Biologics and Director of the Bionomics Research and Technology Center at Rutgers University. He is also one of the founding members of the Bioprocessing Solutions Alliance. Dr. Brooks is a molecular neuroscientist whose research focuses on deciphering the molecular mechanisms that underlie memory and learning. Dr. Brooks is a well-recognized genomicist and has been involved in the development and implementation of cutting-edge molecular-based technologies for nucleic acid and protein analyses.

Rex L. Chisholm, Ph.D., Vice Dean, Scientific Affairs and Graduate Education; Adam and Richard T. Lind Professor, Medical Genetics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Chisholm is the Adam and Richard T. Lind Professor of Medical Genetics in the Feinberg School of Medicine and professor of Cell and Molecular Biology and Surgery. He was the founding Director of the Center for Genetic Medicine. Since 2007 he has served as Vice Dean for Scientific Affairs in the Feinberg School. In October 2012 he was also appointed Associate Vice President for Research of Northwestern University. A faculty member at Northwestern University since 1984, Chisholm is author of over 100 scientific publications. His research focuses on genomics and bioinformatics. Chisholm leads a major DNA biobanking effort at Northwestern University, NUgene (www.nugene.org). NUgene enrolls research participants in a study focused on investigating the genetic contributions to human disease, therapeutic outcomes and gene-environment interactions. NUgene is a participant in the NHGRI-funded eMERGE network (www.gwas.net) – a network of electronic medical record (EHR) linked biobanks. The goal of his current eMERGE network project is to establish a program for genomics-informed personalized medicine in partnership with Northwestern’s health care affiliates. He is Principal Investigator of dictyBase (www.dictyBase.org), the NIH-funded genome database for the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium and is an NHGRI-funded member of the gene Ontology Consortium (www.geneontology.org). His research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association and the Department of Defense.

Rajiv Dhir, M.D., MBA, Chief, Pathology, Shadyside Hospital, University of Pittsburgh Health Systems

Rajiv Dhir, M.D., MBA, is a practicing pathologist and currently serves as the Chief of Pathology at Shadyside Hospital, one of the flagship hospitals of the University of Pittsburgh. He is a board-certified pathologist with subspecialty fellowship training in Genitourinary pathology. He has served as the director of the GU center of excellence at the University of Pittsburgh for the past nine years. Dr. Dhir’s interests include the molecular changes in bladder, renal and prostate carcinogenesis. He has been involved in numerous clinical, basic and translational projects focused on GU diseases and has been a recipient of NIH/NCI grants in this area. His major focus of interest is the identification and validation of novel targets for diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic use. Dr. Dhir has been the Medical Director of the Health Sciences Tissue Bank of the University of Pittsburgh since 1997. He oversees the tissue and biological specimen collection at the four flagship hospitals of the University of Pittsburgh Health Systems. This Tissue Resource has developed into a large resource for basic and translational research at the University of Pittsburgh as well collaborative research with investigators outside the University of Pittsburgh. This facility is a designated core facility for the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and supports many institutional, national and international initiatives. The University of Pittsburgh was one of the largest contributors to the TCGA effort. Dr. Dhir was also one of the participants in the RAND report on Tissue Banking and has been an invited member of the Marble Arch group, an international consortium of Tissue Bankers. He has published 10 book chapters, has over 145 peer-reviewed publications and has over 100 published abstracts.

Heidi Elmoazzen, Ph.D., Director, National Public Cord Blood Bank

Dr. Heidi Elmoazzen currently works at Canadian Blood Services where she is the Director of the National Public Cord Blood Bank. She is responsible for leading the Cord Blood Project Team in the establishment and successful national implementation of the National Public Cord Blood Bank. Dr. Elmoazzen obtained her Ph.D. in Medical Sciences from the University of Alberta with a concentration in cryobiology. She then went on to do a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, USA. Following her fellowship, in 2010, she became an instructor at Harvard Medical School and an Assistant in Bioengineering in the Department of Surgery and Obstetrics and Gynecology. Her area of research was focused on fertility preservation and developing novel biopreservation techniques for stem cells and reproductive cells. Her main areas of expertise and experience include bio-preservation, stem cell banking and translational medicine. She has published two book chapters on stem cell preservation as well as over 20 journal papers. She has over 70 contributed and invited presentations at various national and international meetings.

Neil Fleshner, M.D., MPH, FRCSC, Chair, Urology, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto; Head, Urology, University Health Network; Director, GU BioBank, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

Dr. Fleshner is Chair of Urology at the University of Toronto as well as Chief of Urology at the University Health Network. He has achieved an international reputation as a talented cancer researcher who has made significant contributions in the field of urologic oncology. His current research priorities include translational, clinical and health services research and he has published over 250 articles in these areas. Dr. Fleshner conceptualized, developed and continues to oversee a highly successful uro-oncology BioBank that is a central resource for research discovery in proteomics and genomics with the goal of personalizing medicine and ultimately improving outcome for GU oncology patients. He has also played a major role in the establishment of a Canadian research network to foster biologic research across the country from coast to coast.

Gord Glendon, MSc, Research Project Director, Ontario Familial Breast Cancer Registry, Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, Princess Margaret Hospital, University Health Network 

Mr. Glendon has an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Genetics from the University of Western Ontario and a Master’s in Genetic Counselling from McGill University. He has worked in the field of familial predisposition to cancer for over 20 years. His time has been spent in both the clinical and research realms, initially as a genetic counsellor and more recently as the Research Project Director of the Ontario Familial Breast Cancer Registry. His research interest lies in the impact of the presence of cancer upon families and the clinical application of evolving genetic technology. In the last five years he has been co-author on over 50 publications regarding genetic predisposition to breast cancer.

Nickolas Greer, CSO, Rissali LLC 

Nickolas Greer is a CSO of Rissali – a biopreservation company based in Missouri, USA. His research is focused on developing novel methods for cryopreservation of live cells and tissues, including the innovative approach for freezing under pressure recently published in Cryobiology journal. Mr. Greer holds degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Biology.

Aaron Hansen, BSc, MBBS (Hons), FRACP, Medical Oncologist, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

Dr. Aaron Hansen is a medical oncologist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and he is an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto. His research interests include clinical genomics and experimental therapeutics. As a clinician investigator he has developed several studies under the flagship Clinical Genomics Program at the Princess Margaret involving next-generation sequencing of archived samples, in addition to fresh tissue, cytology and blood specimens to identify actionable somatic mutations that may select patients for treatment on early phase clinical trials. Some of his work has also included evaluating tumor heterogeneity in the clinic and he has more recently expanded his translational interests to include immune profiling on archived tissue samples. Dr. Hansen is currently involved in developing several immune therapies on phase I trials and he is part of the newly formed immune-oncology program at Princess Margaret.

Marianne K. Henderson, MS, CPC, Chief, Division of Cancer Epidemiology & Genetics, Office of Division Operations and Analysis and the Center for Global Health, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health; Chair, Organizing Advisory Committee, ISBER

Ms. Henderson is the Chief, Office of Division Operations and Analysis in the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics of the U.S. National Cancer Institute. She also lends her expertise as an advisor to the NCI Center for Global Health for biobanking. She trained in Zoology and Marine Ecology at the University of Maryland, College Park. She has postgraduate training in molecular biology and genetics. In her role in DCEG, she is responsible and involved in program operations, project and contract management, fiscal and scientific reporting; strategic planning; technology transfer; development and oversight of computing contract management; and laboratory/biorepository infrastructure planning for large-scale molecular epidemiology studies for the Division. She is a founding member of the NCI Biospecimen Coordinating Committee established by the NCI Biorepositories and Biospecimen Research Branch (BBRB) (née OBBR) and participated in the development and revision of the first and second editions of NCI’s Best Practices for Biospecimen Resources. Since 1999, she has been a member of the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) and served as ISBER President 2011-2012. Marianne is currently the Chair of the ISBER Organizing Advisory Committee. She is also a member of the BBMRI-LPC SEAB and BBMRI.se Advisory Boards; member of the U.S. Interagency Working Group on Scientific Collections; Steering committee member of the International Agency on Cancer’s LMIC Biobank and Cohort Network (BCNet); and the U.S.-France Working Group on Large Scale Infrastructure for Life Sciences. Ms. Henderson is actively involved in human biospecimen management process improvements in processing, handling, technology transfer and repository automation.

Galen Hostetter, M.D., Associate Director, Pathology Core, Van Andel Research Institute

Galen is a research pathologist at the Van Andel Institute with >15 years’ experience in research applications with human pathology and cancer focus on analyte validation on tissue specimens, including paraffin tissue adaptation. His work is highly collaborative and incorporates sophisticated technologies that include microarray and NGS experiments as well as multiplexed tissue-based assays. Tissue microarray (TMA) technology, a proven high-value and low-tech tool in translational cancer research, was validated by Dr. Hostetter and his colleagues as an NIH fellow in the Kallioniemi/Trent lab in the late 1990’s. The design and use of TMAs remains an integral function in assay optimization of novel biomarkers in Dr. Hostetter’s laboratory. More recently, contributions to the Program for Biospecimen Science at VARI include design of animal-based studies to assess pre-analytic variables and effect on RNA integrity by multimodality platforms including whole transcriptome RNA-seq.

Anthony M. Joshua, MBBS, Ph.D., Staff Oncologist/Affiliate Scientist, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

Dr. Anthony Joshua completed his medical oncology training at the Royal Prince Alfred hospital in Sydney, Australia before moving to Toronto to complete a Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr. Jeremy Squire in prostatic carcinogenesis. He has since joined the Department of Medical Oncology at Princess Margaret Hospital, specialising in genito-urinary malignancy and melanoma. He is currently an Assistant Professor with the University of Toronto and a clinician-scientist at the University Health Network. His research interests include (I) Understanding Phenotype to Genotype correlations and as such he co-leads the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre Rapid Autopsy Program and the Exceptional responders Program, (II) the unfolded protein response (working with Dr. Brad Wouters), (III) autophagy in prostate cancer, (IV) mechanisms of enzalutamide resistance in prostate cancer immunotherapy and (IV) translational research in GU and melanoma. He has currently published over 50 articles in his areas of interest to date.

Devon D. Kelly, Director, OHSU Knight BioLibrary, Oregon Health & Science University, Knight Cancer Institute

Devon Kelly is the Director of the OHSU Knight BioLibrary at the Oregon Health and Science University. She earned her BA in Zoology from the George Washington University, and an MSc in Forensic Science, from the University of New Haven. Devon is a molecular biologist by training with over 15 years’ experience in specimen repository management, 10 years within pharmacogenetics research and five years in basic research. Currently Devon is responsible for oversight of tissue collections and related regulatory affairs, standardizing oncology sample and data repository practices, and in developing strategies that allow value creation of the Knight BioLibrary. Devon is a member of the International Society of Biological and Environmental Repositories, and has gained accreditation of her biobank from the College of American Pathologists.

Jonathan Y.H. Loh, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore, A*STAR Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology

Jonathan Y.H. Loh, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor at the National University of Singapore. His research is focused on identification of novel mechanisms and development of innovative technologies in cell fate transformation. Recently his lab pioneered the use blood cells for defined factor somatic cell reprogramming. This technique greatly facilitates the development of global iPSCs biobanking.

Koren Mann, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Oncology, Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, McGill University

Dr. Koren K. Mann is an Assistant Professor of Oncology at McGill University and an Investigator at the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research. As part of the Lymphoma Translational Research Group, she performs correlative studies in the context of clinical trials in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Her lab is interested in the molecular basis of drug resistance and overcoming this with targeted novel therapies. In addition, her lab has an interest in the environmental toxicology of metals, including arsenic and tungsten.

Veronique Neumeister, M.D., Laboratory Director, Specialized Translational Services Lab, Department of Pathology, Yale University School of Medicine

Veronique Neumeister is the Laboratory Director of the Specialized Translational Services Lab at Yale University, School of Medicine, Department of Pathology. She completed Medical School at the University of Vienna, Austria, followed by a Surgery Residency in Vienna, Austria. At Yale since 2007, Veronique has been involved in breast cancer and biospecimen research with a focus on automated quantitative in situ biomarker analyses and its application. The Specialized Translational Services Lab (STSL) has been part of the Yale Pathology Tissue Services (YPTS) since 2013. This lab is a CLIA-certified institution offering services to academic and non-academic entities. Veronique focuses on in situ assessment and quantification of proteins and non-coding RNAs, on standardization of optimal tissue processing and development of new companion diagnostic tests.

Annmarie Nowak, Coordinator & Director, Data Bank and Biorepository, Biobanking Systems Integration Cancer Prevention and Population Science, Roswell Park Cancer Institute

Annmarie Nowak is the Coordinator and Director of Biobanking Systems Integration for the Data Bank and BioRepository at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York. She works with other RPCI biobanks and the clinical investigators to coordinate, manage and execute requests for biospecimens and data. A Systems Analyst with a focus on Information Technology in Cancer Research, she was lead analyst on the design and implementation of the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) in the DBBR and other core resources. She has over 20 years of experience in laboratory technology, data management, application design, data processing and reporting. Her qualifications are based upon a unique background in Medical Technology, Programming and Biology.

Jeffrey Otto, MBA, Ph.D., National Director, Center for Translational Research, Institute for Research and Innovation, Catholic Health Initiatives

Dr. Otto is the National Director of Catholic Health Initiatives Center for Translational Research - an organization that he has led since its inception in 2009. Prior to CHI, he has held leadership roles at Perlegen, Sequenom and Genaisance Pharmaceuticals. He has a Ph.D. in biology from Marquette University and an MBA from NYIT.

Michael H. A. Roehrl, M.D., Ph.D., Director, UHN Program in BioSpecimen Sciences, University Health Network and University of Toronto 

Dr. Roehrl is Director of the BioSpecimen Sciences Program (BSP) at University Health Network in Toronto. He is a practicing academic physician-scientist who is dually board-certified in both anatomic pathology and laboratory medicine. In addition, he is a Principal Investigator at the Ontario Cancer Institute, where he studies novel genomic and proteomic biomarkers of colorectal and pancreatic cancers using a variety of biophysical (mass spectrometric) and bioinformatics approaches. Dr. Roehrl’s BSP is one of the largest academic programs of its kind in North America and has pioneered a number of research specimen data management tools as well as rapid intraoperative procurement and unique rapid research autopsy program.

Sherilyn J. Sawyer, Ph.D., Scientific Director, BWH/Harvard Cohorts Biorepository, Channing Division of Network Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Dr. Sherilyn Sawyer is the Director of the Cohorts Biorepository at the Channing Division of Network Medicine, which contains approximately 3 million biospecimens representing the Nurses’ Health Study, Health Professionals Follow Up Study and Growing Up Today cohorts, among others. Prior to joining the BWH team in 2012, Dr. Sawyer was a Health Science Administrator with the Office of Biorepositories and Biospecimen Research at the National Cancer Institute. Her responsibilities included a major role in the design and implementation of the caHUB program and technical oversight of caHUB central operations. In addition, Dr. Sawyer served as the co-director of Biospecimen Acquisitions for the Genotype Tissue Expression (GTEx) Roadmap Initiative. Dr. Sawyer is a molecular biologist with expertise in cell signaling and regulation of RNA expression. She earned her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Biochemistry from Boston University and a BS in Molecular Biology from the University of Nevada-Reno.

Brent Schacter, M.D., FRCPC, Principal Investigator, CTRNet; Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Hematology/Oncology, College of Medicine, University of Manitoba/CancerCare Manitoba; President-Elect, ISBER

Dr. Schacter is the President-Elect of ISBER (International Society for Biological and Environmental Biorepositories), a Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine of the University of Manitoba and member of the Department of Medical Oncology and Hematology at CancerCare Manitoba. From 1993 to 2003 he was President and CEO of CancerCare Manitoba. He then became CEO of the Canadian Association of Provincial Cancer Agencies (CAPCA) from 2003 until 2008. He was a member and then Co-Chair of the Steering Committee of the Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control (CSCC) from 1999 to 2002 and Co-Vice Chair of the Council for the CSCC from 2004 to 2006. He is the Principal Investigator on the Canadian Tissue Repository Network (CTRNet, www.ctrnet.ca) Program Grant from CIHR-ICR, which has launched the Canadian Tumour Biobank Certification Program and which has received $ 6.3 million in funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research-Institute of Cancer Research since 2004. Dr. Schacter is currently the Co-Chair of the Canadian Task Force on AYA (Adolescents and Young Adults) Oncology.

Christina Schröder, Ph.D, Head, Metabiobanks CRIP, Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology

Christina Schröder is head of the group Metabiobanks CRIP at the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology, Branch Bioanalytics and Bioprocesses (IZI-BB) in Potsdam, Germany. Serving Fraunhofer since 2007, she has coordinated the Central Research Infrastructure for molecular Pathology (CRIP). Meanwhile, her group has developed further metabiobanks, including the “Projektportal im Deutschen Biobanken-Register” (P2B2) as a pilot for the German BBMRI node, and – most recently – the virtual biobank “DPKK-Biobank” for the German Prostate Cancer Consortium. Dr. Schröder is a Councilor of the European, Middle Asian and African Society for Biopreservation and Biobanking (ESBB), and an expert registered with the German Institute of Standardization (DIN) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

Teresa Selander, Manager, Biospecimen Repository and Processing Laboratory, Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital

Teresa has been helping investigators obtain accurate, well-annotated and high-quality biospecimens for their research needs since 1998. She has been involved in the customized processing, storage and distribution of biospecimens for over 20 different research studies that range in both the number of samples and in complexity.

Dana Spence, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, Michigan State University

Dr. Spence received his BS degree in chemistry from Grand Valley State University in Allendale, MI in 1992 and his Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from Michigan State University in 1997. He has been on the chemistry department faculty at Saint Louis University (1997-2004) and Wayne State University (2004-2007). Currently, he is a Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Cell and Molecular Biology at Michigan State University. Dr. Spence’s group, consisting of chemistry and biochemistry Ph.D. candidates, is interested in the development of biotechnological tools to facilitate understanding of the role of the red blood cell in the life sciences. Current efforts focus on revitalizing C-peptide as a replacement therapeutic for diabetes, investigating the unique metabolism of red cells obtained from people with multiple sclerosis, and improving red cells for use in transfusion medicine.

K. Stephen Suh, Ph.D., Director, Genomics and Biomarkers Program, John Theurer Cancer Center, Hackensack University Medical Center

As scientific director of the Tissue Bank, K. Stephen Suh, Ph.D., manages The Cancer Center’s Tissue Repository and the Genomics and Biomarkers Program for multiple human cancer types. Dr. Suh’s laboratory focuses on personalized medicine topics, including population screening diagnostics, biomarkers-driven patient selection and precision drugs for optimal clinical outcome and reducing healthcare costs. Dr. Suh has been conducting research in molecular and cell biology, animal modeling/translational science, biobanking and clinical science for over 25 years.

Daniel B. Thiel, Public Health Researcher, Health Services Organization and Policy, University of Michigan School of Public Health

Daniel Thiel (MA, Philosophy Stony Brook University; Doctoral Student, Health Management and Policy, University of Michigan) is a doctoral student broadly interested in the ethical, legal, social and policy implications of genomics and the introduction of genomics into public health, clinical medicine and clinical research. Over the past five years, as Assistant Director of the Life Sciences and Society Program (UM, School of Public Health), Mr. Thiel has worked with an interdisciplinary team of researchers to explore issues of community engagement, informed consent and public preferences regarding biobanking in the state of Michigan. The work presented here is made possible by support from NIH grants (5RC1HG005439 and R01-HD-067264) and the University of Michigan.

Suzanne Vercauteren, M.D., Ph.D., FRCPC, Head, Division of Hematopathology, BC Children’s Hospital and Clinical Assistant Professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia

Suzanne Vercauteren is the Head of the Division of Hematopathology at BC Children’s Hospital and is Director of the BC Children’s Hospital BioBank. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of British Columbia. Suzanne is also on the board of the management committee of the Canadian Tumour Repository Network.

Kerry R. Wiles, Program Director, Cooperative Human Tissue Network and Vanderbilt University Medical Center Tissue Repository, Vanderbilt University

Kerry Wiles is the Director for the Cooperative Human Tissue Network (CHTN) Western Division at Vanderbilt University Medical Center under the direction of Mary Kay Washington, M.D., Ph.D. Ms. Wiles received her BS degree from Pittsburgh State University (Kansas) and has completed 20 hours towards an MS degree with an emphasis on genetics-molecular biology and microbiology. She has over 15 years of “wet bench” research experience in genetic mapping, association studies, tissue culture, MALDI-TOF /SNP genotyping and analysis, sequencing, microsatellite library creation and robotics and over 20 years’ experience as a project and laboratory manager. Ms. Wiles began her scientific career at the University of Iowa working on genetic mapping of chromosome X and 4 and association studies of BFLS and FSH. Ms. Wiles also studied the role of Beta defensins in normal human lung, diseased lung (cystic fibrosis) and skin using animal models. Ms. Wiles continued her scientific career at the National Institutes of Health under the direction of Dr. Francis Collins, National Human Genome Research Institute-NHGRI (FUSION) and was involved in NIDDM research using a large Finnish cohort. In 2002, Ms. Wiles was recruited by Dr. Washington to be the project manager/coordinator of CHTN Western Division at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Ms. Wiles is a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and has over seven years’ experience in Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma.