Biobanks are valuable assets for leading-edge medical and environmental research. Against this background, representatives from international biobank communities are assembling at ISBER’s Annual Meeting & Exhibits conference from 5 to 8 April 2016 in Berlin – with the aim of transferring knowledge and exploring the latest biobanking ideas and developments. By international comparison, German initiatives have made significant progress in recent years. During the session on 5 April, National Biobanking Day in Germany, leading experts from the nation will present the insights gained in medical biobanking.
Biobanking in Germany is largely funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), and is a key resource for medical and epidemiological research in the country. On this National Biobanking Day, Peter Schirmacher from Heidelberg University Hospital and other speakers will be presenting the German Centres for Health Research’s (DZG) biobanking activities, and emphasising their contribution to our understanding of common diseases.
In particular, biobanks are an important foundation for cancer research, as tissue samples provide a wealth of information and meaningful results, for example for studying tumours. Additionally, guest speaker Helen Moore from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the USA will highlight how research can best embrace evidence-based biobanking – to ensure high-quality samples, and as a result, high-quality research.
ISBER Annual Meeting & Exhibits as a platform for international exchange
The international ISBER Annual Meeting & Exhibits promotes the exchange of knowledge and experience among academic experts and between the industry and users. This year’s programme emphasises the value of biobanks for public and environmental health. Correspondingly, Cathy Roth (WHO) will explain in her keynote address how biobanks can be leveraged to prepare for public health crises. Additional presentations will offer a glimpse into European population-based biobank projects and the German Environmental Specimen Bank.
ISBER’s 2016 conference is being staged on the European continent for just the second time. It chose to collaborate with TMF as its local host organisation. “TMF is a strong partner in biobanking in Germany, and has the same common values as ISBER in harmonisation and evidenced-based biobanking practices. As such, they were a natural partner in Europe to team with us for our 2016 Annual Meeting,” explained Jim Vaught, the president of ISBER, in advance of the event.
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