Last week, CryoXtract presented two posters at the 2015 annual meeting of the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) in Phoenix, AZ. The meeting’s theme, “Connecting Biobank Communities through Innovations in Global Health, Research and Environmental Preservation,” featured symposia on topics ranging from biobanking informatics and infrastructure to community engagement.
Joseph Fraone of CryoXtract will be presenting two posters on Wednesday, May 6th, 2015, at 4:30pm PST during ISBER’s Annual Meeting at the Sheraton in downtown Phoenix, AZ. Both posters reflect the importance of frozen aliquotting technology for maintaining valuable sample integrity in research applications.
By Andy Zaayenga, International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) President, 2014-2015
Can any biobanking operation be successful unless it has a clear understanding of what it is storing and distributing, and why? The “what” and “why” is fundamentally linked to the nature of the research being performed for any given biospecimen. For example, a researcher involved in gene expression profiling is likely to be performing quantitative PCR (qPCR) on messenger RNA (mRNA). The quality of the qPCR data and accuracy of the gene expression profile is directly tied to the functional integrity of the RNA contained in the biospecimen being utilized. In this case, the biobank is, in reality, storing and distributing RNA of a known quality (the what) suitable for gene expression profiling via qPCR (the why).
Some biobanks are able to establish a high degree of control across the various stages of a biospecimen’s life cycle (i.e. collection, processing, aliquotting, storage and distribution), and therefore can exercise a good deal of control over the what they are storing and why. For example, Dr. Joël Doré, Vice Head of MICALIS Institute and Scientific Director of MetaGenoPolis, INRA, Jouy-en-Josas – France, recently discussed at ISBER 2014 their SAMBO platform for the management of intestinal samples.
The following are indexed audio files of the full interview between Larry Chin, Vice President of Business Development at CryoXtract, and Dee McGarvey, Director, CHTN Eastern Division, University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Joël Doré, Ph.D, Vice head of MICALIS Institute and Scientific Director of MetaGenoPolis, INRA, Jouy-en-Josas – France and Dr. Sarah Burl, Scientific Communications Officer of TTP Labtech, Cambridge, UK presented at the CryoXtract-TTP Labtech workshop titled “Managing the Past for the Future” at ISBER 2014 in Orlando, FL.
Dr. Doré presented a fascinating talk on the latest advancements in Gut Microbiome research and the accomplishments of the MetaGenoPolis throughout Europe.
The biobanking industry needs to address growing information technology demands in order to be able to execute on best practices for research now and in the future, said Dee McGarvey, Director, CHTN Eastern Division, University of Pennsylvania, in an interview.
Biobank databases, for example, need to be comprehensive enough to hold large amounts of information and at the same time provide flexibility so that they can connect with a variety of complementary information systems. As the systems are designed and implemented, of primary concern is ensuring security since Patient Health Information (PHI) is involved.
“That’s probably one of the biggest issues that biobanks are working with right now,” McGarvey said. "How do you manage to keep the databases open so we can use them and access them and they can interact with all the other systems? How can we work within this framework and at the same time, maintain the security?”
The following are audio files of the full interview conducted by Larry Chin, Vice President of Business Development at CryoXtract, with Andy Zaayenga, Managing Director of SmarterLab and President-Elect of ISBER, 2014-2015. You can also read the full transcript below.
Challenges Facing the Biobanking Industry:
In a recent interview with CryoXtract’s Larry Chin, Andy Zaayenga, Managing Director of SmarterLab and incoming President of ISBER, discusses the top three challenges facing the biobanking industry today. He cites problems with sample utilization and acceptance of biobanks by the general population as key concerns. Both of these relate to the third problem of biobanks operating alone in silos. Without solid systems of communication and standardization of infrastructure and procedures, improving sample utilization and the public perception of the industry is difficult. ISBER is one organization working towards addressing these issues through initiatives such as its upcoming biorepository locator.
Needs of the Biobanking Industry:
Andy Zaayenga continues his discussion of the top three gaps and unmet needs of biobanks by arguing for improved quality assurance and control in order to preserve sample suitability for research. He again calls for standardization and harmonization of quality assurance procedures, data structures, and annotation of samples to increase accessibility and cross-utilization of samples. Finally, he highlights ISBER's published best practices and self-assessment tools as key answers to another major gap in the industry.