Tuesday 29th September


"Coordination of
Biobanking in the UK

The BBMRI-UK Kick-Off Meeting, organised by the UKCRC Tissue Directory and Coordination Centre

UK in Europe

Click here to download the full programme for this satellite meeting.


Wednesday 30th September

08:00. Registration

09:00. Opening Speeches

Hans-Peter Deigner, ESBB President, Professor, Furtwangen University, Fraunhofer IZI, Germany

Robin Grimes, Chief Scientist, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, UK Government

Caroline Smith, Head of Collections, Earth Sciences, Natural History Museum, London, UK

09:30. Session 1.

Keynote plenary

Co-Chairs: Jackie Mackenzie-Dodds and Dr Caroline Smith
Hilde Schroeven-Deceuninck, European Space Agency (ESA), Harwell, UK. Astrobiology sample return and terrestrial biorepositories: how far does the synergy go?

10:15. Refreshments

10:45. Session 2A.

Nature & society

Co-Chairs: Aidan Emery, Jackie Mackenzie-Dodds


Andreas Fath, Furtwangen University, Germany. Human effects on water quality in the river Rhine (more info).

Julie Russell, Public Health England, Colindale, UK. The NCTC 3000 Project (more info).

Steve Kemp, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Nairobi, Kenya. Building a robust repository of tropical livestock variation

Graham Stone, Institute of Evolutionary Biology, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. Building a UK pollinator archive.

Veerapong Malai, BEDO, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Thailand. Biodiversity : From Bio-resourses to Business : Sustaining Thailand

10:45. Session 2B.

Educating the workforce

Co-Chairs: Emmanuelle Gormally and Alice Matimba


Markus Pasterk, BBMRI-ERIC, Graz, Austria. Education & Training for Research Infrastructures– strategy and implementation

Cheryl Gillett, King's College, London, UK. Reflections on establishing a masters degree in research biobanking

Alice Matimba, University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe. Biobanking education - strengthening capacity for biomedical research and clinical applications in Africa.

Gunnel Tybring, Karolinska Inst, Sweden. Biobanks as a resource for biomedical research; a post graduate course at Karolinska Institutet for better use of biobank samples.

Giuseppina Bonizzi, IEO Biobank and Biomolecular Resource Infrastructure (IBBRI), Milan, Italy. A trust-based pact in research biobanks. From theory to practice: to the education.

12:30. Lunch

14:00. Session 3A.

Interdisciplinary cryobiology for culture collections, biobanks and genebanks.

Co-Chairs: Erica Benson and Keith Harding

Barry Fuller, UCL Medical School, London, UK. Biopreservation strategies : tales of ice floes, dry deserts and where the water goes to stop biological time.

Jiri Zamecnik, Crop Research Institute, Prague, The Czech Republic. Analytical aspects of plant cryopreservation: thermal analysis and its importance for long-term stability of stored samples.

Thomas Leya, Fraunhofer IZI-BB, Potsdam-Golm, Germany. The culture collection of cryophilic algae (CCCryo): a biobank connecting field work with industrial photobioreactors.

Matt Ryan, CABI, Egham, Surrey, UK. Development of cryopreservation methods for the long- term storage of CABI’s microbial collection.

Badara Gueye, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Nigeria. Plant genetic resource conservation and use at IITA.

14:00. Session 3B.

Archival DNA: bringing dead collections to life.

Co-Chairs: Jackie Mackenzie-Dodds and Peter Riegman

archival dna

Uwe Oelmueller, QIAGEN, Hilden, Germany. Standardized improved pre-analytical workflows: the bridge to valid and reliable analytical test results.

Ian Barnes, Natural History Museum, London. The Recovery of DNA from Archaeological Human Remains.

Greger Larson, Wellcome Trust Palaeogenomics & Bio-Archaeology Research Network (Palaeo-BARN), Oxford, UK. Understanding the evolution, phylogeography and domestication of pigs using genetic and morphometric approaches.

Tim Fulcher, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK. GGBN: a global network of collections of genomic tissue samples from across the Tree of Life.

Robin Allaby, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK. Archaeogenomics and the evolution of plants under domestication.

15:45. Refreshments

16:15. Poster discussion session

Presenters stand beside their posters during specified 30 minute periods.

18:00. Annual General Meeting (members-only)

19:00. Cocktail reception


Programme Grid Diagram


Thursday 1st October

08:30. Session 4A.

Big Data: Volume, Velocity and Variety

Co-Chairs: Chris Tomlinson and Devarajan Sriraman

big data

Christina Schroeder, Fraunhofer IZI-BB, Potsdam-Golm, Germany. From metabiobanks to translational research platforms: integrating Big Data through CRIP tools.

Jim Dowling, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. Managing Big Genomic Data with BiobankCloud

Steve Kelly, AstraZeneca, UK. AstraZeneca Biobank Application (ABBA): Increasing the utility of human biological samples through standardised characterisation data

Chao Pang, University of Groningen, The Netherlands. BiobankConnect – a software to rapidly connect data elements for pooled analysis across biobanks using ontological and lexical indexing

08:30. Session 4B. Interactive Session

Form vs function, museums vs biobanks: a collections debate

Chair: Aidan Emery

interactive session


  • Sarah Long, NHM Registrar
  • Alan Paton, Head of Science, Kew
  • John Dickie, Collections, Kew
  • Carina Phillips, Curator, Wellcome Museum of Anatomy and Pathology
  • Richard Sabin, Head of Vertebrates, NHM

Biobank samples are often used destructively as a means to a particular end, whereas for museums, the physical form and integrity of specimens are paramount. In fact, these two positions are points on a philosophical continuum where we have to make value judgments on how access to material is granted and how we comply with externally imposed regulation. Your co-host for the meeting, London’s Natural History Museum (NHM), is a repository of around 80 million hugely diverse specimens. Come and hear the problems we face maintaining a collection including items of both individually priceless and individually negligible intrinsic value within a unified management system. With senior museum collections and joining in, this is a chance to compare the challenges faced by the museum and medical sectors, with fascinating behind the scenes insights from both perspectives, including what happens when things go wrong. We will be encouraging debate in this session, and asking for your feedback through voting buttons. Our NHM team will be delighted to welcome you, and we are very interested in your expert opinions.

10:00. Refreshments

10:30. Session 5A.

Ethical issues in access to and use of biological and genetic resources

Co-Chairs: Laura Kuijpers and Rosita Kammler


Edward Dove, Univ. of Edinburgh, UK. Towards a culture of sharing: the Global Alliance's framework for responsible sharing of genomic and health-related data and the International Charter of Principles for Sharing Bio-Specimens and Data.

Alison Hall, PHG Foundation, Cambridge, UK. Emerging ethical and legal challenges for biobanks: the impact of genomics.

Safia Mahomed, Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa. Managing human tissue transfer across national boundaries.

Astrid Lobo Gajiwala, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, India. Ethical Issues with Banked Tissues for Research and Transplantation Purposes.

Chris Lyal, Natural History Museum, London. Provider Country rights over genetic resources – managing risks and improving institutional profile under the Nagoya Protocol.

10:30. Session 5B.

Chernobyl Tumour Bank

Co-Chairs: Gerry Thomas and Angela Galpine

Gerry Thomas, Imperial College, London, UK. Overview and introduction.

Tania Bogdanova, Institute of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Kiev, Ukraine. Turning a disaster to an opportunity - the CTB in Ukraine

Sarah Butcher, Centre for Integrative Systems Biology and Bioinformatics, Imperial College, London, UK. Bioinformatic challenges to data enrichment of samples

Mark van de Wiel, VU University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Systems biology approches to radiation induced thyroid cancer.

Meredith Yeager, National Cancer Insitute, Bethesda, MD, USA. The plan for comprehensive genomic characterization of radiation-related thyroid cancer in the Ukraine

12:15. Lunch

13:45. Session 6A.

Pathology & Biospecimen Science

Co-Chairs: Gerry Thomas and Angela Galpine

Tilman Rau, Institute of Pathology, University of Bern, Switzerland. Text-mining pathology reports for Biobanking: strengths, limits and perspectives.

Anne Carter, UKCRC Tissue Directory and Coordination Centre, London, UK. Developing standards for biobanking in the UK.

Therese Koal, BIOCRATES Life Sciences AG, Innsbruck, Austria. Impact of sample pre-analytics on the blood and tissue metabolome.

Giorgio Stanta, University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy. Formalin fixation and paraffin embedding as preanalytical conditions of molecular analysis in clinical tissues.

Claire Verrill, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, Oxford, UK. Whole Genome Sequencing from Fresh Frozen, Formalin Fixed Paraffin Embedded and Pax-Gene Tumour Samples; Experiences, Discoveries and Lessons Learned!

13:45. Session 6B.

Data Enrichment

Co-Chairs: Chris Tomlinson and Devarajan Sriraman

data enrichment

James Peach, Genomics England, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK. Samples and data in the 100,000 Genomes project.

Brian Shand, NCRS, Public Health England. Biobank linkage to clinical outcomes from the National Cancer Registry Service.

Yi-Ke Guo, Department of Computing, Imperial College, London, UK. Datafied healthcare.

Brian Thomson, University of Nottingham, UK. ORCHID as a solution to e-health records and integration of NUHNHS Trust's Biobank systems for multiple users under their Biobank governance

15:30. Refreshments
16:00. Session 7A. Short presentations of abstracts.
16:00. Session 7B. Short presentations of abstracts.

19:00. Free

20:00. Gala dinner

Friday 2nd October

08:30. Innovation award

09:30. Refreshments

10:00. Session 8A.

Networking the networks

Chair: Hans-Peter Deigner

Erik Steinfelder, Thermo-Fisher, NL. ESBB as a vehicle for networking and collaboration.

Jan-Eric Litton, BBMRI-ERIC, Graz, Austria. BBMRI-ERIC; a new Governance tool for Biobanking in Europe and beyond.

David Smith, CABI, Egham, Surrey, UK. Microbial Resources Research Infrastructure (MIRRI): common approaches to compliance.

Henrik Lindberg, Lund University, Lund, Sweden. Automated processing for the HUPO biobanking structure.

Eileen Graham, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, USA. Scientific Collections International: engaging across disciplinary boundaries to combat emerging infectious diseases.

10:00. Session 8B. Short presentations of abstracts.

12:00. Lunch
13:30. Session 9A. Public Lectures

Ownership and access to personal (genetic) information in future healthcare

Co-Chairs: Hans-Peter Deigner and Christian Chabannon

locked file


Marianne Talbot, Oxford University, UK. Too Much Information? Decision-Making in A World of Big Data.

Johann Eder, Alpen Adria Universität Klagenfurt, Austria. Big Genetic Data: Opportunities and Threats.

Martin Langanke, Faculty of Theology, Greifswald University, Germany. The role of information in future health care and its ethical implications.

Moderators: Balwir Matharoo-Ball,
Zisis Kozlakidis, and Robert Hewitt

Click here for more information

13:30. Session 9B. Public Lectures

Brave New World of Stem Cell Banking and Technology for Environment, Nature and Human Health

Chair: Brendon Noble

stem cell


Oliver Ryder, San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, CA, USA. New roles for viable frozen cell collections in basic biological studies and the conservation of biological diversity

Rob Etches, Crystal Biosciences, CA, USA. Avian Primordial Germ Cells - bringing back the past, preserving the present and creating the future.

Glyn Stacey, National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC), Potters Bar, UK. Consensus Guidance on Preparation of human pluripotent stem cell banks for clinical application from the International Stem Cell Banking Initiative, published in February

Moderators: Mike Bruford and Jack Nicholls

Click here for more information

17:00. End of conference



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