European and Middle Eastern Society for Biopreservation and Biobanking

ESBB President's Message


I’m very excited to be ESBB’s president for 2017 -2018! In my first President’s Message I especially want to thank all of you who attended the first Global Biobank Week (GBW) Towards Harmony in Biobanking organised in partnership with ISBER, BBMRI and ESBB meeting in Stockholm, Sweden which was a record setter! The attendance was phenomenal with 855 registered delegates, and record 343 abstracts submitted, 12 travel fellowships supported from LMIC, 432 delegates attending the Networking dinner and a record 200 people attending the pre-conference workshops. It was a delight and pleasure to be Co-Chair representing ESBB with Marianne Henderson from ISBER for our first GBW. The scientific programme was truly global representing all continents and let’s not forget the most awesome key note ever from Greg Simons a true inspiration that none of wanted to stop him speaking! We can truly be proud to be of ESBB as alongside our partners we have set a record in the International Biobanking arena which we need to maintain going forward.

I want to thank the help and support of our wonderful outgoing President Prof. Elke Smits who has made my incoming as President a little easier. I also want to personally congratulate and welcome the new in-coming members firstly to Prof. Jens Habberman who is now President Elect, Ronny Barber as Treasurer, Jeanne-Hélène di Donato as Secretary, Kirstin Goldring, Maimuna Mendy and Sofie Bekaert as new Council members. I pledge to work with you all to ensure we have a Society to be proud of and one that can make a difference in international Biobanking. I will also work closely with the Chairs of the working groups to be more active and produce key papers that will benefit our ESBB members. Lastly the members of ESBB please be assured you can contact me personally if you have any ideas, issues or just want to say hello. I again will work with you and for you to ensure that ESBB has the international visibility and presence that we have achieved after GBW 2017.

Thank you for your help and support

Dr Balwir Matharoo-Ball


HBM4EU supporting Human Biomonitoring studies across the EU in partnership with ESBB


Dear ESBB Members,

HBM4EU (Human BioMonitoring For You) is a joint initiative of 28 European countries, the European Environment Agency and the European Commission, co-funded under Horizon 2020.

The main aim of HBM4EU  is to coordinate and advance human biomonitoring in Europe. HBM4EU will provide better evidence of the actual exposure of citizens to chemicals and the possible health effects to support policy making.

Biobanks play a key role for human biomonitoring activities since they can provide high quality human samples with associated data. However; there seems to be major disconnect between the HBM community and the European Biobanking community so far.

For this reason we are delighted to announce a joint partnership with The European, Middle Eastern and African Society for Biobanking and Biopreservation (ESBB) as a platform to support the HBM4EU initiative with the aim that ESBB will help in accessing Biobanks who can provide human samples for biomonitoring studies. Linking e.g., hospital-based biobanks, biobanks which store samples of population-based health studies, and HBM relevant biobanks to the HBM community can lead to valuable synergy effects and increase reciprocal benefits and sustainability.

However; it is fully recognised that many institutions/Biobanks follow different sample collection, preparation and storage protocols which may mean that not every sample can be used for HBM purposes.

For this reason HBM4EU partners have developed an online questionnaire directed to all ESBB Members and ESBB registered Biobanks to decipher which Biobanks are able to help support and have samples available for HBM studies. This survey will also help the HBM4EU community to agree on harmonised protocols for sample collection, preparation and storage for future human monitoring studies which will be shared via the HBM4EU websites.

We would highly appreciate your participation in this survey. Please check your mail within the next days and simply follow the link to the survey.



Hand-Over of the Ceremonial Gavel


Elke Smits (Past-President) with Bal Matharoo-Ball (new President) at the ESBB General Assembly in Stockholm following the hand-over of the gavel (12.09.2017).

Top Biobanking Masters students from across Europe present their work

Webinar on Thursday 28th September at 14:00 CET

Congratulations to Mehdi Kara-Borni, Etienne Dougy, Rerwa Ghyslaine Gatsinzi, Lisa Seiller, Laura Dietrich and Svetlana Gramatiuk on being selected to present their work! This webinar is free and open to all. To receive the dial-in information for this webinar, just register at:


Sign-Up Here!

To sign-up to join ESBB for 2018 click here

To sign-up for Working Groups … click here


Links to Working Group Pages

Généthon is welcomed as a new member of ESBB

The patient organisation, Généthon, is now a member of ESBB: “Since its creation in 1990, the mission of the Genethon’s DNA and Cell Bank is to promote advances in genetic research by providing the scientific community with a high quality cell and human tissue products resource. Europe’s leading bank for genetic diseases, it serves the whole of the medical and scientific community”. For more info, see:


Website statistics on the 5th May

ESBB website reaches a new record high of 17,425 visits in March – that’s an average of 562 visits per day!

Web Stats 5 May


Calling Pharma & Biotech!

Pharma and Biotech companies can now join ESBB as a Corporate Members to participate in our biobanking community. This allows multiple members of your company to have the benefits of ESBB membership, including eligibility to join the dynamic ESBBtranslate working group which brings together ESBB members and pharma/ biotech industry.

Link to ESBBtranslate web page

African organisations involved in biobanking can join ESBB for free

Special offer for 2017

Non-profit African organisations involved in biobanking  are now offered free membership of ESBB (worth 285 Euro) on completion of a 35 question survey at:

This is in line with ESBB’s mission to advance the field of biobanking across Africa.

Upcoming conferences

ETOP Annual Meeting, Zurich, Switzerland, 10th November, 2017.

San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS), San Antonio, TX, 6th – 10th December, 2017


'Masters in Biobanking' Students

ESBB welcomes a total of 48 Masters in Biobanking students as full members of the society! These students are based at the Universities of Lyon, Nice and Graz.MSc Logos


Biocartis: Molecular Diagnostics

ESBB welcomes Biocartis as a new member. Biocartis is an innovative commercial stage molecular diagnostics (MDx) company providing next generation diagnostic solutions aimed at improving clinical practice for the benefit of patients, clinicians, payers and industry.



“How to build a Biobank 2017”

REGISTER NOW for the biobanking course “How to build a Biobank 2017” held at Biobank Graz (AUSTRIA) from November 22-24, 2017. This interactive 3-day-course has been designed for all those who are involved in setting up a new biobank, who look to collaborate with a biobank or research institute, who face the challenges of a growing biobank or who try to overcome the challenges of maintaining a large biobank.

Detailed information can be found at

Hands-on 24

An objective quality assessment tool

As the only proficiency testing tool in the world that is focused on biospecimens, IBBL’s (Integrated BioBank of Luxembourg) programme allows biorepositories, clinical laboratories, research organisations and bioservice providers to assess and compare their performance to that of other expert laboratories from all over the world. REGISTER NOW to find out how good your processing and testing methods are!


“MSc in Biobanking” at Graz

REGISTER NOW! … Registration is now open for the distance learning postgraduate course“MSc in Biobanking” in English which starts in October 2017. Detailed information on the university course can be found at:





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