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Working Groups
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ESBB Working Groups

ESBB Working Groups are composed of members who join forces in order to identify and tackle important, unresolved issues in the biobanking field. Their goal is to provide strategies for addressing these issues and to develop the tools that will address them.

AFRICA WG

The focus of this ESBB working group is (i) to address the particular challenges and opportunities of biobanking in Africa, (ii) to bring together a network of African ESBB members, and (iii) to share experiences. Hereby, three topics will be addressed:
1. Identify opportunities and challenges for Africa
2. Promote biobanking science on the African continent with increasing membership activities
3. Be a voice for ESBB on policy and regulatory issues related to the continent.

  • Co-Chair: Dr. Carmen Swanepoel, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
  • Co-Chair: Mukthar Kader, Clinical Laboratory Services, South Africa
  • Mentor: Maimuna Mendy, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), The Gambia

 

GROUP's ONLINE COMMUNITY

PATIENT OUTREACH WG

With the patient in the center, biobanks around the world are committed to strengthening patients' rights. In this sense, the tasks of biobanks extend far beyond the medical and political future planning of individual institutions. We thus aim to: 
1. strengthen the patient's position, empowerment, engagement and involvement, 
2. establish & promote exchange between different networks,
3. establish organizational structures & manage activities and
4. build strong partnerships with patients and the public for the patients’ benefits.

  • Co-Chair: Dr. Laurent Dollé, Biothèque Wallonie Bruxelles, Belgium
  • Co-Chair: Martin Zünkeler, Kairos GmbH, Germany
  • Mentor: Prof. Sofie Bekaert, Ghent University, Belgium 

 

GROUP's ONLINE COMMUNITY

SOCIAL MEDIA WG

Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and more. The truth is: “Social Media is a platform for real networking, growth and engagement for any venture irrespective of the industry” Scion social. So how is social media important for us and our biobank community? Together, we aim to: increase awareness for biobanking and its potentials and inform, educate, engage and involve patients & public within ESBB focus areas and form strong partnerships for the patient’s benefit

  • Co-Chair & Mentor: Dr. Ayat Salman, McGill University Health Centre, Canada
 

GROUP's ONLINE COMMUNITY

ACADEMIC & INDUSTRY COOPERATION WG

Our aim (formerly ESBB Translate) is to bring together ESBB members and pharma/biotech industry representatives in order to identify, elaborate and promote academic-industry co-operations. We will identify the needs of Industry, what the biobanks can offer and how both Industry and academia can ensure they are ready to work together when the need arises. We focus on appropriate documentation, contract needs, sample & data requirements, and regulatory aspects.

  • Co-Chair & Mentor: Kirstin Goldring, Astra Zeneca, Great Britain
  • Co-Chair & Mentor: Dr. Balwir Matharoo-Ball, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Great Britain
 

GROUP's ONLINE COMMUNITY

SCIENCE & INNOVATION WG

This WG aims to (i) promote research, (ii) improve science, and (iii) identify opportunities and threats relating to scientific advances and innovation in the biobanking field, and to communicate these to the ESBB community. This will be pursued by making use of our highly interdisciplinary ESBB network including all membership types to address any scope of biobank related projects from basic science via biospecimen research including pre-analytics up to translational research and clinical trials. Projects may entail pilot phases, common grant applications as well as reach out initiatives to our stakeholders and partners. We foresee a close interaction with our other ESBB working groups as supporting and/or enabling initiatives.  

  • Co-Chair & Mentor: Prof. Sofie Bekaert, Ghent University, Belgium
  • Co-Chair: Prof. Jens K. Habermann, University of Lübeck, Germany 
 

GROUP's ONLINE COMMUNITY

DATA STANDARDIZATION & HARMONIZATION WG

To harmonize definitions & languages in biobank databases to enable comparability of biomaterials & data across different biobanks / countries.

  • Co-Chair: Blazej Marciniak, University of Lodz, Poland
  • Co-Chair: Ann-Kristin Kock-Schoppenhauer, University of Lubeck, Germany
  • Mentor: Dr. Veronique T'Joen, Bioresource Center Ghent, Belgium
 

GROUP's ONLINE COMMUNITY

EDUCATION & TRAINING WG

This working group will foster the development of professionalism in biobanking as science. It is aiming to be the platform for information on and active realization of special trainings as well as a postgraduate education in biobanking science. Furthermore, we aim the progressive further development of specification of special needs in education in biobanking to overcome the bottlenecks of future technologies, to meet the expectations of our customers, to educate the specialists, and play a pivotal role in biobanking education and training now and in the future

  • Co-Chair: Prof. Karine Sargsyan, Medical University Graz, Austria
  • Co-Chair: Dr. Sara Nubbeck, University Medical Center Gottingen, Central Biobank UMG, Germany
  • Mentor: Dr. Ronny Baber, Leipzig Medical Biobank - University Leipzig, Germany
 

GROUP's ONLINE COMMUNITY

ENVIRONMENT & HUMAN BIOMONITORING WG

Biomonitoring is the monitoring of chemicals and environmental pollutants in humans and the environment. It serves as the scientific basis for a wide range of political decisions and regulation measures in the field of human and environmental health. Samples are stored for retrospective analysis in Environmental Specimen Banks (ESBs) or Biobanks for Human Biomonitoring purposes. We aim to provide a platform for knowledge exchange between all stakeholders in Environmental and Human Biomonitoring, focusing on standardization and harmonization and pursuing a close collaboration with existing initiatives.

  • Co-Chair & Mentor: Dr. Dominik Lermen, Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Technique IBMT, Germany
 

GROUP's ONLINE COMMUNITY

PLANT BIODIVERSITY

Plant biobanks for crops and wild species, such as in vitro gene banks, plant cryobanks, seedbanks, field gene banks and collections of plant cell cultures and algae, preserve valuable genetic resources and diversity. More than 1,750 gene banks maintain more than 7 million accessions of crops and crop wild relatives, worldwide. The number of accessions and organisations that protect wild plants is not known. The high variability within the species limits the possibility to apply standardized preservation methods. Thus, the maintenance of high quality and viability of plant tissues are the major challenges. To date, no other organization represents the requirements, needs and challenges of plant biobanks and has defined common goals and milestones.

This WG will focus on challenges and critical aspects of the quality management during preservation of our plant’s biodiversity to conserve valuable resources for the future.

  • Co-Chair: Dr. Manuela Nagel, Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK)
  • Co-Chair: Dr. Elena Popova, Institute of Plant Physiology, Russian Academy of Science, Moscow, Russia
  • Mentor: Prof. Jens K. Habermann, University of Lübeck, Germany
GROUP's ONLINE COMMUNITY
DOMESTIC & WILDLIFE ANIMALS WG

The focus of this ESBB WG is to optimize protection and preservation of endangered species by e.g., evaluating new conservation strategies, enabling evolutionary trait studies, and exploring the biomedical potential on a cellular level for developing new treatment strategies also for human diseases. 

  • Mentor: Paul Bartels, Tshwane University of TechnologySouth Africa

GROUP's ONLINE COMMUNITY

MUSEUM BIOBANKING WG

We aim to harmonize, optimize and secure the preservation and protection of cultural heritage materials reflecting the entire biodiversity from Earth and Space.

  • Chair: Blazej Marciniak, University of Lodz, Poland
  • Mentor: Prof. Jens K. Habermann, University of Lübeck, Germany

GROUP's ONLINE COMMUNITY

REGULATORY, ETHICS & GDPR (ELSI) WG

To provide a voice and exchange on regulatory and ethics issues, including GDPR, and its implications on biobanking and research.

  • Co-Chair: Prof. Christoph Brochhausen-Delius, Regensburg University, Germany
  • Co-Chair: Valentina Colcelli, Institute CNR_IFAC, Italy
  • Mentor: Rosita Kammler, International Breast Cancer Study Group (IBCSG)European Thoracic Oncology Platform (ETOP), Switzerland 
 

GROUP's ONLINE COMMUNITY

AUTOMATION & INTERFACES WG

To bring together ESBB members and biotech/pharma industry representatives in order to promote acadmic-industry cooperations regarding the need for new technology developments, common evaluation and testing approaches and feedback circles for further advancements in the biobank field.

  • Co-Chair: Rolf Morselt, Worthington Industries, Netherlands
  • Co-Chair: Roland Leiminger, BRUKER Biospin, Germany
  • Mentor: Dr. Loes Linsen, Biobank at UZ LeuvenBelgium
 

GROUP's ONLINE COMMUNITY

MICROBIOME WG

To maintain high quality and viability of microbiome to further preserve, evaluate and protect microbiome diversity and its interactions with their environment.

  • Mentor: Dr. Lauren Dollé, Microbiome, Belgium 

GROUP's ONLINE COMMUNITY

VENDOR REPRESENTATION COMMITTEE

Our Vendor Representation Committee will ensure engagement in ESBB strategies and activities to foster prosperous partnerships.

  • Chair: Remi Van Liempt, MicronicThe Netherlands
  • Mentor: Rolf Morselt, Worthington Industries,The Netherlands
 

GROUP's ONLINE COMMUNITY

SUSTAINABILITY TASK FORCE

This task force (TF) addresses sustainability for biobanks on all levels with the aim for financial and infrastructural sustainability. We work on concepts on how to reach sustainability for individual biobanks while addressing this substantial topic overall with authority bodies, funding agencies and politicians nationally and on the EU level. For more information and activities, please visit this TF’s domain or contact the TF chair. 

  • Chair: Prof. Jens K. Habermann, University of LübeckGermany

GROUP's ONLINE COMMUNITY

SUCCESS STORIES TASK FORCE

The purpose of this Focus Group is to put attention on the success stories that come out of using biobanks. Put more directly, the reasons why we have biobanks. In this group we will clarify what we mean by a success story, gather together all such examples we can find, and make sure we can continue doing that for the future. We want to create a resource of stories that demonstrate the ultimate value to society of biobanks supporting science and knowledge. In many cases this is in healthcare and public heath, but of course some biobanks exist for other purposes (plant and seed banks, biobanks for animal materials). The point is to highlight why biobanks are important to society. This is not just about showing lists of scientific publications, although these are most often on the route map of improving things in society.

  • Chair: Mark Divers, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden

GROUP's ONLINE COMMUNITY

 

COVID-19 TASK FORCE WG

The world is facing the devastating SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic. We are proudly acknowledging that the biobank community increasingly supports clinical infrastructures by providing sample, data and supply logistics close to where it is needed the most. Our Task Force will facilitate to share our experiences, address common challenges and see how and where we could make a difference together. 

  • Co-Chair: Prof. Jens K. Habermann, University of LübeckGermany
  • Co-Chair: Dr. Ronny Baber, Leipzig Medical Biobank - University Leipzig, Germany

 

GROUP's ONLINE COMMUNITY