Nahla Afifi

Dr. Nahla Maher Afifi earned her MBBCh with honours from Ain Shams University, Egypt. She
received her Diploma of Gynaecology and Obstetrics from the same University and obtained her Master& Ph.D. of Anatomy & Embryology in 1996 from Ain Shams University under a joint supervision with University of Medicine and Dentistry, New Jersey, USA, in which she started her academic career as a Medical Researcher in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology. She then served as Assistant Professor of Anatomy and Embryology at Ain Shams University, and Dubai Medical College for Girls, UAE. Dr. Afifi joined Qatar University’s in 1999 and was promoted to Full Professor in 2007. In November 2013 she joined Qatar Foundation as Scientific and Education Manager and currently she is the Director of Qatar Biobank. Dr. Nahla Afifi has numerous published researches in her field of expertise. She is a member in several International societies’ AAA, ASIP, ISBER & ESBB.

Maha Al-Asmakh

Dr. Maha Al-Asmakh is the Head of Biomedical Science Department at the College of Health Science, Qatar University since September 2020. She obtained her BSc in Biomedical Sciences (Hons) from Qatar University. She then continued her postgraduate studies and obtained her MSc in Human Reproductive Biology from Imperial College London. She received her Doctor’s degree (Ph.D.) from Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. She is currently teaching Embryology and Developmental Biology courses at the College of Health Sciences. Dr.Al-Asmakh has several published articles in the field of reproduction and microbiome. She also presented her research work at international conferences and won a young investigator award in developmental endocrinology at the 17th European Congress of Endocrinology in Dublin in 2015. Locally, she was awarded the Platinum Medal for the best PhD holder in Qatar by his highness the Emir Tamim Bin Hamad AlThani in 2016. She also received the L’Oreal-UNESCO for Women in Science Middle East Fellowship 2016. She was appointed as Section Head of Research and Graduate studies at the College of Health Sciences (2017-2020). Dr. Al-Asmakh is an adjuvant research assistant professor at the Biomedical Research Center at Qatar University and an active member of many academic and research committees at the University level. She serves as a reviewer for several scientific journals and research grants and is a member of the International Society of Microbiota.

Wadha Al Muftah

Dr. Wadha Al-Muftah is the Manager of Clinical Initiatives at Qatar Genome Programme (QGP), and Instructor in Genomic Medicine (courtesy) at Weill Cornell Medicine Qatar (WCM-Q). She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Medicine Research from Imperial College London (ICL) in the United Kingdome and an M.D from Arabian Gulf University in the Kingdome of Bahrain.
Dr Al-Muftah works in QGP since late 2016 and she leads the genome interpretation project. The project is focused on establishing computational genomics platform providing interpretation/ clinical reporting solutions, supporting high throughput panels, whole exomes and whole genomes for general health and wellness in phase I; pharmacogenomics in phase II and disease traits in phase III.
Dr Al-Muftah had 10 years of research experience started before she joined the graduate program at ICL; she was trained at the Physiology laboratory under the supervision of Prof Khaled Machaca in WCM-Q, and genomics laboratory of ICL under the supervision of Prof Philippe Froguel, who discovered the first genes involved in the monogenic forms of T2D .
Dr Al-Muftah has published multiple scientific articles in leading journals and presented her work in international conferences.

Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Hamad J. Al-Thani

Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Hamad J. Al-Thani is Director of Public Health Department at the Ministry of Public Health since 2008.
He is Associate Professor of Clinical Healthcare Policy and Research at Weill Cornell Medical College and Qatar University
He developed programs to protect the health of individuals, families and community in Qatar.
He placed a high priority in developing the first Public Health Strategy 2017-2022 in Qatar.
He is continually conducting clinical research studies in the most ethical and safest manner possible to develop an integrated approach to health prevention and promotion. He has more than 30 scientific publications in Diabetes, Environmental health, Road safety, Communicable diseases, obesity…
Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Hamad J. Al-Thani has headed number of national committees including the National Preventive Health Committee, which aims to address the many facets of transitioning from a curative to a preventive health focus and to ensure a robust preventive health governance system is in place.
He is the Chair of the Public Health Implementation Committee, and Member in the National Public Health Committee.

Ronny Baber

Dr. Ronny Baber works in the Institute of Laboratory Medicine, Clinical Chemistry, and Molecular Diagnostics at the University Hospital Leipzig. Since 2010 he is the head of the LIFE-Biobank (now part of the Leipzig Medical Biobank) and the LIFE-Preanalytical laboratory (since 2014) in the Leipzig Research Center for Civilisation Diseases (LIFE). Dr. Baber is a member of the working group in the German Institute for Standardization (DIN) which supports the ISO TC 276 responsible for ISO 20387 on biobanking and BBMRI-ERIC workgroups for the evaluation of CEN standards. He is also part of the Steering Committee and different working groups in the “German Biobank Alliance” (GBA) initiated and coordinated by trying to link GBA biobanks to the BBMRI-ERIC infrastructure. Since September 2017 he is designated as Treasurer of the ESBB.

Eleni Fthenou

Eleni Fthenou received her PhD from the Medical School of the University of Crete, Greece in 2007 and her BSc in Genetics (Immunology) from the University of Aberdeen in UK in 2003. She has worked as a researcher at the Ministry of Public Health in Qatar, at the Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) and Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), Barcelona, Spain; she was a Manager of the Clinical Nutrition and Epidemiology of Diseases Laboratory, at the Department of Social Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Medicine, University of Crete, Greece. Currently she holds the position of Scientist at Qatar Biobank for Medical Research, Qatar. She has participated in European and US projects such as, NewGeneris, EnvironGenomarkers, HiWate, FAMRI and others. She is the Lead PI of the Qatari Britch Cohort (QBiC) study in Qatar and her main research interest is in gene-environment interactions and molecular epidemiology.

Michael Frenneaux

Professor Michael Frenneaux qualified from Westminster Medical School in 1980 and was awarded the Gold Medal for the highest overall marks in the MBBS final examinations from the (then) 12 medical schools in the University of London.
After Senior House Officer posts at Hammersmith and Brompton Hospitals and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, he subsequently trained in clinical cardiology and undertook research in Edinburgh, Hammersmith and St George’s Hospitals in London and Christchurch, New Zealand.
After appointment to a joint post as Clinical Senior Lecturer (University of Queensland) and Clinical Director of Cardiology at Royal Brisbane Hospital, Australia in 1991, he was promoted to Professor of Medicine, additionally taking on the role of Deputy Director of Medicine for Royal Brisbane Hospital in 1995.
He was subsequently the British Heart Foundation (BHF) Sir Thomas Lewis Chair of Cardiology in Cardiff and BHF Chair of Cardiology in Birmingham before being appointed to the Regius Chair of Medicine in Aberdeen in 2009 – this is the oldest Chair of Medicine in the English speaking world (established in 1497) and is appointed by the Queen.
In January 2015, Professor Frenneaux took up the post of Dean of Norwich Medical School at University of East Anglia, and in May 2018, he took up the post of Chief of Scientific, Academic and Faculty Affairs, Academic Health System at Hamad Corporation.
He is Honorary Professor of Medicine at University of Aberdeen, Visiting Professor of Medicine at Imperial College, London, Adjunct Professor at the College of Health and Life Sciences, Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Qatar and Honorary Consultant Cardiologist at the Royal Brompton Hospital, London.
He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and has been a research panel member for the Medical Research Council, British Heart Foundation and Academy of Medical Sciences. He currently holds a Programme Grant from the Medical Research Council and grants from the British Heart Foundation. He was a non-executive board member of the Eastern Academic Health Sciences Network until taking up the current post.
Professor Frenneaux is a clinical scientist with interests in heart failure and heart muscle disease. His research is bed-to-bench and back to bedside. He is an integrated physiologist with wide interests, including the inorganic nitrate/nitrite axis, cardiac energetic impairment and metabolic therapies, vascular physiology as well as inter-ventricular and ventriculo-vascular coupling.

Jens K. Habermann

Professor Jens K. Habermann, M.D., PH.D., is Director General of BBMRI-ERIC (Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure – European Research Infrastructure Consortium) since September 2020. He is on leave of absence from the University of Lübeck as Head of the Section of Translational Surgical Oncology and Biobanking and as Head of ICB-L (Interdisciplinary Center for Biobanking-Lübeck). He obtained his M.D. training at the Medical University of Lübeck (Lübeck, Germany), received his Ph.D. at the Cancer Center Karolinska, Karolinska Institute (Stockholm, Sweden) and a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the National Cancer Institute, NIH (Bethesda, USA). As board certified specialist in human genetics, Prof. Habermann combines clinics, biobanking, and cancer research to optimize precision medicine.

Marianne K. Henderson

Ms. Henderson is Senior Advisor for Division Resources, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics and Senior Advisor on Biobanking, Center for Global Health, U.S. NCI. She supports large program and contract management; and infrastructure planning for molecular epidemiology. She is active in the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) (President 2011-12 and Chair, OAC 2012-2019). She is E&T Chair of the IARC-led LMIC Biobank and Cohort Building Network (BCNet); She sits on the editorial board for Biopreservation and Biobanking. Ms. Henderson is actively involved in large-scale biospecimen process improvements in operations, technology transfer, sustainability and repository automation.

Said Ismail

Dr. Said Ismail is the director of the Qatar Genome programme (QGP), one of the major national programs in the region. QGP is a population-based initiative designed around on a comprehensive strategy involving drafting regulations and policies; forging local research partnerships; establishing national genomic data networks; building local human capacity; and facilitating the integration of genomics into the healthcare system.
Dr Ismail, a Ph.D. graduate from the University of Oxford, has work experience extending into various fields including research, education and consultancy. His research experience is in the field of molecular biology and genetics with focus on cancer genetics and the screening and characterisation of disease related mutations in the Arab population. He is the first president and co-founder of the International Society on Aptamers, and is also an editorial board member in multiple international journals.
As a research fellow at University College London (UCL), Dr. Ismail won the Said Foundation prize for young Arab researchers in the UK. As head of the Biochemistry department at the University of Jordan Medical School, he was awarded the Shoman award for Arab researchers in biomedical sciences in 2013. Dr. Ismail served as a consultant to several regional and international pharma and biotech companies. He also headed the Jordan University Hospital reference lab for molecular diagnostics, was the vice chair for research at the Cell Therapy Centre, and Board Member of the Jordan Advisory Board of the International Consortium for the American Society for Clinical Pathology International (ASCPi).
Dr. Ismail has special interest in promoting research among young students and researchers in the Arab world. He launched one of the largest efforts to enhance the Arabic medical and scientific content on the internet; The “Bel-Arabi” or “In- Arabic” initiative: “بالعربي”. ( He is also a Board member of the Phi Science Institute, which aims to spread creative sciences and research among youth (

Rosita Kammler

Rosita Kammler is President of the European, Middle Eastern and African Society for Biopreservation and Biobanking (ESBB). She had already served ESBB as Vice-President for two years, and before that as Councilor.

Rosita Kammler heads the Translational Research Coordination at the International Breast Cancer Study Group (IBCSG) and the European Thoracic Oncology Platform (ETOP). Her work has revolved around clinical trial biobanking, translational research coordination and project management for the past 18 years. She has provided expertise and leadership for designing, building and conducting the translational research programs and biobanks for IBCSG and ETOP, enabling state-of-the-art oncology research. She is responsible for ensuring that trial biosamples and associated data meet the objectives for quality, quantity, ethical use, to ensure the integrity of research data and analysis. These biobanks have been a critical resource for the more than 50 translational research studies conducted by IBCSG/ETOP

Rania Labib

Dr. Rania Labib, PhD, A visiting research fellow at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, USA. She is the founder and head of the Children’s Cancer Hospital (CCHE)-Biorepository and Biospecimen Research, Cairo, Egypt. Dr Labib is an active member in the pediatric WG at ISBER and she served as the former elected chair of the African WG at ESBB. She has been a biobank consultant for many centers in Egypt and in the region (Middle East and Africa).She has organized and lead different training and events for biobanks in Egypt and the region.

Michaela Th. Mayrhofer

Michaela Th. Mayrhofer, PhD, is a political scientist and historian by training. Her academic carrer lead her to various positions at the University of Vienna, Technical University of Vienna, University of Newcastle, University of Essex, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Socialles or the Université Catholique de Louvain. She served as Interim Co-Director General (Feb-Aug 2020) of the research infrastructure for biobanks and biomolecular resources, BBMRI-ERIC. Since 2019, she is Head of BBMRI’s ELSI Services & Research, which supports the research community by facilitating knowledge exchange, compliance with regulatory requirements, promoting best practices and ensuring guidance on ethical, legal and societal (ELSI) issues. She coordinates the Code of Conduct for Health Research initiative, which aims at developing a code along article 40 of the EU GDPR, considering the specific features of processing personal data in the area of health.

Richard O’Kennedy

Vice-President for Research, Development and Innovation at the Qatar Foundation, Vice-President for Research at Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Qatar and Chair of the Board of Qatar Science and Technology Park. He was Scientific Director of the Biomedical Diagnostics Institute and Vice-President at Dublin City University, Ireland, and Past President of the London International Youth Science Forum and the Institute of Biology of Ireland. He has a H index of 60, ca 14,600 citations, has generated over 400 publications, 3 books and has supervised over 100 research students (incl 72 Ph.Ds.). He directs the Applied Biochemistry Research Group, internationally recognised for its expertise in immunoassay development and has commercialised numerous reagents and technologies. He has a major interest in Innovative approaches to Healthcare and Education and has received many awards for research, teaching/mentoring and innovation.

Alison Parry Jones

Dr Parry-Jones is the ISBER Director-at-Large for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. She is part of the Qualification in Biorepository Science (QBRS) working group that developed the content for the online test. She is the Operations Director for the Wales Cancer Bank, a cancer specific biorepository based in Wales, UK and she has legal and ethical responsibility for the biobank. The biobank collects samples and data from patients around Wales and makes them available to cancer researchers worldwide. Her background, and PhD, is in Analytical Chemistry and latterly she gained an MA in Medical Ethics and Law.

Ayat Salman

Ayat Salman is currently the Operation’s Director at the Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Surveillance Network (CPCSSN), the largest primary care electronic medical records repository in Canada. Her research interest and focus are on structural and functional governance in technology as well as sociotechnical procedures in implementation science. She earned her PhD from McGill University in the Department of Family Medicine. Her experience includes 10 years of clinical research experience as a clinical research associate and 6 years of managerial experience at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). She has been a lead expert at the MUHC in biobanking since 2011 as well as internationally. She is currently the Chair of the ISO 276 (Biobanking and Biotechnology) Mirror Committee within the Standards Council of Canada. She is also an active member and a council member of the European, Middle Eastern and African Society for Biopreservation and Biobanking (ESBB). She is also co-chair of the Communications Committee at the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER).

Edward Stuenkel

Edward Stuenkel received a PhD based in Neuroscience from the University of Hawaii and conducted postdoctoral research at University of California, San Francisco. He advanced to Professor of Physiology within the Medical School at the University of Michigan.  Dr. Stuenkel is now Dean of the College of Health and Life Sciences at Hamad Bin Khalifa University. He was awarded Outstanding Faculty Service in Neuroscience and has served as Director of the inter-collegiate Neuroscience Doctoral Program at the University of Michigan. He was Director of an International Graduate Education Initiative and a leader in a multi-institutional NSF Advancement of Neurotechnology program.  Dr. Stuenkel’s neuroscience research was funded since 1993 by NIH.  He served as a regular NIH study section member and as editorial board member of the Biophysical Journal. Dr Stuenkel is an elected Fellow of the AAAS with research appearing in more than 85 published articles and 6 book chapters.

Andrea Wutte

Since 2014 Andrea Wutte has been leading BBMRI-ERIC‘s Quality Management Service. The service includes QM consultancy programmes focussing on biobank- and biomedical research relevant European and International standards and guidelines, offering training and education formats, monitoring and audit programmes including assessments and the initiation of improvement strategies and accompanying measures. Andrea holds a European Quality Manager and Lead Auditor EOQ personnel certificate and is advisor for several accreditation agencies. She acts as BBMRI-ERIC Liaison Officer to ISO/TC 276 ‚Biotechnology‘, ISO/TC 212 ‚Clinical laboratory testing and in vitro diagnostic test systems‘, ISO/TC 215 ‚Health informatics‘ and CEN/TS 140 ‚In vitro diagnostic medical devices‘. She is a biologist by training and received her university degree from the University Graz.