Speakers

Laith Abu-Raddad

Laith Abu-Raddad is a Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at the Weill Cornell Medicine–Qatar, Cornell University. He is also the director of the WHO Collaborating Center for Disease Epidemiology Analytics on HIV/AIDS, Sexually Transmitted Infections, and Viral Hepatitis. Previously he held academic and research positions at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University of Washington, Imperial College London and Osaka University. He has led several high-impact studies at the international and regional levels. His scientific research has been published in journals such as Science, PLOS Medicine, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Hepatology, Lancet, JIAS, Clinical Infectious Diseases and AIDS. He has worked on HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, hepatitis C virus, tuberculosis, COVID-19 and SARS. His research work has been key in the formulation of public health policy at the regional and international levels.

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.

Heidi Altmann

My main scientific interests are in the field of biobanking, the establishment of novel high-throughput technologies as a cell isolation robotic system and the identification of novel quality markers for biological samples. Together with a great team, I have been setting up the BioBank Dresden since 2017. The BioBank Dresden is jointly supported by the University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus Dresden, the Carl Gustav Carus Faculty of Medicine at TU Dresden and the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ).

Gabriele Anton

Dr. Gabriele Anton is head of the working group biobank at the Institute of Epidemiology at Helmholtz Center Munich. The biobank is a major resource for researchers working in the fields of prevention, diagnosis and therapy of complex diseases and collects biosamples since more than 30 years. The group also runs the Core Facility HMGU Biobank that offers services around biobanking to all institutes at Helmholtz Center Munich as well as collaboration partners. Gabi received her PhD from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) Munich in 2000. Her postdoctoral work focused on infection research. Today she is involved in national and European projects in the field of biobanking, for example within the German Center for Infectious Diseases, in the German Biobank Alliance, the MIABIS Working groups and NAPKON, the National Pandemic Cohort Network of Germany.

David Brown

Dave Brown has working in the life-sciences industry and health care for more than 30 years. During this time David has worked in clinical research, IT and sales and marketing. Recently Dave has been the Chief Architect of Genomics England and the vice-chair of the International Scientific Advisory Committee of the Qatar Precision Medicine Institute. As part of the effort in Barts Health to carry out research into COVID-19 David has worked with the research team to develop Natural Language Process to extract data from medical records to feed international studies. Currently Dave is working with the Qatar Foundation in the creation of the Qatar Precision Medicine Institute.

Adeel Butt

Prof. Butt completed a residency in Internal Medicine in New York and a fellowship in Infectious Diseases in New Orleans. Prof. Butt’s work, education and training experience spans several countries over five continents. Prof. Butt is a recipient of the Fulbright Scholarship, Yale-Johnson and Johnson Scholars Award in International Health , National Talent Pool Scholarship, IDSA Training Faculty Scholar Award, US National Institutes of Health Career Development Award, Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) Excellence in Research Award, HMC Qatar Excellence in Health Services Research Award and multiple other national and international awards. Prof. Butt has lectured extensively around the world as a visiting professor having delivered over 500 invited lectures and consulted with governmental and non-governmental organizations, and academic institutions in building research, educational and training capacity in resource constrained settings.

Over the past 20 years, Prof. Butt has held numerous senior academic positions, including Clinical Director, Residency Program Director, Division Chief, Department Chair, Institute Director and Corporate Chief Quality Officer. He has published over 180 papers in high impact medical journals, presented over 170 abstracts at major international conferences, and has mentored numerous young physicians and researchers who now hold key positions in academia in the United States. Prof. Butt has actively participated in the COVID-19 response in Qatar at an institutional level and as a member of several Ministry of Public Health committees and published several papers describing the impact of the pandemic in Qatar.

Daniel Catchpoole

Associate Professor Dan Catchpoole is Head of the Tumour Bank at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney Australia and is the current President of The International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories. A cancer cell biology specialist A/Prof Catchpoole has lead a rare disease biobanking focussing on childhood cancer. His biobank has become one of the premier biobanking facilities in Australia that has supported over 100 international projects into pediatric malignancy. A/Prof Catchpoole is one of the founding members of the Australasian Biospecimens Network Association. His research interest focus on the panomic assessment of childhood cancer to facilitate personalised medicine that will lead to improved treatment certainty for clinicians.

Peter Coyle

Joined HMC in March 2017 as a senior consultant and head of virology developing a strong clinical interface with colleagues in the hospital and community sectors and MOPH. Qualified in medicine and trained in microbiology & virology in Belfast and Atlanta. Admitted Fellow of the College of Pathologists (London) and completed a Doctoral Thesis at Queens University Belfast, where employed as a consultant virologist in the Regional Virology Laboratory. Past President of the European Society for Clinical Virology and currently a Board Editor for the Journal of Medical Microbiology, holding an Honorary post of Professor of Microbiology with the Wellcome-Wolfson Institute For Experimental Medicine, Queen’s University Belfast and an Adjunct Professorship in the Biomedical Research Center of Qatar University.

Christine Currat

Christine Currat is the Executive Director of Swiss Biobanking Platform. She graduated from Lausanne University, Switzerland, in health sciences with a PhD in virology in 2004. In parallel, she obtained a master in health management, and entered the exciting field of biobanks in 2005. Her experience is mostly the development of state of the art biobanks, first in oncology in 2007, then as a centralized institutional biobank in a hospital setting in 2013. She has become the biobank-reference person and created the first controversial general consent for research purposes in Switzerland, which has now become the essential tool to promote biobank access and usage in the research community as well as for the society. This 11-year experience allows her to be the Executive Director of the newly created Swiss biobank coordination platform in 2015 with the vision to promote access and usage of the existing and future banked bio-specimens for research purposes in the human as in the non-human fields.

Koh Furuta

I started my career as a surgeon. I then spent 5 years at Johns Hopkins University from ‘92 to ’97. During that time I was exposed to the very early stages of molecular biology and biobanking. After returning to Japan, I spent 15 years at National Cancer Center Hospital in Tokyo. During my work at National Cancer Center, I was focusing on establishing a biobank of liquid samples, especially of blood. I was serving as the official liaison between ISBER and ISO TC276 (biobanking) and chairing the ISBER ISO TC276 task force. Currently, I am working as a national expert of ISO TC212 (Clinical Laboratory) and ISO TC215SC1(Genomics informatics). Besides these, I am a member of C-NPU(Committee on Nomenclature for Properties and Units) of IFCC (International Clinical Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine) and further be involved in an official ICD-11 translation project in Japan.

Mark Divers

Mark Divers is director of Karolinska Institutet Biobank, in Stockholm, Sweden, where he has led the implementation of large-scale biobanking for eleven years. He has a background of 25 years in the pharmaceutical industry most of which was involved in building, leading and developing R&D infrastructure to serve medical research. He has a PhD in the molecular biology of antibiotic resistance in hospital bacteria, and has also researched on the molecular biology of antibiotic production. His current interest is in the impact and value of biobanking for improving human and environmental health.

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.

Christiane Hartfeldt

Christiane Hartfeldt is the coordinator for quality management at the German Biobank Node (GBN) since 2017. She is a member of the QM core team at the German Biobank Node. The team is working amongst others on harmonisation and improvement of national biobank processes by various ring trials and on a concept for cross-biobank audits. She is involved in serveral QM activities of BBMRI-ERIC and an expert in the working group for the national standardisation body DIN. Furthermore, she is a member of the working group biosample core of the Covid-19 research project NAPKON. She has a master of science degree in biotechnology from the Technical University Berlin. She wrote her master thesis at the Central Biomaterial Bank Charité (ZeBanC) and worked there in the field of quality management until they obtained the certification DIN EN ISO 9001:2015.

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.

Olli Kallioniemi

Olli Kallioniemi, M.D., Ph.D. Director of Science for Life Laboratory (www.SciLifeLab.se), a national infrastructure for life sciences in Sweden and professor in Molecular Precision Medicine at the Karolinska Institutet.  He was previously the founding director of FIMM – the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland at the University of Helsinki, as part of the Nordic EMBL partnership in Molecular Medicine.

Olli Kallioniemi received his M.D. in 1984, Ph.D. in 1988 and specialty training in laboratory medicine at the University of Tampere in Finland. He undertook a postdoc at UC San Francisco 1990-1992 and was nominated as faculty at the National Human Genome Research Institute (1995-2001).

His research group is currently active in individualized systems medicine of cancer, with a focus on improving the diagnostics and therapy of leukemia, prostate and ovarian cancer. Olli Kallioniemi is a recipient of the Anders Jahre (Young Scientist) Prize, NIH Director’s lecture, Harold G. Pritzker Memorial Lecture (Toronto), AACR team science award and the IFCC-Abbot Award for Molecular Diagnostics and the main annual medical prize in Finland. He is a member of European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), European Academy of Cancer Sciences as well as the Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institutet.

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

Zisis Kozlakidis

Dr Zisis Kozlakidis is the Head of Laboratory Services and Biobanking at the International Agency for Research on Cancer, World Health Organization (IARC/WHO). He is responsible for one of the largest and most varied international collections of clinical samples in the world, focusing on gene–environment interactions and disease-based collections. This WHO infrastructure supports multinational efforts in making treatments possible and delivering those to resource-restricted settings. Dr. Kozlakidis has significant expertise in the field of biobanking and has served as President of ISBER. Dr Kozlakidis is a virologist, with a PhD in microbiology from Imperial College London. He is an elected Fellow of the Linnean Society of London, the Royal Academy of Sciences, UK, and a Turnberg Fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences.

Marialuisa Lavitrano

Marialuisa Lavitrano is full professor of Pathology, director of Molecular Medicine Unit, of the School of Oncology and of the Executive Masters’ in Management of Research Infrastructures at Milano-Bicocca University where she was Pro-Rector for International Affairs [2006-2013]. Over the years, she contributed to the international strategies of the Ministries of Research and of Health and coordinated the Italian participation in the BioMedical Sciences ESFRI roadmap. In 2013 she was appointed BBMRI.it Node-Director.  Prof. Lavitrano has a long-term experience in managing R&D projects with a translational approach for the transfer of scientific results to the clinical practice. Moreover, she is interested in the bioethical aspects of science and participated at Bioethical Commissions of the Council of Europe, of the Vatican, and of the Italian government and is co-Director of BBMRI-ERIC Common Service ELSI. In December 2020 prof. Lavitrano has been elected in the board of eight directors of the EOSC Association.

Rita Lawlor

Rita T. Lawlor is a Computer Science graduate of Trinity College Dublin with a doctorate in Oncological Pathology from the University of Verona where she is director of the ARC-Net biobank, coordinating research activities. She is a Fellow of Information Privacy and is chair of the ISBER GDPR Task Force. She is part of the management team of International Cancer Genome Consortium to accelerate research in genomic oncology and is on the board of the Italian Foundation on Pancreas Diseases. She is past president of ESBB, and a former director of ISBER. She is on the steering committee of Biobank Cohort Network of Low Middle Income Countries of International Association for Research on Cancer and co-authored its Technical Publication on Common Minimum Technical Standards and Protocols for Biobanks Dedicated to Cancer Research.  Her current research interests are in molecular characterization of samples in the application of individualized medicine.

Vincent Munster

Dr. Vincent Munster is the chief of the Virus Ecology Section at NIAIDs Rocky Mountain Laboratories. He received his Ph.D. in virology from Erasmus University, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, in 2006. During his Ph.D. studies, Dr. Munster studied the ecology, evolution, and pathogenesis of avian influenza viruses. He continued his training at the Erasmus Medical Center from 2006 to 2009, where he worked within the Center for Research on Influenza Pathogenesis and Surveillance (CRIPS) focusing on pathogenicity and human-to-human transmission of influenza A viruses. Dr. Munster joined the NIAIDs Laboratory of Virology as a visiting fellow in 2009 to study the ecology of emerging viruses such as Ebola virus. In 2013, Dr. Munster established the Virus Ecology Unit as an independent tenure-track investigator. His lab is working to elucidate the ecology of emerging viruses and drivers of zoonotic and cross-species transmission. The lab uses a combined field and experimental research approach and conducts research at the state-of-the-art high- and maximum-containment facilities of the Rocky Mountain Laboratories, as well as at field study sites in Africa (the Republic of the Congo, Mali, Ghana, Liberia) and the Middle East (Jordan). Dr. Munster has been actively involved in the response to MERS-CoV, Ebola virus and COVID19 outbreaks. With the current COVID19 pandemic he is actively involved in the development of medical countermeasures and providing critical experimental data supporting direct public health decisions and interventions.

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.

Uwe Oelmueller

Dr. Oelmueller joined QIAGEN in 1995. He heads the Molecular Diagnostics Technology Center for Sample Technologies. At the QIAGEN / BD company PreAnalytiX he is QIAGEN’s management co-chair. Dr. Oelmueller was the coordinator of the EU FP7 Collaborative Grant Project SPIDIA (2008 – 2013) and is the coordinator of the EU Horizon 2020 Coordination and Support Action SPDIA4P (2017 – 2021). Both projects focus on the standardization and improvement of pre-analytical workflows for in-vitro diagnostics. He is a working group convener at the ISO/TC 212 (clinical Laboratory testing and in vitro diagnostic test systems) and at the CEN/TC 140 (in vitro diagnostic medical devices). In 2017 he received in Stockholm the “DIN Honorary Needle” Award for his international engagement in standards developments for quality management in medical laboratories and in 2020 in Brussels the CEN-CENELEC “Standard and Innovation Technical Body Officers Award” acknowledging the role of newly developed standards in fostering 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.

Peter Reigman

Peter Riegman is a molecular biologist. 1982-1986: Biology Leiden University 1986-1992: Ph.D. study: Prostate-Specific Antigen at Erasmus University Rotterdam; Promotor: Prof. Dr. D. Bootsma, Co-promotor: Prof. Dr. J. Trapman; 1992-1997: Postdoc: meningioma and neurofibromatosis at Erasmus University Rotterdam; 1997-2001: Postdoc, neoplastic progression in Barrett’s Esophagus at Erasmus University, Rotterdam;.
2001 – present: Head of the Erasmus MC Tissue Bank at the Pathology Dept, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, where he became involved in European projects: TuBaFrost as coordinator, EuroBoNeT, BBMRI, BIOPOOL, SPIDIA, EurocanPlatform. Since 2017 active in SPIDIA4P and from the start of 2020 in Instand-NGS4P. In 2010 he was ISBER president and ESBB president in 2011 He became Section editor of Biopreservation and Biobanking. From 2012 Erasmus MC Health RI parelsnoer UMC and biobank coordinator and NEN commissioner for the CEN/TC140 and ISO/TC212 mirror committee. 2018: advisor in the Erasmus MC service platform team: Erasmus MC Central Biobank.

Brent Schacter

Dr. Schacter is the Chair of the ISBER/ASCP BOC Steering Committee that lead the development of the new Qualification in Biorepository Science examination (QBRS) for biobanking professionals. He is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Internal Medicine, Max Rady College of Medicine, University of Manitoba / CancerCare Manitoba. He is a Past President of ISBER and previously was the Principal Investigator for the Canadian Tissue Repository Network (CTRNet). Currently he is active with ISO TC276 and was part of the writing group for ISO 20387:2018, the global standard for biobanking. His clinical role was as a clinician scientist in hematology.

Elke Smits

Prof. Dr. Elke Smits earned her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Leuven, a Master of Science in Biotechnology and a PhD in Veterinary Sciences in 1998 from the University of Gent in Belgium.
Elke Smits joined Devgen Inc, a spin-off company in Gent, as manager molecular cell biology for target discovery and drug development projects. In 2004, she became senior scientist at the Flemish Science Policy Council, the advisory body for the Flemish government concerning science and innovation policy.
Since 2008, Prof. dr. Elke Smits heads the Science & Innovation department of the Antwerp University Hospital and has gained extensive experience in merging translational and clinical research within clinical practice. She holds a visiting professorship position at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Antwerp and is liaison officer CRC Antwerp for the Center for Medical Innovation.

Bartlomiej Wilkowski

Bartlomiej Wilkowski has obtained his Ph.D. degree in biomedical informatics (semantic text mining) from the Technical University of Denmark in 2011. He also has a Master’s engineer degree in Telecommunications and Computer Science from the Technical University of Lodz in Poland. Since 2011, Bart works at the Danish National Biobank, Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen, Denmark. He leads an IT section (Systems development and Data Integration) responsible for development and daily support of IT solutions at the Danish National Biobank, including integration of automated freezers and robots, national search system of available biological specimens in Denmark – the Danish Biobank Register and, last but not least, development and 24/7 support of in-house developed IT system for COVID19 Testcenter Denmark laboratory.

Hadi M. Yassine

I’m an associate professor of infectious diseases, section head of research at the Qatar University ‎Biomedical Research Center ‎‎(BRC), and the chair of QU IBC committee.  I also serve as an adjunct faculty at Hamad Ben Khalifa University-Doha (2018-Current) and previously at the Catholic University of America ‎(CUA)- Washington D.C (2014/2015). In addition to my administrative duties, I lead the ‎communicable diseases section at the BRC. My research and teaching experiences have been fostered by ‎several ‎years of intensive work at state-of-the-art and multi-disciplinary institutions. After earning a Ph.D. ‎degree ‎from The Ohio State University in 2009, I worked at the Vaccine Research Center ‎‎(VRC)-National Institute of ‎Health (NIH) for over five years as a postdoctoral fellow and then as a ‎research fellow. I have excellent experience ‎in the basic and applied biology ‎fields, including virology, microbiology, immunology, molecular diagnostics, and vaccine ‎development. I have published more than 80 articles (cited <3000 times based ‎on google scholar), some of which are in top-tier scientific ‎journals like Nature, Nature Medicine, Cell, Lancet ‎Infectious Diseases, and Science Translational Medicine. I serve on many committees at QU and other institutions around Qatar. I have participated in the organization of several local and international workshops and conferences.  I received ‎several awards in recognition of my work and contributed to six patents on new ‎designs ‎of viral vaccines.‎

Kurt Zatloukal

Kurt Zatloukal, M.D. is professor of pathology at the Medical University of Graz, Austria and head of the Diagnostic and Research Center for Molecular BioMedicine. His research focuses on molecular pathology of diseases as well as digital pathology, biobanking and related data management technologies. He coordinated the preparatory phase of the European biobanking and biomolecular research infrastructure (BBMRI-ERIC) and is director of the Austrian national node BBMRI.at. He directed the Christian Doppler Laboratory for Biospecimen Research and Biobanking Technologies. He contributes to the development of new European standards and norms for pre-analytical processing of tissue samples for molecular testing and is member of the Austrian Standards Institute and of the scientific board for genetic testing and human gene therapy at the Austrian Ministry of Health. He was member of the OECD task force on biological resource centres, the Roadmap Working Group of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures, the Academia Europaea and Austrian Academy of Sciences, and has published over 258 scientific papers and was co-inventor of 25 patent applications.