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Biospecimen Research Symposium - Speakers
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 Morten Allentoft, PhD
  Morten Allentoft is a danish evolutionary biologist specialising in ancient DNA research. He has an MSc in population genetics from the University of Copenhagen (2007) studying genetics of endangered amphibians. Moving to New Zealand for his PhD, he worked on ancient DNA from extinct megafauna and continued this work in a 2010-2011 post doc at Murdoch University in Perth. In 2011 he returned to Copenhagen switching focus to another fascinating species, namely Homo sapiens. Funded by the Villum Foundation (Young Investigator Programme), MA is currently employed as an assistant professor at the Natural History Museum in Copenhagen. Among many things, he is involved in several large-scale ancient genomics projects that aim to understand early human migration and dispersal patterns.
 Jonas Astrin, MSc, MA, PhD
Jonas Astrin is curator of the biobank and head of the DNA barcoding unit at the Zoological Museum Alexander Koenig (ZFMK), Germany. He was trained as a zoologist at the universities Würzburg, Bonn, and UT Austin (TX) and as a scientific librarian at the Humboldt University Berlin. Merging these two specializations brought him to animal biobanking. Jonas is active in the biobanking networks GGBN, ISBER, ESBB, and Frozen Ark.
 Glenn Begley, MBBS, PhD, FRACP, FAHMS
Dr. Begley is inaugural CEO of BioCurate, an initiative of Monash and Melbourne Universities to provide commercial focus for drug development. He served previously as CSO of two companies in the USA, and was vice-president of hematology/oncology research at Amgen. There he highlighted the issue of research integrity. Before Amgen he had over 20 years of clinical experience in medical oncology. His personal research focused on regulation of hematopoietic cells and translational clinical trials. His early studies first described human G-CSF, and later clinical studies demonstrated that G-CSF-"mobilized" blood stem cells hastened hematopoietic recovery, a finding that revolutionized bone-marrow transplantation. 
 Daniel Chelsky, PhD
Dr. Chelsky is the CSO at Caprion Biosciences, a company using mass spectrometry to identify and quantify proteins of interest for biomarker discovery and validation, as well as mechanism of action and microbiome research. Previously he served as president of BioSignal, a subsidiary of PerkinElmer focused on GPCR-related research and reagents. He has also held positions as senior director of biology at Pharmacopeia, a combinatorial chemistry company, director of drug discovery at Onyx Pharmaceuticals, and principal investigator at DuPont Merck Pharmaceuticals. He received his PhD at the University of Oregon and was an American Cancer Society fellow at UC Berkeley. 
 Carolyn Compton, MD, PhD
Carolyn Compton, MD, PhD, is a pathologist, professor of life sciences at Arizona State University and professor of pathology at the Johns Hopkins Medical School. She is the chief medical officer of the National Biomarkers Development Alliance and the Complex Adaptive Systems Institute. Formerly, she was professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School and the Strathcona professor at McGill. More recently she was the director of the Office of Biorepositories and Biospecimen Research at the US National Cancer Institute and recipient of the ISBER Award for Outstanding Achievement in Biobanking. She has authored more than 500 academic publications. 
 Peter Findeisen, MD
Peter Findeisen is an associate professor at the Institute of Clinical Chemistry of the Medical Faculty Mannheim of the University of Heidelberg. His main research objective is the identification of new biomarkers to improve laboratory based diagnosis of tumors. His group has developed several MS-based assays that allow the monitoring of tumor associated proteolytic activity in clinical specimens like serum and plasma. Furthermore he is head of the proteomics core facility of the Medical Faculty Mannheim of the University of Heidelberg. He works as consultant at the University Hospital Mannheim since 2008. 
 Steven Groot, PhD
Steven Groot has worked for over 25 years with plant seeds quality. One of his main topics is improving the storability of seeds. Most seeds are desiccation tolerant, meaning they can be stored under dry conditions, nevertheless they still slowly deteriorate during storage. Traditionally seeds are stored at low moisture levels and temperatures to delay aging. His team has shown that anoxia storage is a third and powerful condition to reduce the rate of seed deterioration. On the other side they have developed a test under elevated oxygen pressure to study genetic variation in seed longevity under dry conditions. 
 Stephen Hewitt, MD, PhD

Stephen M. Hewitt, MD, PhD, is a clinical investigator within the laboratory of pathology, National Cancer Institute and serves as head of the Experimental Pathology Laboratory. Stephen received his BA from the Johns Hopkins University, and his MD and PhD degrees from the University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston. He completed his residency in anatomic pathology at the NCI. Dr. Hewitt is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Histochemistry & Cytochemistry. Dr Hewitt has co-authored over 270 articles and servers on the editorial board of four peer-reviewed journals. 
 Michael Kiehntopf
Michael Kiehntopf is director of the Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Diagnostics at Jena University Hospital and head of the Integrated Biobank Jena (IBBJ). He has a long experience in biobanking and is the coordinator of the quality management project for liquid samples in the German Biobank Alliance (GBA). He is speaker of the Biobanking Working Group of the German Society for Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (DGKL), vice chairman of the TMF board of directors, deputy spokesman of the Biobanking Working Group of the TMF ( and member of the scientific advisory board of the biobank network PopGen 2.0 and the Interdisciplinary Bank of Biomaterials and Data Würzburg (ibdw). 
 Sabine Lehman
Doctor in Chemistry with over 25 years experience in operations and quality management (GLP, GMP, GCP, ISO 9001 & 17025) in different European countries and organization types (pharmaceutical industry, CRO, biobank).
Expert in ISO TC 276 (Biotechnology), actively contributing to the elaboration of a new ISO standard covering the general requirements for biobanking and its implementation guide.
Quality Manager at IBBL, responsible for conceiving, implementing and maintaining the integrated quality system at IBBL in compliance with different ISO certification & accreditation standards and other sector-specific standards and guidelines (e.g. ISBER Best Practice). 
 Andreas Leimbach
  Dr. Andreas Leimbach studied biology at the University of Würzburg, the University of Texas at Austin, and the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology. After an internship at Merck KGaA in food microbiology testing, he conducted research in microbial genomics utilizing different NGS platforms at the Universities of Würzburg, Göttingen, and Münster. Last year he joined GATC Biotech AG and is responsible for NGS product development and optimization as a scientist in the R&D Team. 
 Eva Martens
  Eva Martens is part of the Seed Conservation team at RBG Kew's Millennium Seed Bank (MSB). She has an MRes in Biodiversity, Evolution and Conservation from University College London (2015). Since 2016 Eva has worked for the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership (MSBP), a global plant conservation network managed by RBG Kew. Eva is responsible for supporting the MSBP through providing technical support to the operational partnerships, networks and projects, with the aim of enhancing the quality of seed collections. The role enables RBG Kew to build capacity and strengthen the technical networks that underpin RBG Kew’s long-term partnerships in plant conservation 
 William Mathieson, PhD
Bill studied biology at King`s College London then parasitology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and at the University of York, UK. He developed an interest in biospecimen science whilst working as a post-doc for Professor Gerry Thomas at Imperial College London, gaining exposure to the subject through via the tissue banks that Prof Thomas is responsible for (the Chernobyl Tissue Bank and the Imperial College NHS Tissue Bank). In 2013 he moved to the Integrated Biobank of Luxembourg to work for Dr Fay Betsou, continuing his research interest in biospecimen science. 
 Sean May, PhD
Professor Sean May has been director of the Nottingham Arabidopsis Stock Centre (NASC: since 1999. His 1991 D.Phil addressed evolutionary developmental neurogenetics, leading to postdoctoral work on Drosophila, and then up the evolutionary scale to research on plants (and Arabidopsis in particular). Sean actively promotes standards, controlled vocabularies and ontologies, particularly with reference to post-genomic and phenotypic data. NASC sends out more than 100,000 tubes of seed annually to researchers all over the world and runs on a mixed economy of grants and cost-recovery. 
 Helen Moore, PhD  
Dr. Helen Moore leads the National Cancer Institute’s Biorepositories and Biospecimen Research Branch (BBRB). As chief she sets the direction and strategic vision for the Branch and oversees several projects related to biobanking, including: the NCI best practices for biospecimen resources, a foundational document for biobanking in use internationally; a biospecimen science research program to develop the evidence for biospecimen best practices; the Biospecimen Research Database, a web-based biospecimen science literature database; research in the ethical, legal, and social implications of biobanking; and biobanking operations for major NCI and NIH programs including the NIH Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) project. 
 Philip Norris, MD
Philip Norris, MD, is the VP of Research and Scientific Programs at Blood Systems Inc., and Director of Laboratory Sciences-SF for Blood Systems Research Institute (BSRI), a UCSF-affiliated research institute. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. The Norris lab research interests focus on how the human immune system responds to viral infections and transfusion. 
 Uwe Oelmueller
At QIAGEN, Dr. Oelmueller heads the MDx Technology Center for Sample Technologies. At the QIAGEN / BD joint venture company PreAnalytiX he is QIAGEN’s management committee co-chair. Dr. Oelmueller was the coordinator of the EU FP7 Collaborative Grant Project SPIDIA (2008 – 2013) and is the current coordinator of the EU Horizon 2020 Coordination and Support Action SPDIA4P (2017 – 2020). He is convener of the ISO/TC 212 WG 4 and deputy convener of the CEN/TC 140 WG 3. In 2017 he received the “DIN Honorary Needle” Award for his international engagement in standards developments for quality management in medical laboratories. 
 Johan Paulsson, PhD
Johan Paulsson's area of expertise is cell biology and pharmacology and he works at Novo Nordisk A/S with early stage R&D in an in vitro biology department. In projects, he characterizes protein and peptide analogues for their ability to bind to and activate their cellular receptors and to gain understanding of the biological mode of action of new entities within obesity and diabetes research.
 Thomas Schlange, PhD
Thomas Schlange received his Diploma in Chemistry in 1998 and his PhD in 2003 at the TU Braunschweig, Germany, focussing on early cardiac development. From 2003 until 2008 he worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Basel, Switzerland, on Wnt and EGFR signalling in breast cancer. Since 2008 Thomas Schlange is scientist with Bayer AG in Wuppertal, Germany, and is responsible for biomarker projects/strategy in lung indications. Since 2015 he is the EFPIA coordinator of the Innovative Medicines Initiative consortium CANCER-ID on circulating tumor cell, circulating free tumor DNA and miRNA technology evaluation. 
 Katheryn Shea, BS
  Kathi Shea is the Biobanking Business Lead for Brooks Life Sciences. She is a former President of the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) and an active member of several ISBER committees and working groups. Kathi served on the Advisory Working Group that developed the College of American Pathologists Biorepository Accreditation Program and is an active member of the CAP BAP Committee. She has over 25 years of experience leading biorepository programs and advising on the design of biorepositories, quality systems, and optimal methods for collection, preservation and annotation of biological sample collections. 
 Andreas Spittler, MD, PhD
Andreas Spittler completed his medical studies at the University Münster/Germany and Vienna/Austria. He is an associate professor for pathophysiology and the head of the division of perioperative immunology at the department of surgery. Dr. Spittler is the head of the core facility flow cytometry. Also, Dr. Spittler is the president of the Austrian Society for Cytometry and the Austrian Society for Extracellular Vesicles. His area of work focuses on sepsis immunology with the focus on monocytes; characterization of monocytes in the early and in the late phase of sepsis; immune monitoring in critically ill patients; and extracellular vesicles. 
 Geraldine Thomas, PhD
  Gerry Thomas is a professor of molecular pathology at Imperial College London. She is a serial biobanker, having established the Chernobyl Tissue Bank and the Wales Cancer Bank, she is now Designated Individual for the Imperial College HTA Research Licence and leads one of the largest and most varied HTA regulated Tissue Banks in the UK. She strongly believes that public involvement and information is a key part of academic research, and is actively involved in the public communication of research, particularly with respect to radiation protection, and biobanking. 
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