In response to the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) crisis, the ISBER leadership wants to gain a better understanding of the challenges you are facing to address and support the needs of the international biobanking community around preparedness and risk management.
All ISBER COVID-19 activities are open to both ISBER members and non-members free of charge.
Discussion and Information Series
COVID-19-READY BIOBANK REGISTRY
ISBER is pleased to announce that we have partnered with BBMRI-ERIC to provide a COVID-19-Ready Biobank Registry to connect researchers with biobanks across the globe that are offering samples and datasets available to assist with COVID-19-related research.
As we all have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic around the world, it is vital that we seek opportunities to provide solutions through research built on robust tissue collection practices. Biobanks have much to offer our biomedical research community, and many of our ISBER members are actively involved in facilitating COVID-19 research through their biobank.
It is crucial that the availability of these biospecimens be made known to the wider research community. Thus, ISBER has joined with its European partner BBMRI-ERIC to list all COVID-19-ready member biobanks in one location, the BBMRI-ERIC Directory with its new COVID-19 filters. By uniting our forces and promoting them to the ISBER and BBMRI communities, we will attract leading COVID-19 researchers from around the world to make contact with our biobanks so as to see the release of valuable biospecimens into the best research programs that will lead our way out of this pandemic.
The framework is ready and we now would like to invite all ISBER members to consider supporting this worldwide initiative. Does your biobank have biospecimens from patients with COVID-19 or related samples and datasets that can be readily used to assist in research that you would like to make available? If so, we invite you to join the BBMRI-ERIC Directory to make your samples easily accessible to the global research community. There is no cost to participate in the registry.
UNDERSTANDING COVID-19 WEBINAR
Dr. Tristan Knight, The Hospital for Sick Children, Canada
Tuesday, April 7, 2020 at 9 AM PST
Beginning in December 2019, a novel coronavirus, designated SARS-COV-2, has caused what rapidly became a global pandemic. The disease caused by SARS-COV-2, which has been designated COVID-19, appears to range from asymptomatic or mild, self-limited respiratory tract illness to progressive pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), multiorgan failure, and death. Optimal management of this condition has not yet been established, but in addition to supportive care, various combinations of glucocorticoids, tocilizumab, anti-virals, and anti-malarial agents have been utilized with varying degrees of efficacy. Importantly, there is growing evidence of heightened vulnerability in immunocompromised patients. The impact of SARS-COV-2 and COVID-19 on the biobanking world is evolving, but likely to be profound. The purpose of this presentation will therefore be to provide a rapid, comprehensive, and relevant update on the current state of COVID-19, with attention to the epidemiology, clinical presentation, and emerging therapeutic options.
Dr. Tristan Knight is originally from Calgary, and completed medical school at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI). After completing his pediatrics residency at the University of Hawaii and pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan, he returned to Canada to undergo additional training in pediatric bone marrow transplant and cellular therapy at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto, where he is currently a sub-specialty fellow.
VENDORS TOWN HALL
Led by: Benjamin Otto and David Lewandowski
Wednesday, April 15, 2020 at 8 AM PST and 5PM PST
The purpose of this townhall is to bring together ISBER with it’s vendor community. We understand that the needs of these members differ from those of non-vendor members on normal days. More, we understand that the issues faced by these members under today’s situation are unique.
Therefore, here, we wish to provide a platform to foster discussion, understanding, solution sharing, and identifying opportunities for ISBER to engage with the vendors. Those opportunities deliberately shall not be restricted to the annual conferences’ and trade shows’ benefits which usually come as part of the conference registration and sponsorship. Rather, we are as well interested to hear about general issues, such as i.e. extending the ISBER member base to a broader audience, and to develop creative new ideas for engagement throughout the whole year beyond the conferences.
THE COVID-19 IMPACT PART 1: PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE ACROSS INDO-PACIFIC RIM AND CHINA
Presented by: Dr. Tasuaki Tsuruyama (Japan), Dr. Rongxing Gan (China), Dr. Jajah Fachiroh (Indonesia), Dr. Birendra Yadev (India), Dr. Koh Furuta (Japan), Dr. Wayne Ng (Australia), Dr. Xun Xu (China), Dr. Ravi Rayanade (India)
WEDNESDAY, MAY 13, 2020 at 9 PM PST
The effects of COVID-19 on the scientific community are not yet clear. We do know, however, that the impact on biobanking will be profound. The International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) exists to serve the needs of our membership and biobanking community. The objective of this town hall is to learn from biobankers and other related fields so that we can develop tools and best practices to support our community.
The purpose of this town hall is to gather information, learn and interact with our colleagues to better understand the scope of how the biobanking community is responding to the pandemic and how we are dealing with COVID-19 today. Our goal is to glean some directives by exploring the following three questions that can be used as we negotiate this new situation:
In this interactive session, we will hear from three key biobanks from China, Japan, India, Australia, and Indonesia. Speakers will share their experience and knowledge and on the following topics:
We encourage you to join in this town hall by sharing your questions and experience with others and learning from biobankers with first-hand experience and knowledge. Together we can forge new practices based on shared knowledge obtained through this town hall.
THE COVID-19 IMPACT PART 2: PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE ACROSS THE AMERICAS AND EUROPE
Presented by: Heidi Wagner (Canada), Dr. Rita Lawlor (Italy), Dr. Marta Castelhano (United States)
FRIDAY, MAY 29, 2020 at 7 AM PST/ 9 am CST (CENTRAL)/ 10 am EST/ 4 Pm CEST/ 10 Pm cst (CHINA)/ 11 pm jst (jAPAN)
The effects of COVID-19 on the scientific community are not yet clear. We do know, however, that the impact on biobanking will be profound. The International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) exists to serve the needs of our membership and biobanking community. The objective of this town hall is to learn both from past epidemics and from current biobankers how biobanking and research industries can address this new challenge.
The goal of the discussion sessions is to start identifying key issues and questions that may inform how we biobank in the future. One outcome is to address the sustainability of biobanks beyond COVID-19.
The townhall agenda will follow the format of presentation followed by discussions, to contextualize the current pandemic with past experience and current biobank management.
WEBINAR: BIOBANKING IN THE COVID-19 ERA: HOW EARLY EXPERIENCES CAN TRANSLATE INTO ACTIONABLE WISDOM
Led by: Daniel Simeon-Dubach and Clare Allocca
Monday, June 8, 2020 at 9 AM EST / 6 AM PST
ISBER is presenting the next COVID-19-related webinar, "Biobanking in the COVID-19 Era: How Early Experiences Can Translate Into Actionable Wisdom" on Monday, June 8, 2020 at 6AM PT/ 8AM CT/ 9AM ET/ 3PM CEST/ 11PM CST (China)/
10PM JST (Japan)/ 10:30PM ACST.