Speaker Biographies

Elisa Viering
Agilent Technologies, Germany
Elisa joined Agilent 2016 and works as Product Manager for the ScreenTape devices. Prior to Agilent she worked as a Laboratory Engineer with the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ), Heidelberg where she worked in the High Throughput Sequencing Core Facility. There she contributed to quality control of incoming samples (DNA and RNA), whole genome sequencing (TruSeq Nano) and increase throughput with implementation of liquid handling systems. Her education includes a Postgraduate Studies in Molecular Biotechnology from Goethe University Frankfurt, Graduated Master of Science (M.Sc.). The Master Thesis focused on development of methods to identify genetic variation in large populations of DNA samples using next generation sequencing platforms and was obtained from Population Genetics, Cambridge.

Monique Albert
Ontario Biobank, Canada
Monique Albert is the Director of the Ontario Tumour Bank at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research in Toronto, Canada. She has two decades of professional experience in the biobanking, health research and pharmaceutical sectors. A believer in the importance of biobanking to the research https://www.isber.org/admin/content/CustomPageEdit.aspx?id=881041#Html community, she serves on the ISBER Board as the Secretary, and volunteers in a number of additional roles. Further, she is a voting member on the Standards Council of Canada ISO TC276 Biotechnology mirror committee, which has special provisions for biobanks. Ms. Albert has held a number of leadership and research roles at OICR, MaRS, the STTARR Innovation Centre at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and the Microarray Centre and in the corporate sector at Cangene Corporation and Affinium Pharmaceuticals. Her academic background combines a Master of Science in Biological Sciences with a Project Management Professional designation and certification.

Aaron J. Goldenberg
Case Western University, USA
Dr. Aaron Goldenberg is Vice-Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of Bioethics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He is also the Research Director for the Department and Co-Director of the Case Western Center for Genetic Research Ethics and Law. Dr. Goldenberg’s work has focused on the ethical, legal, and social implications of genetics and genomics in clinical and public health settings. His research program has been grounded by a number of major project areas, including: 1) ethical implications of expanding newborn screening programs; 2) storage and use of biological specimens and data for future research; 3)diversity in genetic research, including the implications of gene-environment interactions for racial/ethnic minorities and other communities experiencing health disparities.

Kyle Brothers
University of Louisville, USA
Dr. Kyle Brothers, MD, PhD is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and the Endowed Chair for Pediatric Clinical and Translational Research at the University of Louisville, where he directs the Division of Pediatric Clinical and Translational Research. Dr. Brothers is a pediatrician and bioethicist who conducts research on ethical issues in the translation of genomic technologies to clinical practice, and research ethics issues encountered in the development and operation of biorepositories, data collections, and research networks. Dr. Brothers is a practicing primary care pediatrician and serves as a clinical ethics consultant at Norton Children’s Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky.

Jean Cadigan
University of North Carolina, USA
Dr. Jean Cadigan is Associate Professor of Social Medicine and a core faculty member in the Center for Bioethics at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She received her PhD in anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles. She then completed postdoctoral appointments in medical anthropology and human development. Her teaching and research interests focus broadly on clinical and research ethics. As an investigator in UNC’s Center for Genomics and Society, she studies the ethical, legal, social, and policy implications of translating genomic research into clinical care. She has designed and conducted multimethod projects involving surveys and interviews with participants and investigators of genetic research studies about issues such as return of individual research results, ownership of biospecimens, and biobanking. With Eric Juengst, she currently leads a study on ethical and governance challenges of human genome editing research. She has also conducted studies on educating medical trainees in clinical ethics. Dr. Cadigan currently serves as the Research Director of the Clinical Ethics Service for UNC’s Hospital Ethics Committee. She also serves on the Research Ethics Consultation Service through the North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute (NC TraCS).

Ida Biunno
ISENET Biobanking, Italy
Ida Biunno holds a Bachelor Degree in Biology and Psychology from Temple Pennsylvania, (PA, USA, 1980). She holds a Doctoral Degree in Molecular Biology from the University of Milan, Italy (1982). She joined the CNR in Milano in 1988 to work on the Human Genome Project under the coordination of Prof. Renato Dulbecco (Nobel Laureate) and visiting scientist at Salk Institute (San Diego USA) in 1989-1990. Presently she is a senior associate researcher at CNR. From 2010 to 2017 she coordinated the Stem Cell Research Unit of the Multimedica Hospital and Foundation. Ida is also a member of the Steering Committee for the European Huntington Disease Network (EHDN) (since 2005). Previously Ida worked as a Research Associate at the National Cancer Institute of Milan (1982-1988), she was the Scientific Director in Biorep in Milan (2005-2010). Since 2008 she is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Biology at the Biotechnology Center of Temple University in Philadelphia (PA, USA). She has been the Principal Investigator in EU (NeuroStemCells, NeuroSteemCellRepair and NeuroScreen, SilkFusion) financed projects and national projects (FIRB, PRIN and Regione Lombardia) all dealing with stem cells derivation and Biobanking. She has published over 115 peer reviewed scientific papers and supervised over 25 University Medical Thesis. She is a lecturer in Biomedicine at the University of Milano - Bicocca and for Regione Lombardia Advanced Medical Education School.
She was appointed in July 2018 as Chief Scientific Officer of ISENET BIOBANKING located in Milano-Italy.

Jerry Lee
University of Southern California, USA
Dr. Lee is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine and Chemical Engineering & Material Sciences at USC and also serves as the Chief Scientific and Innovation Officer for the Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine of USC. Prior to joining USC, he served for more than a decade at the National Cancer Institute where he deployed programs to accelerate the creation of publicly available multi-dimensional datasets to empower the entire cancer research continuum. His research involves elucidating the interplay between biophysical and biochemical drivers of age-related diseases. Dr. Lee earned his PhD in chemical and bimolecular engineering from JHU.

Lauren Leiman
Ms. Lauren C. Leiman is currently the Executive Director of the Blood Profiling Atlas in Cancer (BloodPAC), a consortium focused on creating an open database for liquid biopsies to accelerate the development of safe and effective blood profiling diagnostic technologies for patient benefit. Prior to running BloodPAC, she was the Senior Director of External Partnerships at White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force during the Obama Administration. 

Meri Firpo
Memphis Meats, USA
Dr. Firpo is a member of the Steering Committee of the International Stem Cell Banking initiative. The ISCBI is bringing together and developing a truly multinational community of specialists in stem cell banking but also other vital expertise e.g. non stem cell scientific expertise, suppliers, regulators, policy-makers. This could address the fundamental principles on which it was established based on the concepts of inclusivity of many countries and diverse scientific applications including toxicology, disease studies and food production) and governance. Dr. Firpo's work has ranged from distribution of banked pluripotent stem cells to therapeutic applications and manufacture of cell products.

Stephen Lin
California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, USA
Dr. Lin is a senior science officer at California’s stem cell agency, CIRM.  He oversaw creation of its repository of over 2400 individuals diseases as well as an initiative that applied genomics and bioinformatics approaches to stem cell research.  He is also program lead on a pre-clinical research organization termed the Translating Center focused on preparing stem cell therapy candidates for clinical trials.  Prior to CIRM he had been a scientist at Thermo Fisher Scientific and StemCells, Inc of California.  Dr. Lin received his Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis under and did his postdoctoral research at Harvard University. 

Lara Mouttham
Cornell University, USA
Lara Mouttham is the Laboratory Coordinator for the Cornell Veterinary Biobank (CVB) in Ithaca, NY. She obtained a PhD in Zoology and Wildlife Conservation from Cornell University in collaboration with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI), Washington, DC in 2016 for her work primordial follicle activation and ovarian tissue cryopreservation in cattle and domestic cats. In addition to her graduate research and subsequent postdoctoral fellowship, she maintained the SCBI Genome Resource Bank which stores gametes and genetic materials from wildlife species. She joined the CVB in 2018, where she oversees the laboratory operations for nucleic acid processing and banking. She is part of the quality assurance team that developed the CVB quality management system and prepared the biobank for accreditation to ISO 20387 by A2LA in April 2019. She is currently training to become an A2LA assessor for ISO 20387 and 17025.

Susan J. Garrison

Cornell University, USA
Susan Garrison is the Sample Collection Coordinator for the Cornell Veterinary Biobank (CVB) in Ithaca, NY. Susan has degrees in both animal science & technology as well as veterinary science & technology. In addition to her many years of experience as a licensed veterinary technician including her work at Cornell University Hospital for Animals serving in the Anesthesia Service and Medical Genetics Service, she has 10 years of biobanking experience with the Cornell Veterinary Biobank. As the CVB’s SCC, she oversees clinical sample recruitment as well as the collection, accessioning, preservation and storage of tissue samples and associated data for the CVB. She acquires and manages relevant clinical data associated with samples, consulting with clinical specialists for phenotypic confirmation to ensure data accuracy. She is also involved in project management and tissue sample distributions. She is part of the quality assurance team that developed the CVB quality management system and prepared the biobank for accreditation to ISO 20387 by A2LA in April 2019. She is currently an instructor for A2LA WPT’s class titled, Understanding ISO 20387:2018 General Requirements for Biobanking.

David Lewandowski

Brooks Life Sciences, USA
In his current role at Brooks, David visits with leading research, manufacturing and patient care facilities who require cryogenic infrastructure to support their efforts. He recently completed his elected term as President for the International Society of Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER.org). As President, he initiated an effort with the Society of Cryobiology to create and publish the first Liquid Nitrogen-Based Storage Facility Best Practices. This consensus document includes contributions from over 20 experts with a broad range of expertise. David enjoys working with managers in supply chain, operations, facilities, QA/QC and others to define systems which are adaptable, scalable and repeatable.

Amanda Rush

University of Sydney, Australia
Amanda is currently finishing a PhD in valuing and business modelling of biobanks. Most recently, she has worked as a Senior Policy Officer in Biobanking for the New South Wales Office for Health and Medical Research, where she contributed to the development of statewide biobanking policy. She has previously worked on numerous statewide projects tasked with gaining a greater understanding of the practices of cancer biobanks in NSW. She has over fifteen years’ experience in biobanking, including roles at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead Tumour Bank and the University of Sydney’s Brain Donor Program. She has also worked locally and in the UK in pathology, clinical research and data management roles. Amanda completed a Master of Public Health in 2010, and is the biobanking representative on the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network Human Research Ethics Committee. She has been a member of ISBER since 2012 and was an Associate Editor for the 4th edition of the ISBER Best Practices. She has also participated in the Australian review of the ISO 20387 standard: Biotechnology-Biobanking: General requirements for biobanking.

Carmel Quinn

University of New South Wales, Australia
Dr. Carmel Quinn holds a BSc (Hons) in Biology and a DPhil in microbiology from the University of York, UK. She then spent 5 years at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford, before moving to Sydney. After spending several years as a post-doctoral molecular-cell biologist in cardiovascular research at the Heart Research Institute and then at the Centre for Vascular Research, UNSW, Carmel moved to her current role as a Senior Project Officer at the Translational Cancer Research Network (TCRN), UNSW. In 2017 Carmel also completed a Masters degree in Public Health (MPH) at the School of Public Health and Community Medicine (SPHCM), UNSW.

Chad R Borges

Arizona State University, United States

Dr. Borges is an Associate Professor of chemistry at Arizona State University. After obtaining his B.S. in chemistry, he earned his Ph.D. at the University of Utah where he studied analytical toxicology under Doug Rollins who was the medical director in charge of doping control for the 2002 Olympics. As a postdoc at Michigan State his work focused on protein analysis by mass spectrometry. He has since merged these disciplines together into a research program that focuses on the analysis of protein posttranslational modifications as indicators of health and disease and—as we’ll hear today—as indicators of ex vivo biospecimen integrity.

Charles W. Wang

Shanghai Xinhua Hospital, China

Dr. Wang is a professor of molecular biologist with a research focus on molecular mechanisms underlying neuroendocrine developmental disruption by endocrine disruptor chemicals (EDCs) in early life. Besides, Charles is also an active professional with more than ten years of experience in biobanking activities. Especially he has keen interest in biobank informatics and data integration for sharing and biobank annotation. In his opinion, biobank is, by its very nature, constituted with information. Charles earned his M.D. degree in China and PhD from M D Anderson Cancer Center in USA. Following his postdoctoral training, Charles left Baylor College of Medicine and continued his research at Pfizer. After years with pharmaceutical industry, he joined and spearheaded to conduct disease annotation of rat genome at Wisconsin College of Medicine. After more than 20-year career and living in USA, Charles decided it was time for a change of scenery. In the beginning of 2012, he was recruited specifically by his professional skill set and experience in biobanking. Charles teamed up to start the development of Xinhua Biobank. He has earned his leading role in biobanking science and data management in China. Charles has large circle of connections both in China and the Untied States.

Iman Farahat

Egyptian National Cancer Institute, Egypt
Dr. Farahat is a professor of Pathology and Principal Investigator at the Egyptian National Cancer Institute (NCI) Biobank, Cairo University (Centers of Scientific Excellence Grant- Science and Technology Development Fund, Ministry of Scientific Research). She is a member of the Pathology committee for early diagnosis of Breast Cancer – The National Initiative for Egyptian Women Health (2019-Present) and the Director of Pathology Lab, Baheya Breast Cancer Centre, Egypt (2015-2018). Also, she is a consultant Pathologist at the Children’s Cancer Hospital – 57357 in Cairo (2007 to 2015) and a Research Scholar at the Immunohistochemistry and Molecular Pathology Lab, University of Southern California (USC), (April-July 2007). She completed MD/PhD at the NCI, Cairo University 2003.

Yunice Shao

China National GeneBank, China
Dr. Shao is the Business Development Manager of China National GeneBank (CNGB) and a member of the ISBER Member Relations Committees. She received her MD from Guangzhou Medical University and her Master degree in Public Health from University of Sydney. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine from University of Macau. Her research interests focus on epidemiology and synthetic biology. In 2016, she joined CNGB and has been responsible for the strategic program of research infrastructure, CNGB’s outreach to research communities, international cooperation and partnership. 

Steven Haynes

Sheffield University Medical School, UK
Haynes is the manager of the Sheffield Biorepository, which is part of the Sheffield Medical School. Following graduation in 2003 he began his career as a technical scientist in the water industry conducting non-routine chemical analysis and quality assurance auditing. Taking the opportunity later that decade to return to research he became a sequencing technician at University of Sheffield, then in 2012 becoming manager of the university’s Core Genomic Facility. Since 2015 he has been manager of the Sheffield Biorepository responsible for human tissue storage and related regulatory compliance, while also retaining his other technical roles within the university.

Umesh Bhanot

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, USA
Dr. Bhanot is a Pathologist-Scientist and Scientific Head of the Research Histology Division of the Precision Pathology Biobanking Center (PPBC), Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), New York. He completed his medical degree (MBBS) and MD Pathology from India. He worked as an Assistant Professor of pathology for few years. In 2003, he joined the international PhD (Dr rer med) program at the University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany. During his doctoral research in Ulm, Dr Bhanot successfully applied techniques like Laser Capture Microdissection (LCM), RNA extraction from micro-dissected tissue components for transcriptional profiling and real time PCR. He successfully defended his dissertation on “Molecular mechanism of parenchymal injury and the role of duct obstruction and ductal hypertension in the pathogenesis of chronic pancreatitis”. Dr. Bhanot joined the Pathology Core Lab, MSKCC, as a Senior Research Scientist/ Experimental Pathologist in 2008. He is an expert in applying technologies like, LCM, Tissue Micro-Arrays (TMAs) for molecular research. His research interests include pancreatic, lung, kidney cancer and other solid tumors. He also engages in tissue based clinical trial engagement through PPBC. He is a member of the US and Canadian Academy Pathology (USCAP). 

Erik Steinfelder

Thermo Fisher Scientific, The Netherlands
Erik Steinfelder earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Analytical Chemistry from the Saxion University of Applied Sciences in Deventer, Netherlands, and subsequently completed a degree in Foundations of Management at Nyenrode Business University in Breukelen, Netherlands. In 2008, he joined Thermo Fisher Scientific, a multinational biotechnology product development company based in the US. In his position as first Biobank Commercial Leader EMEA, he went on to head the complete biobank portfolio and range of activities and, most recently, became Corporate Accounts Executive. Additionally, between 2014 and 2017, he was also President-elect, President and past President of ESBB, the European, Middle Eastern and African Society for Biopreservation and Biobanking. Since August 2017 Erik Steinfelder is General Director of BBMRI-ERIC. His vision for the coming years is to “build and strengthen value-added sustainable biobanking for all stakeholders”.

Andrew Brooks

RUCDR, Brooks Life Sciences, USA
Andrew is the Chief Operating Officer of RUCDR Infinite Biologics (RUCDR) at Rutgers University, the world’s largest academic biorepository managing critical biological resources for clients such as The National Institute of Health, leading academic researchers, and major pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Additionally, Andrew is the Chief Scientist for TMRW’s infrastructure partner, Brooks Life Sciences, a division of the $2 billion (NASDAQ) Brooks Corporation. Andrew is also a Professor of Medicine and Genetics at Rutgers University. He is trained in molecular neuroscience and gene therapy and is widely recognized as a thought leader in the field of personalized medicine. Andrew has deep experience in advising leading US, global institutions, and governments on health policy, including serving on the boards and scientific leadership of several global biorepository and precision medicine programs in Europe, Qatar, and Australia.

Lester Russell

National Health Service, UK
Dr. Russell
is a digital health executive with experience garnered from senior roles in global IT companies. He draws on his work in clinical, commercial and health service settings to focus on strategy leadership, cross-group orchestration, ecosystem leadership, solution incubation and sales support. He is able to engage with clinicians and stakeholders across the health & life sciences eco-system and provide clinical input to business development activities. In additional, he practices as a GP in the South of England, holds an MBA, and he is a Fellow of the Faculty of Clinical Informatics in the UK. 

Dawn Barry

 Barry is President & Co-founder of Public Benefit Corporation, LunaPBC. LunaPBC, a World Economic Forum 2019 Technology Pioneer, launched LunaDNA, a SEC-qualified health data sharing platform owned by its members. Prior to LunaPBC, she spent 12 years at DNA sequencing leader, Illumina, and served as Vice President, Applied Genomics. In addition, she was San Diego Business Journal’s 2017 Business Woman of the Year, a TEDxSanDiego 2016 speaker, and is Board Chair of the Alzheimer’s Association San Diego/Imperial County. 


Christopher Loffredo

Georgetown University Medical Center, USA
Dr. Loffredo is a molecular epidemiologist specializing in the roles of genetic and environmental risk factors in human cancers and birth defects. He has numerous peer-reviewed spanning studies of environmental and genetic factors, familial aggregation, geographic information systems, and gene-environment interactions. He has led NIH-funded observational and community intervention studies, with emphasis on hepatitis C infection, tobacco smoking, environmental exposures, and their biological markers. He is strongly committed to global health and has current grant funding from the Department of Energy that supports development of a Russian biorepository to support cancer research in a cohort of occupationally exposed plutonium workers.

Anderson Mayfield

NOAA/University of Miami, USA
Mr. Mayfield 
has been studying coral reef ecosystems for nearly 20 years. After extended stints in Hawaii (graduate school under the supervision of the late, world renowned coral reef researcher Dr. Ruth Gates) and Taiwan (a series of post-doctoral research fellowships), he has since transitioned to working for NOAA's Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (Miami, FL), the United States government research institute that oversees the study and management/protection of the nation's coral reefs. Anderson is primarily interested in the physiology of reef corals, particularly how they respond at the organismal, cellular, and molecular levels to changes in their environments. 

Antonio Hugo Campos

Rede D'Or Network Hospitals, Brazil
Mr. Campos is a Pathologist at Rede D’Or Network Hospitals, with over 10 years experience in the biobanking field. Served as consultant to the Brazilian Ministry of Health and the Brazilian Research Ethics Commission on regulatory and ethical issues related to biobanking. Former head of the A C Camargo Biobank. Currently serves as ISBER Regional Ambassador to Latin America.