Sharing Experiences and being honoured in Shanghai29 May 2019
Dr Alison Parry-Jones, WCB Manager, recently travelled to Shanghai in China to give a talk at the ISBER (International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories, www.isber.org) Annual Meeting about the utilisation of biobanked samples. Her talk was ‘Collection Strategy for Sustainability: a Study of Sample Use’ and focused on the review undertaken by WCB in 2018 to ascertain the length of time from the time of consent to the time of use of samples to better understand the flow of biosamples and determine the utility of keeping a sample archive. The review showed that two-thirds of all samples issued to researchers were issued at least two years after the date of consent and nearly one-third of donations do not have their first sample used until at least two years after donation. Many patients have had several samples used and have supported multiple research projects, with one lady’s donation supporting eleven projects across six countries. A greater percentage of donations from the first five years of collection have had samples used, showing the value in maturing data and having a readily accessible archive of biosamples.
Dr Parry-Jones (L) with colleagues from Italy and the USA
The ISBER annual meeting gives great opportunities for networking with colleagues from around the globe and provides many learning platforms, both in the form of talks and workshop events. The theme of this year’s conference was ‘Honouring our Past, Celebrating the Present and Envisioning the Future’ and was the first time ISBER had organised a conference in China. Biobanking has really taken off in China over the last 5 years and many biobanks are being formed, in both the human and non-human sample collections.
Dr Parry-Jones was also presented with an ISBER Special Service Award at the conference for her work in developing and implementing a Regional Ambassador (RA) program for ISBER. The Regional Ambassadors (www.isber.org/page/ISBERregionalambassa) will assist the Directors-at-Large (DaL) in the four ISBER regions (Americas, China, Indo-Pacific Rim and Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA)) by serving as regional contacts and providing localised feedback and advice. Regional Ambassadors have now been recruited for all four regions and work now starts on expanding the program and ensuring all regions have input to help develop the global reach of ISBER.
Dr Parry-Jones receiving her award from Dr Zisis Kozlakidis (ISBER Past President)
Dr Parry-Jones is the ISBER DaL for EMEA and is looking forward to working with the six EMEA RAs recruited at the end of 2018. They come from S Africa, Uganda, Qatar, Russia, Czech Republic and Spain so the region is well represented. Two of the EMEA RAs were also at the Shanghai meeting, Dr Judita Kinkorova (Czech Republic) and Prof Nahla Afifi (Qatar) pictured below with Dr Parry-Jones.