Lithuania joined BBMRI-ERIC on April 15, 2020 and nominated the National Cancer Institute (NCI) as the Lithuanian National Biobank Node (BBMRI.lt; LBN). LBN is the umbrella organisation of biobanks in Lithuania, representing the interests of Lithuanian biobanks within the BBMRI-ERIC network. LBN is also the primary contact point in Lithuania for all stakeholders in biobanking.
Under the leadership of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), 6 institutions are working together on the “Human Biological Resource Center” project to create a common visionary infrastructure, empower human resources, increase scientific expertise and stimulate biobanking activities in the country. LBN aims to create a harmonised, efficient and leading biobank infrastructure, as well as an open access research platform, that boosts Lithuanian biomedical research, health care, and biomedical industry while fostering its integration inthe European Research Area.
Currently, the national Biobank gathers, maintains and processes mainly cancer-related biological material, including tissue, blood, serum, plasma and cell samples, DNA and RNA, and the associated clinical and demographic data. Over 16,000 samples have been collected and stored over recent years in the Biobank. This number will increase as more biological material are included from different participant segments: diseased, population-based and healthy volunteers.
The Lithuanian Biobank Node will focus on the following main areas: