1st September 2020
The Assembly of Members of the Biobanking and BioMolecular resources Research Infrastructure – European Research Infrastructure Consortium (BBMRI-ERIC) appointed Professor Jens K. Habermann as new Director General. The distinguished scientist, clinician and recognized expert in biobanking, translational cancer research and human genetics will take office in Graz on September 1st, 2020. He succeeds Erik Steinfelder, who served as Director General of BBMRI-ERIC from August 2017 to January 2020.
Prof. Habermann is currently President of ESBB (European, Middle Eastern & African Society for Biopreservation and Biobanking) and holds three positions at the University of Lübeck and the University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein: he is Head of the Interdisciplinary Center for Biobanking-Lübeck, Head of the Section for Translational Surgical Oncology and Biobanking, and he works clinically as specialist in human genetics. In the official and public interest, the University of Lübeck and the State Government of Schleswig-Holstein generously grant Prof. Habermann leave of absence for his full-time appointment at BBMRI-ERIC. However, he resigned from his clinical positions in order to take on his new position at BBMRI-ERIC.
BBMRI-ERIC is one of the biggest ERICs in the biomedical field with currently 21 members: 17 member states and four observers, including IARC (WHO). BBMRI-ERIC has its headquarters in Graz, Austria, and a permanent representation at the EU in Brussels, Belgium. As the European research infrastructure for biobanking and biomolecular resources, BBMRI-ERIC is currently active in 20 different EU projects. BBMRI-ERIC brings together all main players from the biobanking field – researchers, biobankers, industry, and patients – to boost biomedical research. To that end, BBMRI-ERIC offers quality management services, supports with ethical, legal and societal issues, and a number of online tools and software solutions for BBMRI-ERIC’s ultima goal: Making new treatments possible.
Clinician-Scientist who bridges clinical care, research and biobanking
Professor Jens K. Habermann was born 1970 in Celle, Germany. He studied medicine in Lübeck, Stockholm and St. John’s. In parallel, he obtained a pre-diploma equivalent in business administration and economics. He received his medical doctorate from the University of Lübeck and his Ph.D. from the Karolinska Institutet Stockholm. He received a 5-year postdoctoral fellowship at the National Cancer Institute, NIH, in Bethesda, USA. He was appointed a permanent professorship for translational surgical oncology and biobanking in Lübeck 2012. At the same time, he established the Interdisciplinary Center for Biobanking-Lübeck and became scientific director of the Center for Translational Oncology Lübeck.
Prof. Habermann is board certified specialist in human genetics and combines clinical routine, biobanking, and cancer research to optimize individualized medicine. His main research interest focus on unrevealing causes and consequences of chromosomal instability, targeting tumor heterogeneity, and applying liquid biopsies for therapy prediction and monitoring. Prof. Habermann is actively involved in the Molecular Tumor Board as part of the precision medicine program in Lübeck and part of the Ethics board of the University of Lübeck.
Prof. Habermann has received numerous awards for his scientific work, including Keystone Symposium and American Association for Cancer Research awards, the State University award, and the Von Langenbeck award as the most esteemed scientific achievement by the German Society of Surgery. Prof. Habermann holds several patents and patent applications, is reviewer for more than 25 scientific journals and member of multiple scientific and clinical societies.
In-depth biobanking experience
Based on Prof. Habermann’s translational research agenda and clinical work, quality of biosamples and associated data have been in his focus early on. In 2005, Prof. Habermann initiated the North German Tumor Bank for Colorectal Cancer as one of four trans-regional disease focused biobank networks funded by the German Cancer Aid Foundation. He was steering committee member of all four biobank networks and further involved in the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) funded project “P2B2”, a blueprint for various biobank access portals. In 2012, he established the Interdisciplinary Center for Biobanking-Lübeck (ICB-L) as a central hospital-integrated biobank.
ICB-L had been selected as one of eleven biobanks in Germany to form the German Biobank Alliance (GBA) together with the German Biobank Node (GBN; bbmri.de). Being part of the GBN/GBA IT-core team, ICB-L was substantially involved in developing the BBMRI.de Sample Locator. A member of the GBN/GBA steering committee, Prof. Habermann has also been elected as one of GBA’s representatives. He has also become certified expert for the German accreditation authority body (DAkks) for the new biobank standard ISO 20387. Prof. Habermann has been an active member of ESBB (European, Middle Eastern and African Society for Biopreservation and Biobanking) and ISBER (International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories) since 2011 and participated in various working groups and task forces. He has been part of several scientific program committees since 2015 and the steering committee of the Europe Biobank Week (EBW) since 2018. Prof. Habermann was ESBB councilor 2015-2017, ESBB President-Elect 2017/2018, and is ESBB President since 2018.
ESBB is an international non-profit organization (AISBL) located in Brussels, Belgium, providing a scientific network to advance BIOSHARING for a better world through mobilizing, inspiring, and educating the biobank community across Europe, Middle Eastern, Africa and beyond (www.esbb.org).
In partnership, ESBB and BBMRI-ERIC organize Europe Biobank Week (#EBW20), which will be held virtually this year from November 17 – 20, 2020 (http://europebiobankweek.eu).