The German Biobank Alliance (GBA) has come a decisive step closer to enabling scientists to search for biomaterial samples and associated data online across multiple biobanks.
GBA coordinator Prof. Dr. Michael Hummel gave live demonstrations of the search function during the Scientific Advisory Board meeting on 28 September and the BBMRI-ERIC Management Committee meeting on 9 October.
He looked up tissue and liquid samples – from donors with colonic carcinoma, for example – and showed which GBA biobanks were able to offer such samples.
The live presentation was very well received at both meetings. During the Management Committee meeting, a number of other European nodes expressed an interest in piloting their integration into the search function. The search function is not yet publicly accessible.
The cross-location search for sample data is possible thanks to the so-called bridgeheads that the biobanks of the German Biobank Alliance (GBA) have installed. They make data from their sample collections available in these bridgeheads, which have already been installed at all GBA biobanks. Six of the eleven GBA biobanks are now connected to the pilot search function demonstrated.
For more information on the IT infrastructure of the German Biobank Alliance (GBA), see this interview with IT managers Prof. Dr. Hans-Ulrich Prokosch and Dr. Martin Lablans.