This week, we’re getting to know Mónica Cano Abadía, one of our ELSI Services Officers. ELSI stands for Ethical, Legal and Societal Issues.
Hi, Mónica! What does a typical day look like for you? What kinds of issues do you deal with in your job?
My two main tasks right now involve the ELSI Helpdesk and the ELSI Knowledge Base. Through the ELSI Helpdesk, we get inquiries concerning diverse ELSI issues and I make sure to provide the inquirers with adequate answers, often consulting with our ELSI experts from the national nodes. We also have a Knowledge Base and I am in charge of uploading documents, making sure that they are updated and well organized.
Where has BBMRI-ERIC taken you?
Well… Graz! Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, travelling has not happened yet. Nonetheless, Graz is a wonderful place to live, and our headquarters here a wonderful place to work.
What is the most interesting aspect of your job?
Definitely it’s the very stimulating conversations that I can have with researchers and other members of the biobanking community. During our conversations so far I have had the opportunity to reflect on timely and important ethical issues. I am sure that these will be a constant in my job in the future, since ethical challenges are never going to be solved once and for all!
What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
I believe that the most challenging part of my job is to show how ELSI issues are relevant topics to discuss within the biobanking community, and not only something that creates boring guidelines and checklists for researchers. I firmly believe that thinking about ethics and the impact that biobanking practices can potentially have in society can enrich biobanking research.
What do you love the most about working at BBMRI-ERIC?
I love knowing that I am making an impact. Biobanking will have a leading role in trying to solve some of the most important global challenges we are currently facing, and I am excited to be a part of it.
What kind of work did you do before joining?
I have worked as a researcher and lecturer in Moral and Political Philosophy at the Universities of Zaragoza (Spain), Rijeka (Croatia), and Graz.
How has coronavirus changed your work?
I do not know how working at BBMRI-ERIC is without coronavirus, since I started working here during the lockdown! What I know is that since the beginning my BBMRI-ERIC colleagues and the rest of our BBMRI colleagues from national nodes have warmly welcomed me. That is not an easy thing to do virtually! But they have nonetheless managed to create a very nice working environment.
We’re glad you joined the team. Thanks, Mónica!
Learn more about working for BBMRI-ERIC here. And look for the next interview soon!