The UK Biobanking Showcase, organised by the UKCRC Tissue Directory and Coordination Centre (BBMRI.uk), is the UK’s annual event covering the latest developments in biobanking. Held at the Kia Oval cricket ground in London, the Showcase attracted more than 140 people from across the UK working in biobanks, research, industry and the government.
This year’s showcase sought to highlight some of the recent discussions and developments in biobanking including recognition, standards, collaborations and changes impacting the interface with the public. As with the previous year, the delegates also had the opportunity to debate some controversial topics like, ‘researchers should be able to leave reviews about the resources they have accessed on the [Tissue Directory]’. Overall, the aim was to present practical information on the future possibilities of biobanking to support the ongoing work in the field.
Ahead of the event, biobanks were asked to self-nominate for the annual Biobank of the Year Award. Biobanks were asked to submit up to two research case studies which outlines how their operations helped to facilitate research. Bloodwise Childhood Leukaemia Cell Bank (CLCB; York) won the award, with Northern Ireland Biobank coming as runner-up. Anne Thomson, Manager of CLCB commented,
‘We are absolutely delighted to receive the Biobank of the Year Award 2017 from UKCRC Tissue Directory and Coordination Centre. It is fantastic to receive this recognition of the achievements of the Bloodwise Childhood Leukaemia Cell Bank. It is the realisation of a vision by Bloodwise that founding a national collection of samples from children and young people with leukaemia would enable samples to be available for ground-breaking research and this has already altered the way children with leukaemia are treated. We would like to thank the children and their families for donating their samples, the clinical teams for co-ordinating sample collection and Bloodwise for their continued support.’
The panel selecting the winner, drawn from the UKCRC Tissue Directory and Coordination Centre Steering Committee, noted:
‘the very targeted use of the collection and was particularly impressed with the role of the biobank in coordinating samples to facilitate international research into rare diseases.’
Photo: Dr Phil Quinlan, Director UKCRC Tissue Directory and Coordination Centre (right) with Anne Thomson from Bloodwise Childhood Leukaemia Cell Bank, the 2017 Biobank of the Year Award Winner (left).