Professionalism and Career Prospects in Biobanking

Having dedicated professional staff with the right blend of technical, managerial, regulatory, and ethical skills and experience to meet the challenges of running a sustainable biobanking business cannot be overemphasised.  An identifiable career path contributes to the retention of, along with coaching and mentoring of employees in moving forward in this emerging market.

Expert Panelists

Cassandra Griffin – Hunter Medical Research Institute

Cassandra manages NSW Regional Biospecimen Research Services which includes Hunter Cancer Biobank and the Mark Hughes Foundation Brain Bank at the University of Newcastle, NSW. She has held this position since early 2018 and has contributed to the growth and diversification of the Biobank with support from NSW Health Pathology, the University of Newcastle’s Hunter Cancer Research Alliance and Hunter Medical Research Institute. She is currently the vice president of the Australasian Biospecimen Network Association (ABNA).

With a background in Microbiology Research, Oncology Clinical Trials and several years’ experience working in international medical communications, Cassandra has a keen interest in sustainability and biobanking partnerships – particularly within the regional areas. Cassandra’s research interests focus on Brain Biobanking and the impact that post-mortem brain donations have on people fighting brain cancer as well as on their family and friends. Her other research interests lie in the partnership roles that biobanking facilities play in coordinating clinical trial specimen collections, particularly for the local research community, and multi-centre clinical trials – both cooperative and industry sponsored.

Prof Paul Hofman – University Côte D’Azur

Paul Hofman, MD, PhD is professor of pathology and the head of the laboratory of clinical and experimental pathology at Nice Center Hospital, University Côte d’Azur, France. He is the director of the Nice Côte d’Azur Biobank and of the MSc Biobanks and Complex Data Management. He is the director of the OncoAge and of the Research team 4 at the IRCAN Center at the Comprehensive Cancer Center Antoine Lacassagne (Nice). He is a member of the Royal Academy of Medicine (Brussels, Belgium). He published 510 papers (NCBI PubMed). The main research interest concerns the characterization of different predictive biomarkers in tissue and liquid biopsies from lung cancer and melanoma patients.

Dr Zisis Kozladidis – IARC/WHO

Dr Zisis Kozlakidis is the Head of Laboratory Services and Biobanking at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC/WHO). He is responsible for one of the largest and most varied international collections of clinical samples in the world, focusing on gene–environment interactions and disease-based
collections. This WHO infrastructure supports multinational efforts in making treatments possible and delivering those to resource-restricted settings. Dr. Kozlakidis has significant expertise in the field of biobanking and has served as President of ISBER.

Dr. Kozlakidis is a virologist, with a PhD in microbiology from Imperial College London. He is an elected Fellow of the Linnean Society of London, the Royal Academy of Sciences, UK, and a Turnberg Fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences. Dr Kozlakidis has contributed to seminal studies in the adoption of innovations into routine healthcare, and their associated financial impacts. He is scientific advisor to the PTEN Research Foundation, holds an MBA from the Business School, City University of London, and he is a cofounder of the City Healthcare Innovation Network, a conduit for providing and strengthening contacts between healthcare start-ups and financial institutions based in the financial district of London. He holds visiting faculty positions in China (Medical School, South Central University) and the UK (St. George’s Medical School, University of London and Business School, City University of London).

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