by Cathy Seiler, PhD
Manager of the Biobank Core Facility at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Barrow Neurological Institute and ISBER News Blog Editor
I’m so excited to have the opportunity to step into the illustrious and impressive shoes of Rick Michels (most recent ISBER News Blog editor) and Elaine Gunter (the ISBER Newsletter creator) as the new ISBER News Blog Editor. Rick has been extraordinarily gracious and supportive over the past six months as I have been learning the ropes as Assistant Editor. He also deserves continued kudos for helping me as I officially take on this new role, and I lean on him for advice and “special correspondent” duties. Thanks also to Brian Clark and the Publications Committee for their support! I’m looking forward to working with them more closely as I ramp up.
For those of you who don’t know me, I’ve been a member of ISBER for the past 7 years. I still remember my first ISBER Annual meeting in Portland in 2009 when I realized that this is a very special organization with a vibrant and thriving community of experts. At that time, I was the Scientific Liaison of a plasmid biorepository initially based out of Harvard Medical School, but moved to the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University under the name DNASU right after that Portland meeting. In the past 7 years, I’ve been fortunate enough to attend two other ISBER Annual meetings in Orlando and Phoenix (where I was also on the Programming Committee) and to serve on the Membership and Marketing Committee (which I will continue to do). Two years ago, I also transitioned into a new position as the Manager of a tissue biorepository, the Biobank Core Facility, at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Barrow Neurological Institute. With my feet placed both in the world of the Common Rule and HIPAA in addition to sample quality and storage, I feel like I now have an added breadth of knowledge that I can bring to my role as Editor.
Overall, my vision is for the ISBER News to become the “go to” source for interesting biobanking information. I see the purpose of this blog to be an outlet to share information, successes and failures, and best practices and things that didn’t work out so well. It’s a great way for ISBER members to learn more about what ISBER committees and working groups are up to. It’s a forum to promote biobanking – from human tissue banks to environmental repositories – both within our community but also outside the biobanking world. I also hope that at times this blog can reach out to the public to help them better understand what it is that biobankers do and why it’s important. Often, the public is involved in our activities in one way or another – through donating their tissue or blood samples to a repository, by voting for members of the legislature responsible for allocating funding to research and biobanks, or by serving on boards of hospitals, foundations or institutions that have biobanks.
My goals are to work with all of you to increase the number and breadth of posts and then promote these posts so that the largest numbers of researchers and non-researchers can read about biobanking. This isn’t MY News Blog – it’s YOURS! I’m just here to help you and ISBER get out the word! You are the people out there doing all the great work, interacting with the interesting biobankers, and running or working at these amazing biobanks. I want to tell your stories and have our audience learn from you.
I’ll be posting again soon about the types of articles you may want to submit, but in the meantime, if you want to submit an article or have any questions, please feel free to email me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) or message me through the ISBER Forum. I’m looking forward to working with each and every one of you and thank you in advance for your help, insight and contributions.