ISBER 2016 Regional Meeting Highlights

January 13th, 2017 in Conference Feature
Contributed by Adam Terris, Association Coordinator

Isber-Bethesda2016ISBER’s first ever Regional Meeting took place in Bethesda, Maryland, USA on November 7-8 with over 300 delegates in attendance.

With six symposia, three workshops and much more, it was a fruitful two day schedule. The theme of the meeting was “Quality Biobanking for Precision Research and Medicine: Overcoming Scientific, Information Technology, and Policy Changes.” The Keynote Speaker was Dr. Stephen Thibodeau from Mayo Clinic, who kicked off the conference with his presentation on ‘Biobanking for the Precision Medicine Initiative’.

Symposiums 1 and 2 focused on Ethical, Legal and Social Issues (ELSI) and Global Challenges to Next-Generation Biobanking. For those who weren’t able to join us in Berlin for ISBER’s 2016 Annual Meeting, Symposium 3, entitled “A Bit of Berlin in Bethesda” gave a recap of the successful Berlin meeting including presentations from some of the invited speakers from the Annual Meeting. Symposiums 4A and 4B discussed various aspects of Biospecimen Science including issues for molecular characterization for developing personalized precision medicine as well as the success stories and challenges related to the sharing of biospecimens between researchers and institutions. There was also a Late Breaking Session which was devoted to Global and Regional Quality Standardization and Harmonization Efforts as well as a session on the Research Findings on FFPE Tissue from the Biospecimen Preanalytical Variables (BPV) Program.


Keynote from Dr. Stephen Thibodeau from the Mayo Clinic speaking about their Precision Medicine Initiative.

The Regional Meeting included abstracts from across the Americas Region and beyond. 60 poster presentations from countries including Israel, Singapore, Ukraine, Sweden and more! For the first time ever at an ISBER meeting, there was also a Poster Discussion Session which gave the opportunity for poster presenters and delegates to discuss common interesting themes from select abstracts. Roundtable discussions were offered on the second day of the meeting where delegates discussed various hot topics relevant to biobanking over lunch.


Twenty vendors interacted with delegates in the Exhibit Hall

There were plenty of educational opportunities at the ISBER Regional Meeting in Bethesda including three Educational Workshops. The first of these workshops related to Biobanking Informatics and was presented by the ISBER Informatics Working Group. Educational Workshops 2 and 3 centered around the ISBER Best Practices relating to Repository Planning and ELSI.

Lunch on the final day of the Regional Meeting was a Canadian fare to prepare for our next Annual Meeting which will be in Toronto, Canada.

To see more from the Regional Meeting including photos, presentations, the Regional Meeting program and more, visit our past meetings page here.

After hosting a great debut Regional Meeting, ISBER is excited to welcome you all to Toronto for the 2017 Annual Meeting on May 9-12 at the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel. Find out more about how to join us by clicking here and be sure to register before the March 8, 2017 early bird deadline!

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