Public Education Workshop about Biobanking

July 14th, 2017 in Education
Contributed by Workshop Organizers:
Suzanne Vercauteren, MD, PhD, FRCPC (Director BC Children’s Hospital Biobank)
Sheila O’Donoghue (Biobank Leader, Tumour Tissue Repository, BC Cancer Agency & Project Manager, UBC Office of Biobank Education and Research)
Tamsin Tarling (Administrative Manager, BC Children’s Hospital BioBank) 

We facilitated a workshop focused on public education and biobanking at the ISBER Annual Meeting in Toronto in May 2017. We very much appreciated the attendance and contribution of all attendees who spent the afternoon brainstorming about the goals and messages of public outreach for biobanking. Below is a high level summary of what we heard and information about our plans moving forward.

Conference attendees and patient advocates worked together to brainstorm how to provide education to the public about biobanking

What we heard

  • Biobanks need to gain public trust and awareness and build a partnership with the public.
  • Biobanks need to inform the public of their role in medical research.
  • Biobanks need clear and sensitive communication strategies.
  • Consultants, PR representatives, community representatives, and Biobank staff all need to be involved in educating the public and providing success stories.
  • Biobanks need to be available to be contacted by members of the public.
  • Campaigns need to be well thought out, describing benefit, risks, safeguards, oversight and importance. We should learn from other public education campaigns.

Moving Forward

We plan to summarize all our findings in a white paper. We will be presenting this to the International Society of Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER). We hope that with the support of ISBER we can make a strategic plan for a public education campaign about biobanks.

PLEASE LET US KNOW IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE WHITE PAPER AND/OR CONTINUE TO RECEIVE UPDATES ABOUT THIS PROJECT.

Contact information: biobank@cw.bc.ca

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