contributed by Sergey V. Anisimov, MD, PhD, DSc (Director of Operations, BioService LLC, Russia)
The XXVI Russian National Congress “Man and Medicine” was held on April 9-10, 2019 in Moscow, Russia. The first day of this Congress included a full-day session dedicated to biobanking, organized by a newly organized professional society: Russian national association of biobanks and biobanking specialists (NASBio). Organized to facilitate creation of the national biobanking network in Russia, NASBio has many important goals. “Creation of the national association of biobanks is an essential step in developing biomedical research in Russia” – said Oxana Drapkina, NASBio President and Director of the National Medical Research Center for Preventive Medicine in Moscow, – “We need to unite efforts of biobanks and biobanking specialists. NASBio aims to develop the network of biobanks in Russia, providing professional and educational services in biobanking field, and also assisting in developing and performing fundamental and applied research projects relying on biobanking collections and infrastructure”.
According to the goals declared, the session on the biobanking organized by NASBio included many interesting presentations providing important overview of the global and local status, organizational and technical aspects of biobanking. In particular, one of the key presentations was made by Andrey Kaprin, Director General of National Medical Research Center of Radiology in Obninsk: “Biobanks and creation of systematized collections of biospecimens forms the key instrument for the discovery of new biomarkers and therapeutic targets for oncological diseases”. He stressed the importance of further developing biobanks in Russia, exploiting existing scientific and technical infrastructures.
Interesting presentations were given by Anastasia Efimenko and Kirill Volkov, representing biobanks of Moscow State University and Saint-Petersburg State University, respectively, – i.e., the top two universities in Russia. International perspective was provided by Olga Kofanova (Team Leader Biospecimen Quality, IBBL, Integrated BioBank of Luxembourg), Daniel Simeon-Dubach (Chair of ISBER Standards Committee) and Yann Joly (Research Director of the Centre of Genomics and Policy (CGP), McGill University, Canadian Commission for UNESCO). Other speakers provided input from the National Medical Research Center for Preventive Medicine in Moscow, Qvadros-Bio LLC and National BioService LLC. In conclusion of this important meeting the co-chairman of the session, Vsevolod Tkachuk (Moscow State University) stressed that activities by NASBIo are important for development of Russian biobanks supporting many areas of biomedical research in Russia.