April 6, 2020, a conference of Russian National Association of Biobanks and Biobanking Specialists (NASBio) titled NASBIO-2020 was held in Moscow, as a part of the XXVII Russian National Congress “Man and Medicine”

April 6, 2020, a conference of Russian National Association of Biobanks and Biobanking Specialists (NASBio) titled NASBIO-2020 was held in Moscow, as a part of the XXVII Russian National Congress “Man and Medicine”

April 6, 2020   

 April 6, 2020, a conference of Russian National Association of Biobanks and Biobanking Specialists (NASBio) titled NASBIO-2020 was held in Moscow, as a part of the XXVII Russian National Congress “Man and Medicine”

This year, due to outbreak of coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, a conference took place fully in online mode. Thanks to the professionalism of all lecturers, joint effort of the Organizing Committee and assistance of ‘Internist’ company specialists, nearly all planned lectures were presented online at “Man and Medicine” Congress website, and in a few days will become available as records at internist.ru website.

Biobanking represents a process of collection, processing, storage and analysis of biological materials essential for scientific research. Biobank activities are globally recognized as essential part of development of the modern medicine; they facilitate a development of novel drugs, regenerative and personalized medicine, indoctrination of novel innovative diagnostic instruments into the clinical practice.

This conference was organized by Russian National Association of Biobanks and Biobanking Specialists (NASBio), which was formed in 2018 to develop and support biobanks interaction in Russia. Creation of the National Association of Biobanks represents an essential step of the development of biomedical research in Russia. NASBio aims uniting efforts of Russian biobanking specialists, adjusting their interaction with each other and with a professional society involved in medical research. Association activities are focused at forming a network of biobanks in Russia. It also aims implementing internationally recognized joint standards and methodological approaches into Russian biobanks; forming a united information field, running educational programs in biobanking to improve efficiency of Russian medical research. The conference was dedicated to most actual subjects in this field.

Leading scientists working in various directions of medical research, Russian and foreign biobanking specialists have participated in the conference.

The conference was opened with a symposium entitled “Creating Russian network of biobanks”. Opening word and the first speech entitled “Biobanks and development of medicine” was by Oxana Drapkina, President of NASBio, Director of National Medical Research Center for Preventive Medicine (Moscow) and Corresponding member of Russian Academy of Sciences. Role of local and international standards and principles of biobanking in personalized medicine was outlined by Jens K. Habermann, President of European, Middle Eastern & African Society for Biopreservation and Biobanking (ESBB). A detailed report on the international collaboration between biobanks was made by Karine Sargsyan, Director of Graz Biobank (Austria), the largest biobank in Europe. A report by Georg Göbel, Deputy head of Department for medical statistics, informatics and health economics, Innsbruck Medical University (Austria) was dedicated to the problematics of data security in biobanks and ISO 27001 standard applications.

Next two symposium entitled “Practical aspects of biobank operations” allowed discussing various important issues related to biobanking in Russia. A dense program have included reports of the leading Russian specialists in biobanking. Practical aspects of creating a biobank network in Russia were covered by Oleg Granstrem, Director of business development of National BioService LLC and Vice-President of NASBio. In his report, Oleg described a successful experience in creating a distributed infrastructure of biobanks, and their interaction for research projects. Capabilities of a population biobank in assessing frequencies of pathological and pharmaceutically significant mutations in key populations of Russia were outlined in the interesting report by Oleg Balanovsky from N.Vavilov Institute of General Genetics, Research Center of Medical Genetics, Biobank of North Eurasia. Lecture by Vladimir Belyaev, Head of Biobank of Institute of Regenerative Medicine, I.Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University have covered implementing of ISO 20387 standard into biobank operation and passing audit by pharmacological company by a biobank dedicated to preclinical and clinical studies. Natalya Dukhova from A.Tsib Medical Radiological Research Center, have presented interesting data on creating wide-profile oncological biobank, its capabilities and perspectives. Key problems associated with establishing collections of human cells and tissues for biomedical research were outlined by Veronica Sisoeva, Faculty of Fundamental Medicine, M.Lomonosov Moscow State University. Tatiana Astrelina, Head, Center of Biomedical Technologies; Head, Department of Regenerative Medicine, Hematology, Molecular Cytogenetics and Course of Pediatrics, A.Burnasyan Federal Medical Biophysical Center has dedicated her lecture to modern technologies useful in biomedical research, to science and practice, capabilities and perspectives of biospecimen cryostorage for clinical applications. Anastasia Voronkova from Research Center of Neurology has described problems in biobanking specimens for subsequent gene expression assays. Finally, Artem Muraviev, Executive Director of NASBio; Director of business development, Qvadros-Bio LLC, in his prolonged and well-illustrated report have covered a whole set of issues associated with cryostorage and presented modern perspectives of technologies for cryobanks.

Despite difficult circumstances currently affecting healthcare and science, and new, unconventional format of the meeting, NASBIO-2020 conference had very high level. All scheduled lecturers have presented interesting up-to-date data and ideas, and discussions in online mode were even more productive than usual, due to enlarged audience. Many users can watch the lectures in recorded form, and address their questions to lecturers by e-mail.

It should be noted that NASBio specialists actively participate in programs set by both Russian and international research community. In particular, NASBio members have actively participated in a survey taken by International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) on their work in COVID-19 epidemy and lessons learned: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ISBERCOVID-19.