About Us: Linking Biospecimen Providers & Requesters

Biosample Hub is a UK-based not-for-profit company, incorporation date: 12th March 2020. Company number 12514786. The not-for-profit status matches the non-commercial biobanks it serves. In addition, it offers complete financial transparency. Together, these features minimise any ethical concerns about biobanking commercialisation.

The Biosample Hub platform helps match-making between non-commercial biobanks and companies. For example, it allows hospital biobanks to meet with biotech companies. Direct communication between biobanks and biotechs allows for full sample traceability, which has ethical and scientific benefits.

 

Companies Seeking Human Tissue Sample Suppliers

Biosample Hub provides companies with access to a network of non-commercial biobanks. The company can communicate with each one of them. This direct contact allows the company to assess biobank quality and reliability. It also promotes mutual understanding and the exchange of information. It may also bring benefits like sharing expertise through collaborative research. Read more

Industry scientists need access to a biospecimen provider

Biobanks Aiming To Provide Biospecimens To Industry

Biosample Hub makes non-commercial biobanks visible to biotech companies seeking biospecimens. It allows either side to make contact. Providing samples to these companies can supplement the income of the biobank. A partnership may also provide funding for collaborative research. Also, it may bring scientific benefits like the sharing of equipment and expertise. Read more

The human tissue sample supplier needs to recover costs

Director

Robert Hewitt is the founder and manager of Biosample Hub.

 

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Robert qualified in medicine in 1983. He has a first-class honours degree in immunology & microbiology. He also has a PhD in virology.

Robert was a clinical lecturer in pathology at the University of Nottingham from 1989-94. Then a Fogarty visiting fellow at the US NCI Lab of Pathology from 1994-98. Then a clinical fellow at ICSM, London from 1998-2000. Here, Professors Gordon Stamp and El-Nasir Lalani introduced him to biobanking.

Robert went on to establish biobanks in Riyadh and Singapore between 2000 and 2009. He joined a biobanking society called ISBER in 2002. Then he went on to organise their first annual conference in Asia (Singapore, 2007) and became the first non-US president in 2008. He was appointed European Editor of the Cell Preservation Technology journal in 2009. In this role he championed the journal’s evolution into Biopreservation and Biobanking. This journal, also known as Bio, is now the leading journal in the biobanking field. See From the Editors Desk, Biopreservation & Biobanking, 7, 93 (2009).

Robert co-founded ESBB in 2010 (European society for biospecimen providers). He organised seven annual international conferences between 2011 and 2017. These were in Marseille, Granada, Verona, London, Leipzig, Vienna and Stockholm. The 2017 Stockholm conference, named Global Biobank Week, was a collaboration with BBMRI-ERIC and ISBER. This conference attracted a total of 857 participants from 53 different countries.

He received ISBER’s Outstanding Achievement in Biobanking Award in 2012.

For more details, see Robert’s profile on LinkedIn. Here you can also find his LinkedIn group called ‘Drug Targets and Biomarkers‘.

Selected publications

Hewitt, R.E. Biobanking: the foundation of personalised medicine. Curr Opin Oncol. 23(1):112-9 (2011).

Hewitt R, Hainaut P. Biobanking in a fast-moving world: an international perspective. J Natl Cancer Inst Monogr. 2011(42):50-1 (2011).

Harris JR, et al. Toward a roadmap in global biobanking for health. Eur J Hum Genet. 20(11):1105-11 (2012)

Hewitt, R.E and Watson, P. Defining Biobank. Biopreservation and Biobanking. 11, 309-15 (2013).

Hewitt, R.E., Grizzle, W.E., Watson, P.H., Lee, Y., di Donato, J.-H., Vaught, J. (2017). Biobank and Expertise Networks. In Biobanking of Human Biospecimens. Principles and Practice. Pierre Hainaut, P., Vaught, J., Zatloukal, K, Pasterk, M. Eds. (Springer International Publishing), pp 111-135.

Invited talks

Keynote speaker at ISBER Annual Meeting. Bethesda, MD, USA. 3 May 2006.

ISBER annual meeting. Singapore. 31 May 2007. ‘Integration of clinical, pathology and molecular data at the NUH-NUS Tissue Repository’.

Korean National Assembly, Seoul, South Korea. Presentation to a government committee on international biobanking harmonisation. September 2007.

Chair of Informa symposium in Munich, Germany, November 2007. ‘The challenges of creating national and international biobanking networks’.

BBMRI ‘kick-off meeting’ (Pan-European Biobanking Initiative) in Hinton, Cambridge, 10-12 February 2008. ‘A brief review of ISBER’s evolving role as an international biobanking forum’.

European Science Foundation Conference on Biobanks. Sant Feliu de Guíxols, Spain. 5 November 2008. ‘Biobank Networks in Asia’.

Indian Society for Human Genetics. New Delhi, India. 17-20 March 2009. ‘Challenges in Biobanking Practice: the need to raise standards and harmonise’.

Asian Network for Research Resource Center, 1st meeting. Held in Seoul, South Korea. 21 – 25 September 2009.

BIOBANQUES kick-off meeting, Institut Pasteur, Paris. 7 November 2011. Title: ESBB: a biobanking society for Europe, the Middle East and Africa

TMF Annual Conference in Kiel, Germany. 29 March 2012. ‘The role of international organisations in strengthening the biobanking community.’

ESBB Annual Conference, Granada, Spain. 8 November 2012. ‘Controversies in biobanking: The Definition of Biobank’.

Asian Network for Research Resource Centers, 4th meeting. Held on Jeju Island, South Korea. 17 – 19 October 2012. Presentation title: Biobank sustainability -Securing long-term funding for high-performance disease-oriented biobanks.

Biobanking 2019 in Porto, Portugal. February 14-15, 2019. ‘Academic biobanks and industry: overcoming obstacles to efficient collaboration and mutual benefit.’

Rencontres Toulousaines Club 3C-R , Toulouse, France. June 2016 & 2018.

ISBER Annual Meeting in Shanghai, China. May 7-10, 2019. ‘How Commercial Biobanks Are Helping Industry Develop New Drugs And Diagnostics. What Can Academic Biobanks Learn From Them?’

Advisory Panel

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Dr Eng Chon Boon

Dr Eng Chon Boon is director of the Tissue Repository at National University Hospital (NUH). He runs the Hospital-based Cancer Registry (HCR) at the National University Cancer Institute (NCIS). He also has an adjunct position in the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health (SSHSPH), National University of Singapore (NUS). Dr Eng is also the principal person in charge of tissue banks across the National University Health System (NUHS) public healthcare cluster. He is the lead PI for the Singapore Integrated Network of Biorepositories (SINB). The SINB is an infrastructure network formed by academic tissue repositories in Singapore. Dr Eng is also Singapore’s convenor for ISO//TC276 Biotechnology. Also, he is on the editorial board of “Biopreservation and Biobanking” by Mary Ann Liebert.

Dr Eng is a past recipient of the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) special service award (2010). He held many voluntary ISBER responsibilities over the years. These included Councilor and Chair of the Marketing Committee. Also a member of ISBER Finance, Nominating, Strategic Planning, Program Committees. He was also the Vice-chair of the Local Organizing Committee for the 2007 ISBER Annual Meeting in Singapore.

Dr Eng has many publications/book chapters/patents in biobanking. He has given talks, conducted biobanking workshops and consulted for various international biobanks over the past 15 years. For a list of biobanking activities and further info, please refer to the following:

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Chon_Eng/publications,

https://www.linkedin.com/in/chon-boon-eng-889a408/?originalSubdomain=sg

https://www.nuhs.edu.sg/research/Research-Facilities/Pages/Tissue-Repository.aspx

 

Dr Rajeev Singh
Dr Rajeev Singh, MD, MBA, is Director, Biorepository at Houston Methodist Research Institute, Houston, TX, USA. He is a trained pathologist. Dr Singh obtained his basic medical and specialist degrees in India. He obtained his MBA from the USA. Dr Singh has been a biobanker for the last 15 years. In this time he has worked across various positions in biobanks in Singapore and the US.
 
Dr Singh has been an active ISBER member for the last 15 years. He is or was a member of the ISBER Biospecimen Science, Standards and Finance committees. He has co-chaired sessions and led round table discussions on important biobanking issues in past ISBER meetings. Dr Singh has been a part of the task force that reviewed the 4th edition of ISBER Best practices. Dr Singh has delivered international talks on biobanking related topics and sits on the advisory panel for an Indian biobank. He has published or presented biobanking related articles and posters. These were in various journals and conferences.
 
Dr Singh’s focus areas in biobanking include biospecimen quality and donor perspectives. He is currently driving his biorepository towards CAP accreditation. Also, he is a certified CAP Biorepository Inspector.
Mr Barjinder Sahota

Barjinder is a solicitor-advocate with nearly 30 years litigation experience at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.  He is now deep diving into issues related to ethics and compliance in the areas of health research (including clinical trials), biobanking, health data, artificial intelligence and robotics – including the application of blockchain and smart contracts.  He sits on a number of ethics committees involved in health, biobanking, and technology. His detailed bio can be found at http://www.libel-law.co.uk

Dr Ray Perkins

Dr Ray Perkins, PhD, is Founder and President of New Liberty Proteomics Corp. This organization’s unique mission is integrating Drug and Diagnostics development in support of Personalized (Precision) Medicine NLP assesses the impact of disease and drugs on fundamental molecular and cellular activity.  Areas of emphasis include the development of network-based diagnostics for cancer and dementia.  Dr Perkins earned a PhD from Vanderbilt University, where he was a research fellow for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Here he adapted magnetic resonance technologies to assess and diagnose Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Recent activities include expert panelist for events such as “Medicines in the 21st Century” recently held in Wales. Also, many publications*. Each of these has been downloaded thousands of times.  In this era of the COVID pandemic, Dr Perkins is called upon in many capacities. These include evaluation of likely therapies and diagnostics.

* “Making the Case for Functional Proteomics”

“Proteases, Pivot Points in Functional Proteomics”

“COVID-19 Pandemic Surgery Guidance”

Dr Jeanne-Hélène di Donato
Jeanne-Hélène di Donato has worked on biobank professionalization for almost 25 years. First as a manager of the French AFM-Généthon biobank for 14 years. Then as a consultant for biobanks through her 3C-R Company for the past 15 years. Jeanne-Hélène has worked for many years on the establishment of best practices for Biological Resource Centres. She was a Member of the French delegation to the OECD BRC Task Force. She led the working group on best practice guidelines for human-derived material. She also participated in developing French law on the management of collections and human samples for research. She is also co-author of French Standard NF S 96-900 for a biobank quality management system.
 
Today she is a certified consultant. Her activities include helping biobanks with their logistics and quality management systems. Also their administrative, ethical and legal development requirements. They also include training. She is also an auditor (NF S 96-900, ISO 20387, ISO 9001). She is the manager of Club 3C-R which is the largest francophone biobank network. This has 125 biobank members. It promotes discussion, collaboration and problem-solving. In addition, she is a lecturer on a Master’s degree course for biobank managers at the Catholic University of Lyon. She is a member of the French Ethical Committee for clinical trials. Also a member of Eurobiobank, ISBER and ESBB international biobanking networks.
Dr Fay Betsou

Dr Betsou (PhD, HDR) is Chief Scientific Officer at IBBL. She has 25 years of experience in molecular diagnostics, disease-oriented biobanking and biospecimen research. Also, 15 years of experience in ISO 9001 and ISO 17025 application to biobanks. She holds 3 patents and is author of more than 100 peer-reviewed publications. She teaches several biobanking training courses across Europe. Dr Betsou is the chair of the ISBER Biospecimen Science Working Group and of the Proficiency Testing Advisory Group. She is the Luxembourg national delegate in ISO REMCO and ISO TC276.

Mr Liam Burke Masterson
Liam Burke Masterson is a Clinical Partnership Manager at Genuity Science. One of his current key roles is to build longstanding mutually beneficial collaborations with clinicians and academic cohort custodians. Genuity Science is a contract genomics and data-sourcing, analytics and insights organisation. It has headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts, the USA. Also with offices in Dublin, Ireland and Reykjavik, Iceland. Genuity works in collaboration with clinicians, patients, academic researchers and global pharmaceutical companies. It uses the power of population genomics to discover pathways to new treatments and new diagnostics.
 
Liam has an M.Sc. in Project and Programme Management. He has an extensive background in Biobanking. This includes having been a key member of the Qatar Biobank team. He was a member from initiation stages through to collaboration with Imperial College London towards biobank maturity. During this time, he gained extensive insight from biobanking experts, including many of the leading international experts. He had hands-on experience in areas such as disaster management, cryopreservation and transition to automaton. During this time, Liam became involved with ESBB and ISBER and continued participating in the biobanking community. Liam spent over seven years in the Middle East until returning to his native Ireland in 2018. This was when he took up his current position with one of the leading genomics organisations.
Mr Daniel Uribe

CEO & Co Founder of Genobank.io, Serial Entrepreneur, +15 years experience in UNIX, Cybersecurity, Cloud Computing; +5 years experience in Blockchain & Smart Contracts.  Recently specialized in the intersection of Privacy Laws, Genomics & Bioinformatics.

Holds BS Electronics Engineering, MBA from IPADE Business School, Executive Programs @ Stanford GSB, Singularity University; Data Science at Galvanize & RNAseq at EcSeq Bioinformatics GmbH (Berlin).

 

Acknowledgements

Special thanks are due to Mr Barjinder Sahota, Solicitor-Advocate, Mayfair, London, UK. This is for his excellent advice on legal and business development matters. Also, for his solid and continuous support for the Biosample Hub project.
 
The following people and organisations have also provided much-appreciated help:

Press Release Announcements

The Operating Theatre Journal, June, 2021

NE Connected, May 25, 2021

Business Mondays, May 14, 2021

Health Tech World, May 13, 2021  Biosample Hub creates world-first. Article by Deborah Johnson. ‘A world-first in biosampling is helping to redefine the traditional way in which researchers in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry gather the biosamples they need. Through the creation of Biosample Hub, industry can find academic biobank partners to secure biosamples in a way which provides solutions to the traditional problems around biosample procurement…’

Business News Wales, May 13, 2021

SME Business News, May 12, 2021

West Wales Chronicle, May 11, 2021

Manchester TV, May 11, 2021

PharmiWeb, May 11, 2021

OpenSpecimen, May 4, 2021

Lab Bulletin, May 3, 2021

South Wales Guardian, May 2, 2021

The Daily Brit, May, 2021

Business In The News, May 2021

Laboratory News, April 28, 2021

Healthcare Global, April 27, 2021

Healthcare Newsdesk, April 27, 2021

London News Today, April 27, 2021

Eminetra, April 27, 2021

Herald Wales

Kent Business Radio 

All Post News

News From Wales