We are pleased to release the programme for our upcoming International ABR Research Conference on “Governance of Biobanking in Biomedical Research”. The conference will run from 24 – 26 May 2017 and will be held at the National University of Singapore.
Therapeutic interventions, large-scale research initiatives and events like disease outbreaks could generate a great number and variety of biological samples. Such samples constitute a precious, non-renewable resource, and offer a unique opportunity to facilitate rapid expansion of our knowledge of the disease and its pathogenesis, and are crucial to expedite the development of prophylaxes and interventions. Ethically appropriate standards must be put in place to ensure that the immediate needs for collection, preservation and storage of large amounts of biological samples taken do not undermine longer–term concerns with advancement of therapeutic interventions and capacity building, especially in low and middle income countries (LMICs).
This conference will explore a range of options for biobanking – from national, through regional, to international models, including centralised and distributed physical sites, and concepts of distributed, shared, and ‘virtual’ knowledge resources. In planning for biobanking, key challenges including those related to infrastructure, trust and accountability will be considered, although the focus will be on ethical, legal, and policy concerns. Finally, the conference will consider the prospect of developing international guidance and its possible implications on building scientific, administrative, and technological capacities that are necessary to support good governance of biobanking. This conference is organised by the ABR Team at the NUS Centre for Biomedical Ethics.