Prof. Dr. Michael Hummel during Europe Biobank Week 2019. Photo: BBMRI-ERIC

Europe Biobank Week: GBN launches Sample Locator

Medical researchers are now able to search a large pool for relevant biosamples – thanks to the central “Sample Locator” of the German Biobank Node (GBN). Scientists can use this online tool ( to request biosamples from numerous academic biobanks in Germany meeting their desired criteria. GBN coordinator Prof. Dr. Michael Hummel presented the Sample Locator on the first day of Europe Biobank Week, which is the largest European conference on biobanking. “We are proud that a developer version of the Sample Locator is now available. In the long term, this tool will greatly accelerate biomedical research in Germany,” Hummel said during the EBW in Lübeck.

Biobanks collect, process and store human bodily substances such as blood and tissue. Making them “archives” of biosamples and an important basis for medical research. “Doctors and researchers can use biosamples to identify the causes of diseases and develop new targeted treatments,” Hummel explained. “Which is why it’s so important for these biosamples to be as easily accessible as possible.” The Sample Locator has been developed in cooperation with the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) to enable just this.

Europe Biobank Week held in Germany for the first time

“Biobanking for a healthier world” is the motto of this year’s Europe Biobank Week, which is taking place in Germany for the first time and will run until 11 October. The EBW is co-organised by BBMRI-ERIC (Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure – European Research Infrastructure Consortium) and ESBB (European, Middle Eastern and African Society for Biopreservation and Biobanking). “Biobanking for a healthier world is a clear call to action – today,” said Erik Steinfelder, Director-General of BBMRI-ERIC, in his opening address.

Biobanking for precision medicine

More than 700 participants, including representatives from biobanks, networks, industry, patient organisations and politics as well as academic researchers from more than 30 countries, will exchange at the EBW on topics such as biobanking for precision medicine, rare diseases, biosample quality and standardisation, IT solutions and AI, cooperation between academic biobanks and industry as well as new molecular and medical imaging methods. The German Biobank Node (GBN) is representing the German biobank community during the EBW with a stand and representatives from the biobank network are participating in the event programme with numerous presentations.

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