Testimonial of the FREEZE biobank Freiburg – one of the 28 campaign banners.

GBN launches testimonial campaign

"BioBank Dresden is a highly professional institution. Its work ensures that biosamples of the highest quality are available. This is the basis for reproducible research results," says PD Dr. Malte von Bonin, senior physician at the University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus Dresden. "Understanding the complexity of head and neck tumours, bringing research from the laboratory to the clinic and developing personalised therapy concepts – for this we need professional biobanks such as the Biobank Network at UKE," says Dr. Henrike Zech, specialist and research associate at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE). And Prof. Dr. Birgit Sawitzki, Head of Translational Immunology at the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH), states: "The Central Biobank of Charité and BIH is our partner when it comes to longer-term sample storage and professional data management. It supports us with competent advice regarding the collection and aliquoting of samples as well as with additional human resources."

28 banners, 20 partner and observer biobanks

Von Bonin, Zech and Sawitzki are participating in the testimonial campaign of the German Biobank Node (GBN) and thus recommending cooperation with biobanks of the German Biobank Alliance (GBA). In their statements, they discuss the importance of these professional, quality-assured biobanks and report on their personal experiences from cooperations. A total of 28 banners were created for the campaign, advertising 20 GBA biobanks – both partners and observers of the GBA. The banners support the communications and outreach work of the biobanks, are used on websites and social media, as well as in presentations at events. In addition, GBN will launch the "Testimonial of the Week" campaign on its Twitter channel and on LinkedIn this week.


Increase awareness for biobanks

A 2019 GBN survey of biomedical researchers at GBA sites found that approximately 40% of respondents were unaware of their local biobank. It also revealed that for many scientists, personal recommendations and direct communication play a major role for their work. GBN has launched various activities to increase the awareness for biobanks among scientists. These include the "success storys" – examples of successful research projects that were carried out with the help of human biospecimens and associated data from GBA biobanks. The new testimonial campaign, which meets the need for personal recommendations, follows on seamlessly from this. Thus, Dr. Malte von Bonin is not only a face of this campaign, but also first author of one of the research papers presented as a success story ("Strong against lymphoma: CAR T-cell therapy").

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