F. l. t. r.: Gabriele Anton, Sara Nußbeck, Michael Kiehntopf (Photo M. Kiehntopf: TMF e. V./ Volkmar Otto).

New GBN Executive Board elected

The Steering Committee (SC) has elected an Executive Board to take over the management of the German Biobank Node (GBN) from 1 February 2024. PD Dr. Sara Nußbeck was elected as spokesperson and “National Node Director” – as GBN representative to the European biobank network BBMRI-ERIC. Nußbeck’s deputies on the Executive Board are Dr. Gabriele Anton and PD Dr. Dr. Michael Kiehntopf. Their term of office will be two years.  

The election was the first of its kind, with Prof. Dr. Michael Hummel leading the GBN since its inception ten years ago. Hummel will remain on the SC as a strategic advisor during a transition period.  

After taking over from Hummel, the new Executive Board will continue to develop the overall strategy of the GBN and the German Biobank Alliance (GBA) in cooperation with the SC. Other future tasks of the Executive Board will be  

  • supervision of the work of the GBN office and the activities of the network,  
  • representation of GBN/the GBA at events,  
  • liaising closely with funding bodies on national and European developments and with other relevant stakeholders  
  • as well as close cooperation – especially of the National Node Director – with BBMRI-ERIC.  

With Sara Nußbeck, Gabriele Anton and Michael Kiehntopf, three proven biobanking experts and experienced networkers are available for these tasks. 

Sara Nußbeck: “Making biobanks indispensable research partners” 

PD Dr. Sara Nußbeck is a molecular biologist with a habilitation in biobanking and medical informatics. She is the director of the Central Biobank at the University Medical Centre Göttingen (UMG), which she established. She is an expert reviewer for biobanks at the German Accreditation Body (DAkkS) and was conference chair of the National Biobank Symposium 2023. Nußbeck has been very active for GBN and GBA for a long time: she has been a member of the SC for many years, heads the “Education and Training” working group and is a member of three other working groups. Training biobank staff and mentoring young professionals are of particular interest to her. She also aims to make the biobanking community more visible at national and international level. 

Gabriele Anton: "For a fruitful cooperation with the NUM"  

Dr. Gabriele Anton is an experienced biobanker who, after working for the Joint Biobank Munich and the Biobank at the Helmholtz Centre Munich, has dedicated herself to setting up the Central Biobank at Bielefeld University since 2023. A biologist by training, she has extensive expertise in population cohorts and is also co-coordinator of the Biosample Core Unit in the Network of University Medicine (NUM). Anton has a long history of involvement in GBN and GBA: she has been a member of the SC since 2021, leads the control cohorts working group and is a member of two other working groups. She is particularly interested in the active participation of biobanks in scientific research, cooperation between biobanks and their sustainable funding. 

Michael Kiehntopf: “Joint strategies for quality assured biobanking” 

He is one of the “architects” of the GBN quality programme: PD Dr. Dr. Michael Kiehntopf. The laboratory physician and biochemist heads both the Integrated Biobank Jena (IBBJ) and the Institute for Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Diagnostics at the University Hospital of Jena. He is also a member of the Board and Deputy Chairman of the Technology and Methods Platform for Networked Medical Research (TMF e. V.), spokesman for the TMF working group “Biobanks” and spokesman for the Biobanks and Informatics Section of the German Society for Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (DGKL). He established the GBA proficiency tests for liquid samples, is a long-standing member of the GBN and GBA SC and is involved in several working groups. His priorities are the expansion of the GBA proficiency testing activities – also on a European level –, the visibility of the successes of GBA biobanks and a cooperative and transparent collaboration.  



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