Speakers at ICG-13

Speakers at ICG-13




























Dr. Zisis Kozlakidis is Head of the Laboratory Services and Biobank Group at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC/WHO), in Lyon, France, and Past President of the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER). The IARC Biobank is one of the largest, most varied, and richest international collections of samples in the world. It is publicly funded and hosts more than 50 different studies, led or coordinated by IARC scientists. The Biobank contains both population-based collections from research projects focusing on gene–environment interactions and disease-based collections which focus on biomarkers.


In addition, the IARC Biobank leads the Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) Biobank and Cohort Building Network (BCNet), as an opportunity for biobank institutions in LMICs to work together in a coordinated manner and jointly address the challenges in biobanking infrastructure, standard harmonization and the acquisition and maintenance of high-quality samples and data.


Dr. Kozlakidis served as the President of ISBER, and he has been involved in many global activities in biobanking. His ISBER presidency was instrumental in the closer collaboration between ISBER and CNGB, with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the two organisations and the planning of many future joint activities. It is expected that this close collaboration will continue and strengthen with the WHO perspective, to the benefit of the global biobanking field.


Dr. Kozlakidis is a virologist, with a PhD in microbiology from Imperial College London. He is an elected Fellow of the Linnean Society of London, the Royal Academy of Sciences, UK, and a Turnberg Fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences. Dr Kozlakidis has contributed to seminal studies in the adoption of innovations into routine healthcare, and their associated financial impacts. He holds an Executive MBA degree from Cass Business School, City University, London, and he is a co-founder of the City Healthcare Innovation Network, a conduit for providing and strengthening contacts between healthcare start-ups and financial institutions based in the financial district of London.


Next Generation Biobanking: Ensuring high impact research through Implementing best practices and standards in biobanks

Dr Zisis Kozlakidis Author Number

Author Number International Agency for Research on Cancer, World Health Organization (IARC/WHO), 150 Cours Albert Thomas, 69372, Lyon, France

The research using high-throughput platforms that generate large amounts of data and take individual variability into account collectively termed as 'precision analytics' has been growing at an unprecedented rate over the last decade. Although the concept of precision analytics is not new its potential application in different areas, such as medicine, is only now becoming a realistic prospect through significant infrastructure reorganisations.1 The anticipation in the case of precision medicine is that it will be implemented broadly as part of routine clinical pathways within the current decade.

The foundational support to precision research has been dramatically improved by the recent developments in biobanking, and the implementation of best practices and standards that can afford scalability of processes in line with the increasing demands of downstream high-throughput analytics.2 National and international biobanks and networks have emerged that ensure the availability of well-annotated, high-quality, research-ready tissue and associated data – or in some cases of just data. Now that the critical biobanking infrastructure is in place and enabled, broad research programs are needed to encourage creative approaches to enhance the use of samples for both high-throughput and precision analyses; through an outward looking policy that will allow scrutiny and re-purposing of any findings and their use to build the evidence base needed to guide scientific enquiry and daily practice.3

The path from precision analytics-based initiatives and biobanking to impact for specific research questions still requires definition in some areas.4 The implementation of best practices and standards on both the data and sample aspects is expected to increase harmonization globally and provide the necessary support for the much anticipated revolution in science and healthcare provision.

1.        Vandenberg O, Kozlakidis Z, et al. ‘Control of Infectious Diseases in the Era of European Clinical Microbiology Laboratories Consolidation: New challenges and opportunities for the Patient and the Public Health surveillance’ Front. Med. (2018); 5, 15.

2.        Simeon-Dubach D and Kozlakidis Z. ‘New Standards and Updated Best Practices Will Give Modern Biobanking a Boost in Professionalism’ Biopreserv Biobank. (2018); 16(1):1-2.

3.        Carey DJ, et al. ‘The Geisinger MyCode community health initiative: an electronic health record-linked biobank for precision medicine research’ Genetics in Medicine (2016); 18: 906-913.

4.        Kozlakidis Z ‘Biobanking with Big Data: A Need for Developing “Big Data Metrics”. Biopreserv Biobanking (2016); 14(5): 450-451.

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