Exclusive Interview with Dr Zisis Kozlakidis ahead of Biobanking 2019

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SMi Report:

SMi Report: Exclusive content from expert speaker Dr Zisis Kozlakidis, International Agency for Research on Cancer, released ahead of SMi’s Biobanking conference this September

Ahead of the 9th annual Biobanking conference, taking place on 25th-26th September at the Copthorne Tata Hotel in London, SMi interviewed expert speaker Dr Zisis Kozlakidis, Head of Laboratories and Biobanking, International Agency for Research on Cancer.

Dr Kozlakidis is responsible for one of the largest and most varied international collections of clinical samples in the world, focusing on gene-environment interactions and disease-based collections. This WHO infrastructure supports multinational efforts in making treatments possible and delivering those to resource-restricted settings.

Here is a snapshot of what was discussed:

What key difference have you notices in the last year regarding significant developments in Biobanking?

The major difference has been the introduction of standards to the field, specifically ISO standardisation, this is a big step forward and change to the field.

Whereas before it was local or national standards now there’s an international benchmark. Now there’s a common language enabling us to compare internationally to ensure our samples are fit for purpose. With the ISO released in January this year (ISO 20387), it means we’re focused and it’s brought up the discussion we’ve been having over many years regarding the quality of samples and to the forefront as this mechanisms now accredits you against the standard which in turn gives confidence to the end user.

What do you see as the greatest challenge for you to overcome personally in the biobanking field currently?

“The biggest challenge I see is data handling. The more we work on precision medicine the more data we’ll generate which is held within the biobanks, and as a result biobanks become increasingly under pressure to handle both the sample and the data in the best possible way, and that is hard. A great effort has gone into sample handling thus far, but we have to do the same for the data. Another pressure is the EU GDPR legislation. We’re still having to adjust our work within this framework too.”

What current hot topic will you be addressing in your presentation and what would you say makes it relevant to 2019?

“I’m always presenting what’s novel and new and I think it’s important for the audience to have the latest info and for the audience to see the opportunities that lie ahead for them. Two challenges I mentioned about data handling and standardisation will be at the core of my presentation.

I’ll give examples of what we’ve done through collaboration in precision medicine and through that, you’ll see this thread of the two major challenges we currently face”

The full version of the interview and event brochure are available to download online at www.biobanking-event.com/pharmapr4

Dr Zisis Kozlakidis will be presenting on “Challenges in sample standardisation for successful international biobank collaboration, how to drive precision medicine for cancer”

The regulation and bioethic complications between international borders and across continents:

  • Current developments for oncology precision medicine due to IARC/WHO’s efforts
  • How to increase partnerships of biobanks, academics and pharmaceutical companies world-wide to drive innovation
  • The challenges faced by IARA Biobank and their solutions

An early bird saving of £200 is available for conference bookings made before 28th June. Register online at www.biobanking-event.com/pharmapr4

Biobanking 2019

Conference: 25th - 26th September 2019

Pre-Conference Workshops: 24th September 2019

Location: Copthorne Tara Hotel, London, UK

Proudly sponsored by: Topa and Interactive Software

For sponsorship enquiries please contact Alia Malick on +44 (0)20 7827 6168.

For delegate enquiries contact Kieran Ronaldson on +44 (0)20 7827 6744.

For all media inquiries contact Jinna Sidhu on Tel: +44 (0)20 7827 6088 / Email: hsidhu@smi-online.co.uk

About SMi Group:

Established since 1993, the SMi Group is a global event-production company that specializes in Business-to-Business Conferences, Workshops, Masterclasses and online Communities. We create and deliver events in the Defence, Security, Energy, Utilities, Finance and Pharmaceutical industries. We pride ourselves on having access to the world's most forward-thinking opinion leaders and visionaries, allowing us to bring our communities together to Learn, Engage, Share and Network. More information can be found at http://www.smi-online.co.uk

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Jinna Sidhu

18 June, 2019