Up at 5AM: The 5AM Solutions Blog

Advancing Biobanks through Continued Education at BioCoR

Posted on Tue, Apr 01, 2014 @ 10:18 AM

It can seem like biobanking is a ‘cold black box’ process. Samples are processed, labeled stored and retrieved. For many involved in biobanking, it is not clear that processing and storing a biospecimen must be based on core scientific principals in order for the biospecimen to be useful for downstream applications. Biobanking also requires in infrastructure: equipment, biospecimen management systems that may include labels, label readers, and information systems for linking important data about the biospecimen with the actual specimen.


BioCoR Education

The short course offered by the Biopreservation Core Resource at the University of Minnesota is intended to connect those interested in biobanking with the key elements needed to start a biobank and collect high quality biospecimens. For current biobanks, the short course exposes attendees with the knowledge and skills needed to critically evaluate current practices and improve them.


Topics covered in the course include:  

Establishing a biobank

• Budgeting and cost recovery

• Understanding the scientific principles behind storage and processing of biospecimens

• Protocol development

• Daily best practices in the collection, processing and storage of biospecimens

• Informed consent

• Stabilization of nucleic acids

• Quality control programs for biobanks

• Designing a storage facility

• Sustainable biobank processes

• Protein stabilization


The lecturers for the course come from all over the country and represent experts in their field. Andrew Brooks, PhD from Rutgers University will lecture on quality control in biobanking. Marcus Cicerone, PhD, National Institutes of Standards and Technology will lecture on protein stabilization. Allison Hubel, PhD, University of Minnesota will lecture on scientific basis for selecting and processing biospecimens and protocol development. Ian Pope, PhD, CryoAssociates, Gaithersburg, MD will lecture on repository design. Amy Skubitz, PhD, University of Minnesota will lecture on establishing a biobank, budgeting and cost recovery, daily best practices and informed consent.


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The course is offered for both in class attendance and over the web. Web attendees have the option of watching the lectures live and calling in with questions or chatting live with lecturers or watching the lectures on delay. Groups of two or more attending the short course from the same organization receive a discount.

This course has been in existence for a decade and has trained hundreds of individuals. More information on the short course can be found on the BioCoR website or you can email biocor@me.umn.edu.


-5AM Solutions Team

Tags: biobanking, 5AM, Advancing Biorepositories with Data Science


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