The Responses of Biobanks to COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on health care and biobank operations across the world. In an effort to describe and understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on biobanking, a number of experts in the field from different parts of the world and from different resource contexts were asked to answer a set number of questions describing their experiences thus far.

Each author was asked to introduce themselves and their region and describe:

  1. The pandemic’s effects in their respective region
  2. The pandemic’s impact on current biobanking operations
  3. Their biobank’s engagement with current research on COVID-19, and
  4. whether biobanks were prepared for these changes and how this experience has modified preparedness and risk management plans/perceptions.

Most of the biobank experts noted that their operations were not prepared for this type and level of disruption on an operational or financial level. The article includes responses shared by biobank experts from different parts of the world.

  1. Dr. Jajah Fachiroh, Faculty of Medicine, Public Health and Nursing Universitas Gadjah Mada (FK-KMK UGM), Yogyakarta, Indonesia
  2. Dr. Mrs. Beatrice Wiafe Addai, consultant breast surgeon, and chief executive officer of the Peace and Love Hospitals in Ghana (Kumasi and Accra)
  3. Dr. Xun Xu, CEO of the BGI Group, president and chief scientist of the BGI Research Institute of Life Sciences, China
  4. Dr. Sameera Ezzat, National Liver Institute-Sustainable Science Institute Collaborative Research Center, and Shefa El Orman Oncology Hospital (SOH) biobank
  5. Ms. Heidi Wagner, head of operations, UHN Biospecimen Services
  6. Dr. Márcia Marques, Barretos Cancer Hospital Biobank
  7. Dr. Birendra Yadav, manager, National Liver Disease Biobank (NLDB), India

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