Curating Pathology’s future.
- Integrated BioBank of Luxembourg
The word “biobank” first began to take off in print in the mid- 2000s. More than 15 years ago, an Internet search would have returned almost nothing; today, there are over a million results. It’s a very short existence for a concept that I believe is vital to modern pathology – both in research and in the clinic.
The biobanking initiative first came from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which not only started advocating for the importance of biobanks, but also insisted on the need to have an accreditation system. In the years following the proposal, the governments of various countries began funding research infrastructures for biobank operations. One such country was France, where I began my own career in the very first autonomous biobank to get ISO certification in 2005. And by 2008, the French government had developed and begun applying a national certification standard for biobanks. It’s approximately equivalent to ISO 9001: a basic quality management system, but nothing more. But professional biobanks – those whose sole purpose is sample collection, processing and management – should be held to a higher standard.