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CAE/BC Biolibrary Project- Guidelines, Protocols and Policies

  • Project Leaders: Kieran O'Doherty, Peter Watson
  • Institutions: University of British Columbia (UBC)
  • Budget: $90000
  • Program/Competition: Science Opportunities Fund
  • Genome Centre(s): Genome British Columbia
  • Fiscal Year: 2008
  • Status: Closed

Biobanks are centralized collections of human blood, tissue samples and other data, and are vital for health research as they serve the needs of researchers for access to high quality and diverse tissues associated with related health information. However, the public interests in how such biobanks are used and in how biobanks protect privacy can be perceived to be isolated from the current processes of biobanking. The aim of this BioLibrary project was to use the issues raised in discussions to generate appropriate guidelines governing biobanking in BC. The lessons learned are unique and have informed the BioLibrary plans for BC. In particular, the Biolibrary has garnered input into 1) most appropriate mechanisms to approach individuals for participation in a biobank 2) appropriate channels for obtaining informed consent once contact is brokered 3) public attitudes towards protection of privacy and the collection of biospecimens more generally 4) appropriate governance structures to foster public trust

This project will form a strong basis for future biobanking and education and certification plans. The Biolibrary is involved in designing education modules for certification of personnel working in biobanks. The results of this project will help to inform standard operating procedures in biobanks. The model has been taken up internationally and is likely to be reproduced in Tasmania. This policy decision making tool has been replicated in the US and Australia and as such will probably influence policy sometime in the future.